Sunday, January 31, 2010

Buddy & Bobby's Brawds: Do you think he got a makeup consultation for the occasion? "You're an autumn, definitely an autumn".

Buddy & Bobby's Brawds: How to explain it? Long version: Back in the dark ages, when a Saints trip to the Super Bowl seemed like the wildest madness (really, it still does, but...), the patron saint of Saints fandom, Buddy Diliberto, or Buddy D as he was and is known, swore that if the Saints ever actually made it to the big game, he would walk down Bourbon Street in a dress. He died in 2005 and never had his chance, but Bobby Hebert (the "Cajun Cannon"), former Saints quarterback and Buddy's successor as king of Who Dat nation, decided to do it for him. And he invited any guys who were so inclined to join him. Which turned out to be a lot of guys. Short version: Today, thousands upon thousands of die-hard male Saints fans donned their drag-finest and sashayed from the Super Dome to the French Quarter in a massive barely-planned outpouring of Who Dat fever like the city has never seen. Crazy, man, crazy. (Hilarious, man, hilarious.)

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Dat Times

This NY Times article captures the exceptional state and mood of the city just about perfectly.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Just Say Yes/Maybe/No to Crack(ing the Spine of a New Book)

Pop quiz. When reading a new paperback book, do you:
  1. Carefully preserve the integrity of the spine, delicately parting the pages just far enough to read and never far enough to cause a dreaded crack?
  2. Try not to crack the spine but don't care that much and sometimes wind up cracking it anyway?
  3. Gleefully crack the book wide open, unblemished spine be damned?
I'm a #3 all the way, a straight up cracker (er, you know what I mean),* always happy when I get far enough into a book to make the first preliminary crack and happier still when I get to that substantial middle-crack point and the book will at last lay flat with no inclination to close on its own. I have friends who find my attitude abhorrent, and of course, I find their worship of the pristine spine hopelessly nerdy. But we manage to get along. (Even if they really are total nerds.)

Place your vote.**

* Though when I borrow a book, I do try to respect the proclivities of the owner.

** Of course, this will all be rendered moot by the new era of tablet/e-reader/whatchyamathingies. Maybe they can provide a virtual "crack"/"don't crack" toggle option.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

I'm mildly startled whenever I still see a pay phone. Does it actually work? Not that I was going to put my ear to it and check. Pay phones were hygienically dubious at the best of times, and the last decade or so of neglect (and of use by the bedraggled sorts who still use pay phones in this era of pervasive cellphones) can't have helped.

The Fabulous Fives

I just realized this blog is five years old today.* Mon dieu. (Who dat!)

* Presumably, it will now start bringing us highly eclectic breakfasts in bed, accompanied by boozy beverages served in expensive and breakable glassware. (I can't wait until this blog learns how to make us coffee.)

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

I Like to Think That I'll Be Pretty Handy To Have Around When the Apocalypse Comes*

Sarah and I were talking (about what? I don't remember), and I came to the conclusion that I'll be pretty handy to have around when the Apocalypse comes. My useful post-apocalyptic skills:
  • Computer technology: The Post-Apocalypse (P.A.) will be characterized by the widespread cannibalization and re-use of Pre-Apocalyptic digital technologies, reconfigured for the P.A.'s new loose-and-dirty breed of highly mechanized, highly digitized guerrilla warfare: semi-autonomous robot networks, bit-bombing, data swarms, etc. Our ragtag group of human survivors (and affiliated mutants) must be tech-savvy.
  • Farming: I know how to raise livestock.
  • How to build a fence (and therefore, how to build a fortress): I'm building a fence in our backyard. It's not that hard. If we're going to survive for any length of time in the P.A., we'll need to build a really big bad-ass fortress like they had in the desert (dessert?) in the Road Warrior.
  • Foraging for edible fruits and vegetables: For a while as a kid, I was obsessed with Euell Gibbons' "Stalking the Wild Asparagus". I ate my share of poke salad, Jerusalem artichokes, and wild watercress. I can do it again.
  • How to build a wigwam: For a while as a kid, I was obsessed with making wigwams. (This overlapped with the foraging phase.)
  • How to shuck oysters: Not that we'll actually be eating oysters (the seas will be hopelessly poisoned), but the same technique—stab, twist, pry, slice—will prove to be the only way to deactivate and destroy the enemy's semi-autonomous robots, jimmying open their near-impervious brain pans and slicing out their tender little brain-nodes.
  • Elementary and middle school math: Because that's the kind we'll really need in the P.A. Forget that high school and college crap. Nobody's going to be using calculus.
  • Driving really fast: I grew up in the country. There wasn't much to do. We entertained ourselves by driving really fast. (Sorry, Mom—though actually, you drive really fast too.) This will be a useful skill when outrunning the semi-autonomous robot networks.
  • How to shoot a gun.
  • How to make a good drink: The Post-Apocalypse will be characterized by the widespread cannibalization and re-use of Pre-Apocalyptic beers, wines, apertifs, digestifs, liquors, and grain alchohols, reconfigured for the P.A.'s new loose-and-dirty breed of highly potent mixology: Radiation Rickies, Flamethrower Fizzes, Remember-When-There-Was-a-Place-Called-Manhattans, Doom and Destruction Daiquiris, So Long To Civilization Sours, etc.
I recommend that you go ahead and post your P.A. resume on (for all your post-apocalyptic team building needs!); I certainly will.**

* Is it just me, or is every other movie coming out of Hollywood these days set either during or after some sort of apocalypse or other.

** Or if, for some bizarre reason, this emerging market hasn't been identified and this site doesn't actually exist, just post your doomsday qualifications here in the comments section. I'll print out a hard copy to have handy for when the internet is laid waste (and we fondly reminisce around the tire fire, saying things like, "Do you remember blogs?").

Monday, January 25, 2010

And the weather for this bright new Super Bowl-bound Monday? "Gleefully sunny."

Dat Super Bowl

Unbelievable. How to explain it? It's more than just football. (Which is saying something, because that was amazing football, a virtuosic display of skill and determination*—and, as has been the case all season long, bizarre good luck—a knock-down drag-out nail-biter like I can't remember. Dem palpitations about killed me.) New Orleans has waited a long time for this (forty-three years, if you're counting), a city that has sometimes felt like it fell to the wrong side of history, that's taken its hits of late; and for decades, we had the football team to match, more hard luck than good luck, deeply loved but not always easy to love.

So when that football went through those uprights,** it's hard to describe how it felt, but it felt plenty well deserved. (I won't deny, I cried a little.) My only regret is that my grandfather isn't here to be a part of it. A die-hard from the get-go who stood by the Saints for all the dark years, he'd be tickled pink right now.

As we drove home from our friends' house after the game, the city was wild, an ecstatic jubilant communal frenzy: honking and shouting and fireworks and (literally) dancing in the streets. I stood out on the corner until some ungodly wee hour, talking with neighbors and strangers, all happily recounting the details (or occasionally quieting to a stunned reverie: "We're going to the Super Bowl..."). Every few minutes, a car would slow, and the driver would lean out the window, and the whodattin' would start all over again. Or the car would stop completely, and the driver would get out and run up and shake everybody's hands and praise the day and laugh and smile and run back to his car and continue on his merry way.

So the city's a little ragged this morning, collectively popping our Tums and Advil and croaking our raspy voices and dragging our sleepy selves to school and work (some of us—the roads looked a little thin during the commute), but we're happy as can be, because the Saints are going to the Super Bowl,*** and win or lose (though of course, they'll win), that's one hell of a beautiful thing.

* Though there was plenty of
crazy freakish ugliness too.

** And Lord, what a beast of a kick. It looked like it could have kept going for another twenty yards. I'm so glad Hartley redeemed himself. He had to be the most nervous person on the planet before the kick and one of the happiest after.

*** During the first big Mardi Gras weekend, no less. This town is going to be nut-eeeeeee.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Dat Fever

Oh, Lawd, I'm so excited, I got 'dem palpitations.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Martin Luther King Jr. Day parade, Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, New Orleans

Sunday, January 17, 2010

After a long time without one, I'm finally in possession of a rather lovely photo printer. (Much obliged to the kindly elves who helped make it possible.) Of course, I love posting photos on this bloggy-machine, but there's something incredibly gratifying about seeing one's pictures emerge in tangible, touchable, finely detailed, richly colored, fully realized form. (And the beast prints 13 x 19! I can't wait to start cranking those big suckers out.)

Saturday, January 16, 2010

It's getting chilly in hell right now. Whoooooooooo daaaaaaaaaaat!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Slimbo and Bosto

We watched Julie & Julia last night.* I'm inspired and have decided to embark upon my own like-minded blogging project: Over the course of the next year, I will drink my way through the legendary Mr. Boston: Official Bartender's and Party Guide—1400+ drink recipes in 365 days.** And I will blog the entire experience: the triumphs, the failures, the ugly (booze induced) marital spats, and of course the vomiting—lots and lots of maraschino cherry and grenadine infused vomiting. Stay tuned. (Maybe they'll make a movie!)

* Thumbnail review: The Julia part was lovely—
Meryl Streep as Julia Child, Stanley Tucci as Paul, beautifully filmed and acted, they conveyed a warm and affectionate lifelong love that was a delight to watch. The Julie part was an insufferable train wreckthe squalid melodramas of a neurotic narcissist "finding herself" through cooking and blogging. In this case, "finding herself" consisted of little more than finding a book deal and a larger audience for her neurotic narcissism. Blech!

** Not really. My liver would never forgive me.

Just Right for Your Apple-tite*

Yesterday morning, June once again brought us breakfast in bed. It consisted of:
  • English muffins, with a small dollop of what I took to be honey in the center, otherwise unadorned.
  • Two crystal champagne flutes full of applejack brandy.**
Now I like a good drink, but even I consider six-or-so ounces of undiluted booze to be a bit much for first thing in the morning. (What must she think of us?) But as always, the presentation was lovely.

* Oh, wait, that's a different, more breakfast appropriate sort of apple jack.

** She carried this all the way upstairs on a tray, mercifully not spilling a drop—or more importantly, shattering our fancy flutes into a million foot-lacerating little shards. It was with regret that I suggested a breakfast-in-bed hiatus.

Monday, January 11, 2010

This morning's ice covered car was a fabulous novelty for the girls.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Baby, It's Cold Outside (and Inside Too)

We're not used to icicles around here. These particular icicles are formed from the water gushing from the freeze-burst pipes in the exterior wall of the house next door. The house has been gutted and vacant since Katrina; you'd have thought they'd have turned the water service off, but apparently not. (Our own pipes froze solid but didn't break—just one minor easily reparable drip.)

This cold weather is making my head not work. Slim need warm and humid very now soon now pleez. You cold-climateers may think we're silly for getting so bent out of shape by a few freezes, but nothing around here is built for this stuff. When it's freezing outside, it's almost freezing inside. The balmier regions of our house may creep into the sixties during the day, but the cooler corners never make it out of the forties. Blech! (Though unless the weather man is just cruelly toying with our emotions, the end is near.)

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

I saw this guy the other day, driving a battered old pickup truck, wearing a battered old baseball cap and a massive white fur coat. One might say: Huh, weird. One might also say: Goddamn, it's freezing—gimme that coat!

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

With our return to the workaday/schooladay schedule, breakfast in bed is no longer an option. But tonight, June brought us a "snack": cookies, peas, and sparkling water. Her culinary choices remain eccentric, but her flair for presentation is undeniable. (Future food stylist?)

Monday, January 04, 2010

Timothy Wye

Timothy Wye
Let out a sigh.
He wasn't quite right.
His tie was too tight.

The Most Important (and Least Predictable) Meal of the Day

Over the holiday break, unprompted, June started bringing us breakfast in bed. It was so sweet* and so funny that we easily overlooked the sometimes eccentric contents of the meals. Particular breakfasts included:
  • A single strawberry on a plate, to be dipped in a small accompanying bowl of chocolate syrup.
  • A slice of bread with peanut butter (normal enough, except her little five-year-old hands haven't yet mastered the art of spreading peanut butter, which clumped unpredictably across the surface of the bread.)
  • Four rice crackers arranged symmetrically on a plate and drenched in a generous puddle of honey, accompanied by a large bowl of cheese puffs.
Often odd, sometimes better than you'd think (the rice cracker/honey combo actually kind of worked), always hilarious.

* Though
there were sometimes ulterior motives. Early one morning, as we blinked and rubbed our eyes, she pounced into bed and eagerly asked if she could have some of the gingerbread house. We told her, not until after breakfast, and were surprised when she pranced away without an argument. (She's an arguer, that one.) A few minutes later, she showed up again withsurprise, surprise—breakfast. (I think that was the bread-and-peanut-butter day.)

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Lafayette Cemetery No. 2: Though the Saints' recent losing streak may raise doubts among their living fans, the deceased apparently have not lost faith. (Joking aside, I get a little verklempt imagining someone placing this cap at the grave of their dearly departed who-dat.)

On New Year's Day, the gingerbread house transitioned from art to food. Mayhem ensued. (Think Godzilla meets Tokyo.) All as it should be.

I shucked oysters for the first this New Year's Eve. (And didn't lose a single finger. Yay!) Sarah used them in this ridiculously tasty dish. Good food. Good friends. (And lots and lots and lots of gunfire. My gawd, I've never heard so much. We went outside to watch the fireworks, thought better of it, and went back in.) Good times.