Friday, October 30, 2009

Hog lot field, Poplar Branch Farm


Happy concentric circle shoe dance

Thursday, October 29, 2009


Tuesday, October 27, 2009

"Breathe... Breathe..."

A bunch of our friends just had babies,* and more than one used a doula. I'm inspired and have decided to hang up my shingle as a:
  1. A doula for dudes.
I'll help freaked out newbie dads develop their personal birth plan and provide emotional and physical support during the birth process: "Okay, don't forget to breathe. Breathe... Breathe... Very good. Now remember your birth plan: contractions every five minutes, time for your second double martini. Easy, okay... Don't forget the olive. You need your electrolytes. No, no, don't pass out. Now smile and tell her she looks radiant. You're doing great..."

* Yay! Go babies!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Return of Les Living Brusiers: Pumpkin Rock!

Les Brusiers return from the dead—or more precisely, from a lengthy hiatus (various life journeys: living, loving, learning, etc., etc.)—for an ultra-spooky* Halloween Spooktacular at the Circle Bar this Saturday. See you there.

Pumpkin rock!

* Well, as spooky as loose and dirty garage-country played by enthusiastic goofballs can possibly be.


Recently, on something-close-to-a-whim,* Sarah and I switched designated sides of the bed. And I don't mean like just for a few minutes or just for an evening. I mean like permanently. Like I used to be on the near side and she used to be on the far side, but now it's vice versa, and like we took all the stuff from my nightstand and put it in her nightstand and took all the stuff from her nightstand and put it in my nightstand, and it's a done deal.

How often does this happen? How often do couples switch sides, not because of some external circumstance—moving to a new house where the room is arranged differently, or now there's a baby and mama's got to be near the crib, or what have you—but just plain old because because? I suspect, if anyone actually bothered to collect the data (which I don't know why they would, but...), the answer would be: not very often.** Sounds like there's a thesis in Spouse-ological Studies waiting to be written.

* Full disclosure: I initiated the switch. As the aesthetic dogmatist in our house, I tend to have way more opinions than Sarah about what and who should go where and why, and I've always quietly coveted her side: it's close to the balcony, better light, further from the closet and the armoire (both of which give off a subtly unpleasant crammed vibe), further from the door, more in the room. And then I learned that, though Sarah really doesn't particularly care, she found my side slightly preferable: closer to the door, closer to the closet and armoire, further from draft that blows under the balcony door in chilly weather. And so, well then, hey! It's a beautiful thing.

** Though maybe I'm wrong. Maybe there are couples out there who regularly swap sides as the mood suits them. Maybe there are couples who don't even have designated sides (though I find this hard to imagine). I dunno. You tell me.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Cute smile and everything, but I swear they used a Bumpit on my child. (Warning: That link plays the genuine as-seen-on-TV incredibly irritating ad, so think twice if you're at work.)

"Pads on Ice Cream"

I was playing with some musicians the other night, not earnest amateurs like myself, cobbling together scant scraps of knowledge into some elemental semblance of a musical construct, but genuine semi-professional and professional hepcat gigging musicians, the kind who travel places to play in front of large groups of people and quite convincingly fake it on songs they've never rehearsed before and casually talk about the octave on top of the dominant five and whatnot. The keyboard player wanted to know how his part went, and the saxophone player told him to just play "pads on ice cream".

I had to ask, "Did you just say 'pads on ice cream'?" Indeed he did:
pads = big fat chords played on the 1 beat and sustained for the duration of the measure (or something like that)

ice cream = that classic doo-wop 1, 6, 4, 5 chord progression ("At least that's what we called it on the East Coast," he explained)
Whodathunk? I want to say stuff like that, "Just lay down some pads on ice cream, daddy-o". Maybe I'll just make up my own slang: "Gimme some couplets on gravy." "Throw down some backbeats on butter." "Try it with some quarter notes on quinoa." They'll be like, man that guy is far out, he must really know his stuff.


Thursday, October 22, 2009


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

I second that emotion.

On the Goat Walk*

Today I saw a well dressed and by all appearances sane man walking a goat on a leash down Esplanade Ave.:

The man was carrying some hay and what I took to be an industrial strength poop bag. The goat didn't seem particularly inclined to cooperate, clearly preferring to dawdle and munch grass, and the man had to give it a rather stern nudge with his knee to get it moving again. It takes all sorts.

* Complicated self-reference.

Note: I believe this fulfills my long neglected obligation to provide a photograph of a "colorful freak".

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Zoom! Zoom! Zoom!

Returning from my school to my work today, without even trying, I practically ran into the Presidential motorcade. I work a stones throw from where they held today's town hall meeting, and when I found my usual route barricaded and thronged with police and onlookers, I detoured into the quiet nearby neighborhoods of Gentilly. But discovering that all possible alternative routes also barricaded, I finally gave up and waited it out, almost all by my lonesome—just me and the police officer manning the barricade and two old ladies with a video camera on a nearby stoop. And then zoom! zoom! zoom!—a whole bunch of black SUVs with pitch black windows and police motorcycles and all sorts of auxiliary vehicles with all sorts of flashing lights all moving at a fearsome clip. And then they were gone.

I was pleased.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Wildflowers, Grayton Beach


It seems the girls have inherited my beatboxing tick (or "beat-dead-horse-boxing", if you prefer).* And when the three of us get going simultaneously (but not quite synchronously), sputtering and clicking beats of our own amateurish devising, let me tell you, Sarah just absolutely loves it. (Especially in the car. Sarah just loves family beatboxing in a small confined space.)

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Louise and June, back from the beach

Friday, October 09, 2009


Usually my car smells just fine (thank you very much), but periodically (once a week, let's say), I get in and it smells very strongly of vinegar. What's up with that?*

* In the absence of an alternate explanation, I'm forced to assume that a lockpicking hobo is breaking in at night to eat his salt and vinegar potato chips in comfortable seclusion of my vehicle. Mr. Hobo, I am not amused.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Bob Dylan meets Eraserhead (meets Kid 'n Play)?

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Ironic Inventory

We've focused on ironic mustaches in great detail (and more recently touched on ironic eye wear), but these are just a few select genres in a broader pantheon of ironic accoutrements. Might I suggest that we assemble an Ironic Inventory, a comprehensive taxonomy of ironic accessorizing? (And we'll assemble a Human Genome Project-style data bank of ironic stylings, and then we can publish a scholarly journal, Ironic Stylings Quarterly, and then we can publish a popular weekly, Irony Today, and it'll be beautiful, man, beautiful.)

Particularly choice ironic stylings witnessed recently:
  • A guy in full-on ironic 70s rock/groove-wear: long center-parted hair, knit headband, a knittish pilly textured (forgive me fashionistas—I'm fabric terminology deficient) short-sleeved over-tight v-necked sweater with horizontal stripes of orange, brown, and cream; worn with way way way too tight matching cream-colored jeans that revealed way way way too much about the ironist's man-business.
  • Ironic quail pants—you know, those khakis with the little embroidered quail or pheasants or grouses or whatever. (Having attended an Episcopalian prep school in central Virginia in the 80s, I had way way way too much exposure to these and similar ultra-preppy trends in their original entirely sincere form, and I find their modern day tongue-in-cheek reappropriation really really really weird.)
  • A guy with an ironic mustache actually wearing an ironic "Free Mustache Rides" t-shirt. (I don't make this stuff up out of thin air.)
  • And much much much more that sadly escapes my recollection at the moment. (I'll have to take better notes.)
What have you got? Share your sightings.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Tizzy Tuesday: A Vegetable By Any Other Name...

Those close to me know that if they want to send me into a logico-linguistic tizzy, they can just say:
"Did you know a tomato is really a fruit, not a vegetable?"
Let's proclaim this Tizzy Tuesday, get all righteous and indignant, and lay this half-truth (/half-falsehood) to rest once and for all.

This Messy Mush of Muddled Meanings is, I assert, based on an erroneous conflation of two distinct uses of the word "fruit":
  1. Culinary: An edible plant product, usually sweet (though perhaps not necessarily so), that by convention, for cooking and eating purposes, is called a fruit.*
  2. Biological: "The ripened ovary or ovaries of a seed-bearing plant, together with accessory parts, containing the seeds and occurring in a wide variety of forms."
Culinary fruits and culinary vegetables** are disjoint sets: there are no items that belong to both; so it's fair to say that "An apple is a culinary fruit, not a culinary vegetable," or "A tomato is a culinary vegetable, not a culinary fruit." But culinary vegetables and biological fruits are overlapping sets: an item can belong to one, the other, or both; so it's fair to say that "A tomato is a biological fruit and a culinary vegetable." Let's get Venny with it:

Note: This diagram indicates that culinary fruits are a subset of biological fruits—that if an item is a culinary fruit it is also necessarily a biological fruit—which I believe is the case. Can anyone think of a counterexample, a culinary fruit that is not a biological fruit? (No, not bananas. Bananas have itty-bitty little seeds.)

With our newly enlightened perspective, let's nitpick the initial tizzy-inducing statement to pieces:
First assertion: "a tomato is actually a fruit". Ambiguous—true in the biological sense; false in the culinary sense.

Second assertion: "a tomato is not a vegetable". False—vegetable soup with tomatoes? yum! fruit cake with tomatoes? blech!
Messy Muddled Mush of Meanings resolved. Statement debunked. Righteous indignation vented. (Whew! Thanks, I'm all better now.)

Feel free to trot out this little gem during smalltalk at your next cocktail party. And don't forget the Venn diagrams. (And don't worry about the eye rolls, yawns, and derisive snorts. They're just jealous of your logico-linguistic savvy.)

* Yeah, this definition sounds a bit tautological: "It's a fruit if it's called a fruit," but isn't that really how it works? It's a (culinary) fruit if, by historical linguistic and culinary convention, we say it is. I can think of loose amalgamations of traits that tend to distinguish (culinary) fruits and vegetables (sweet vs. savory, etc.), but I can't think of any bright line distinction based on inherent qualities that unambiguously distinguishes the two. (As opposed to the biological definition of a fruit which is much more explicit: it's either a ripened ovary of a seed bearing plant, together with accessory parts, containing the seeds and occurring in a wide variety of forms; or it ain't.)

** Really, "culinary vegetable" is probably redundant since "vegetable", as best as I can figure, is a strictly culinary term and has no biological or other non-culinary usage; but I'll keep the qualifier in the interest of
clarity and symmetry.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Pines and hands, Grayton Beach

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Wildflowers, Grayton Beach

Friday, October 02, 2009

Wildflowers, Grayton Beach

Thursday, October 01, 2009

June with brightly colored beach toys