Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009 Round-Up Lists I'd Like To See

  1. Most Egregious Monkey Misdemeanors of 2009
  2. Most Unsettling Pharmaceutical Ads of 2009
  3. Fruits and Vegetables That Most Resembled Famous People in 2009
  4. Most Exciting New Technologies That Rapidly Became Lame and Irritating in 2009
  5. Wackiest Panda Follies of 2009
  6. Most Outrageous Balloon Hoaxes of 2009
  7. Wackiest Financial Collapses of 2009
  8. Wildest Photographs Taken By Paparazzi of People Who They Thought Were Famous but Actually Turned Out Just to Be Random People Who Looked A Lot Like Those Famous People... of 2009
  9. Most Insipid Year-in-Review Round-Up Lists of 2009
And you?

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Long live the Jheri curl. There's something to admire about a person sticking to his or her fashion guns and maintaining the same unwavering look year after year, decade after decade, regardless of the fickle vagaries of fashion. I saw this guy at the bus stop the other day, still sporting the Jheri curl, which he presumably adopted back when it was new and cool, on his now graying hair. (He also wore a rather snazzy old-school gold medallion.) Will the Jheri curl have a retro-renaissance like other 80s styles? Has it already returned to more fashion-forward corners of the country? (It's hard to imagine, but I couldn't imagine the return of the flat-top fade either.) I wanna know.

Monday, December 28, 2009

What are the rules of etiquette for a gentleman graced with two hats? Remove both upon entering a building? Only the top? And what about tipping the hats in greeting? (Are stocking caps exempt from tipping? Seems like an awkward business.)

Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas Eve was a muggy, rainy, squally mess, but late in the day, the skies cleared and this rainbow appeared, truly the most perfect rainbow I've ever seen. (Actually, the most perfect double rainbow I've ever seen; the second is faintly visible in the top right of the photograph.) I can only assume this is a sign from on high that, despite their loss to the Cowboys, the Saints will win the Superbowl. Merry Christmas, y'all.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

We made a gingerbread house. Sarah did the mixing, rolling, cutting, and baking; I did the construction; and the girls and I did the decoration. The more meticulous/persnickety elements—the roof, the trees—are mine. The more expressionistic elements—the walls, etc.—are theirs. (Sarah told me I'm a "Type A gingerbread house maker", which may be true, but I think a good kiddy-craft project is like a jazz composition: lay out a solid framework, and then let the participants express themselves fully within those parameters.) It was the first time we made one, but I'm rather pleased and suspect there will be more gingerbread houses in years to come.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Cat by window

Thursday, December 17, 2009


Pussy Pussy Cat

Apparently Delilah got in a tangle with some other cat around the neighborhood, and she came home with a big swollen lump behind her left ear. We took her to the vet who said it was infected and filled with pus (yuck), but the vet cleaned it up, and Dee is on the mend. Except that sometimes the wound still oozes pus. (Yuck.)

Which brings us to today's linguistic conundrum. There's no way in conventional written English to distinguish between:
(1) "pussy cat", as in meow-meow-kitty puss-in-boots cat, as in [poos-ee-kat]
(2) "pussy cat", as in a cat with pus, as in [puhs-ee-kat] (as in yuck)*
What's a person with a pussy(2) pussy(1) cat (say that five times fast) to do?

* The dictionaries I looked at sidestepped the issue by ignoring this adjectival form of "pus" even though I believe most native English speakers would accept the phrase "a pussy wound" (
[puhs-ee]) as appropriate and meaningful (and yucky). The only adjectival variant I saw was "puslike", which of course has an entirely different meaning.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Les Nouveau Retro-Chapeauistes

The hat, of course, has revived. It's now quite common to see men, from dapper dons to scruffy bohemes, topping their domes with with a fedora, pork pie, bowler, or the like:*

This is well and good (though I myself have not joined the Hat Club, both for reasons of personal stylistic minimalism and because most commercially available toppers won't fit my massive noggin), but I do have one concern: I see many nouveau retro-chapeauistes wearing their hats indoors.** May I suggest that:
If we're going to bring back hats, let's also bring back the pleasantly particular manners and customs that go with them.
Going inside: hats off. Going outside: hats on.*** (And what about the tipping of the hat as a cordial greeting?) Simple and lovely, non?

* Drawing hats is surprisingly hard.

** The particular case that prompted this post occurred during last night's hilarious mayoral debate when Jerry Jacobs, the fringe pro-ganja-legalization candidate, wore his hat—a bowler
for the duration of the discussion. (Though honestly, he kind of made it work.)

*** I've spent a lot of time working around Navy guys (an enduring bastion of hat culture and etiquette), and I've seen them don their caps when leaving one building only to doff them again upon entering another building thirty feet away. Maybe it's ridiculous, but it's also kind of great.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Namely N'Awlins, Dawlin'

I propose a bit of socio-regional inquiry: I'd like to determine what is the most quintessentially New Orleans name. And let's use a loose Battle Royale methodology: start with a New Orleans-y name, see if we can find a more New Orleans-y name, repeat until we arrive at our answer (or get bored).* I'll kick it off with:
Hokie Gajan ("Guy-john", sort of, except with a Frenchier "j")**
the color commentator*** for the WWL Saints radio broadcast. Okay, what's next? Give me a New Orleans-y-er name than Hokie's.

For the moment, let's stick with actual names of actual people and see how it goes.

** One might object that, as stated in his Wiki-bio, Hokie's from around Baton Rouge, but it doesn't matter. New Orleans names and South Louisiana names flow into and out of each other.

*** "Color commentator"—that's new-ish lingo for me. (You know this Saints-fever is infectious if I'm making fine-grained distinctions between the roles of sports radio broadcasters.)

Monday, December 14, 2009

Dancin' the Deluge Away: Louise, June, and I went to the Father-Daughter Dance at their school on Saturday afternoon. It started with a gray skies and off-and-on rain, fancy dresses, tightly tied ties, almost-forgotten tickets and umbrellas, a dash into the cafeteria-turned-dance-hall, cookies and fruit punch, the Cupid Shuffle, posed pictures (as you can see), goofy girl group dancing, more Cupid Shuffle (really, they played it twice), more cookies and fruit punch. It ended with unremitting apocalyptic downpours, a mad dash in dress shoes and and stockings through shin-deep waters to my car shortly before it was swamped by a puddle-turned-lake, soaked suits and drenched dresses, labyrinthine white-knuckled navigations around and through pervasive profound block-by-block street flooding, and an eventual highly gratifying arrival home (with a hot bath for the chilled daughters and a generous bourbon for the frazzled father).

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Tuesday, December 08, 2009


I feel that the existing batch of inter-slang acronyms—OMG (Oh My God), LOL (Laugh Out Loud), ROTFLMAO (Rolling On The Floor Laughing My Ass Off), AFAIK (As Far As I Know), etc.—has grown stale and inadequate (so late nineties), and I have therefore decided to create new ones. Henceforth, I shall intersperse my posts with the following shorthands:
  • OMGUT (Oh My Great Uncle's Teeth)
  • LSAM (Laugh Silently And Mirthlessly)
  • ROGSMTMN (Rolling On Grapes Snorting Milk Through My Nose)
  • FAOTFWASIMM (Flopping Around On The Floor With A Spoon In My Mouth)
  • AFAICAGTWALIAEOPQU (As Far As I Can Ascertain Given That We Are Living In An Era Of Post-Quantum Uncertainty)
Feel free to borrow them or add your own.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

I seem to be in a musician-drawing mood. Perhaps we can view this as an inadvertent visual commentary on today's Saints-Redskins game: It ain't over until the (not) fat lady (with the towering coiffure) sings.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Day and Night

I played two "gigs" yesterday:
  1. A little before noon, just me and my acoustic guitar, for June's kindergarten class.* (The set list included Roger Miller's "You Can't Roller Skate in a Buffalo Herd" and Huey Piano Smith's "Don't You Just Know It".**)
  2. A little before midnight, avec Les Brusiers, for a garage rock and burlesque extravaganza at a lesbian bar in the French Quarter.

* They'd been learning about musical instruments, so I asked them to name some different kinds of instruments. They mostly said things like violin, drums, tuba, etc., but one girl flummoxed me by answering "a Flying V guitar". Wow, there are some rock-savvy little tots out there.

** While Googling Roger Miller, I came across this absolutely hilarious clip of him on the Muppet Show, singing a medley backed by a chorus of chickens.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Confusing License Plate

A lot depends on the gender of the driver.

Coin-ism: "Flustrated"

flustered and frustrated
I didn't make this one up. A co-worker was using it the other day to describe her state of agitation. (And apparently she's not the only one.) It seems to get it just about right.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Time for another round: name/deal?

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Saints Fever

Our city has officially gone black and gold crazy. I'd like to see an analysis of regional cell communications: How many times has "who dat" been texted or shouted into phone in the last twenty-four hours?

Who dat!