Wednesday, October 27, 2010

"What's the Pepper Special Tonight?"

I had one of those anxiety dreams the other night where you're thrown into some weird impossible scenario and everything is going wrong and you don't know what to do and you can't figure out how you wound up there. I was somehow suddenly waiting tables at an unknown restaurant: I hadn't been trained; I didn't know where anything was; I didn't know the menu. But after trying (and failing) to take an order, I learned what the restaurant's specialty was: pepper ("What's the pepper special tonight?"), fancy exorbitantly priced artisanal pepper* presented in little thimble-sized servings.

What's the dream-symbolism of artisanal pepper?

* Is there such a thing? Of course.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Photos from the Crypt: Harrison, Destiny, and me. (May, 2002)

Friday, October 22, 2010

Big Easy to Big Apple and Back

Well, what's been happening? I'll tell you. We—Sarah, the gals, and I—went to New York City for a long weekend. Sarah and I lived there for a spell back in the Nineties, but the gals had never been. (Well, Louise went as a lil' baby, but that doesn't quite count.) I'm happy to report their minds were appropriately blown. A rough rundown of (the dizzying) events:

Day 1: Planes, Trains, and Automobiles
  • Up, up, and away.
  • A genuine NYC cab ride (their first) from JFK.
  • Foodie-geek-out at the Madison Square Park food stalls.
  • Gawk at the stunning range of hyper-fancy baby strollers at some kiddie-fest in the park.
  • A subway ride (their first) to Downtown Brooklyn.
  • Purchase discount ticket for "West Side Story".
  • A failed attempt to eat at Patsy Grimaldi's. (The line was down the block.)
  • Ice cream.
  • A vigorous walk across the Brooklyn Bridge (headed upstream against mobs of people dressed in vivid breast-cancer-awareness pink).
  • A walk through China Town.
  • Late lunch at Great NY Noodle Town.
  • Early dinner (all that walking burns a lot of calories): pizza, hot dogs (from a street vendor), and more ice cream.
  • Sleep like the dead.
Day 2: Cultcha
  • A brisk walk from Chelsea to Midtown, passing through Times Square (with its kiddie-mind-blowing glitz).
  • Bagels with our dear friend Tory and her family in their 27th floor apartment (with its kiddie-mind-blowing view).
  • Kids: Spend the afternoon with a genuine New York City babysitter (with a genuine New York City hourly rate), going to see the aforementioned "West Side Story" and traipsing around the theater district.
  • Parents: Spend the afternoon and evening watching "Gatz", the (deservedly) highly acclaimed six-hour, word-for-word theatrical rendition of "The Great Gatsby", in which the aforementioned dear-friend-Tory plays the part of Daisy. (During breaks, we tally the famous people in the audience and gawk at the stunning range of hyper-fancy eyewear.)
  • Parents: Dinner (during the mid-play dinner-break) at Momofuku.
  • Everybody: Sleep like the dead
Day 3: Feet and Ferries
  • A leisurely traipse along the High Line.
  • Pizza.
  • A slog through the West Village, during which the gals begin to unravel (understandably so).
  • An attempt at shopping on lower Broadway, during which the gals kind of lose their marbles (understandably so).
  • A round-trip on the Staten Island Ferry, during which the kids regain their marbles and become giddily—almost violently—happy (at which point, the adults start to lose their marbles).
  • A playground break, during which we listen to genuine New York City parents discuss the complicated logistics of genuine New York City parenting.
  • Chinese for dinner, with a good gaggle of friends.
  • Times Square at night (during which the glitz is even more kiddie-mind-blowing), including a ride on three-story-tall Ferris wheel inside the mega-Toys-'Я'-Us.
  • Sarah spots Patti LaBelle at Mario Batali's Eataly.
  • Sleep like the dead.
Day 4: Oh, God, We're Tired
  • Breakfast from a street cart.
  • Meet with friends in Central Park. The gals traipse across the rocks, marveling at how un-flat everything is. (Parks in New Orleans pretty much stick to two dimensions.)
  • Pack up.
  • Off to the airport (during which the cab-driver discusses the tranquility that can be found by listening to one's own heartbeat).
  • Home again, home again, jiggety-jog. (Yay!)
  • Sleep like the dead.
Whoosh! We're still recovering. (Stay tuned for photos.)

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Bruisers-New-Orleans, Circle Bar, Friday Night!

Howdy, folks. It's that time again!
Who?Bruisers New Orleans!
What?A crazed rock 'n' roll extravaganza!*
When?Tomorrow night, Friday, Oct. 22, 10 p.m.-ish!
Where?The Circle Bar!
With?Special guest, Excuse My French!
We believe it's worth all the exclamation points! Yay!

* I'm not going to call it a Bruiser's-Last-Show, because there have already been several that were rumored as such (though for the record, I have conscientiously avoided any such assertions), but I will say that it is one of our last shows with Jason, and we won't necessarily know for sure which is the last until it's already past. (Jason is a mysterious man with a mysterious plan.) And anyway, in this crazy thing called life, when do we ever know what tomorrow holds? So carpe that diem, and come on down! (Yay!)

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Groceries, liquor, beer. (Dunno. I just find the hand-painted signs that grace many of our neighborhood stores endlessly interesting. Your mileage may vary.)

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Pine trees and gaudy sunset, Florida

Friday, October 15, 2010

Chart Friday (whatever), in keeping with our Saucy Week theme: Hanky Panky (That expression always confused me in my younger years. I knew what a hanky was, but what the hell's a panky?)

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Kids Say the Darnedest Things: Words-That-Start-With-"M" Edition

Apparently this is shaping up to be "Saucy Week" here at Slimbolala:

I do after-school tutoring/homework-help at the nearby neighborhood center. Some college students also volunteer there. The other day, I was working with a couple of 4th graders. Nearby, a college student volunteer was helping another student. She was sitting cross-legged on the floor with her hands folded in her lap:
4th grader, to college student: Are you doing yoga?

College student: No, I'm just sitting.

4th grader: You look like you're masturbating.

Me: What?!

4th grader, puzzled: She looks like she's masturbating.

Me: (pause) I don't think that means what you think it means.

4th grader: Masturbating, you know like... (closes eyes and holds hands out to either side, index fingers touching thumbs)

Me: You mean "meditating".
There are times—particularly when dealing with kids—when it is both very important and nearly impossible not to laugh. I had to feign extreme interest in something behind me not to reveal my struggle.

Piñata time!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

(Not Actually) Broads on Broad

Yes, Broad Ave. really is the center of the universe—or at least a very lively and entertaining place for a daily commute: dancing drunks, zigging cars, R&B legends, and...

I was driving home from work on Broad the other day, just about to reach Tulane Avenue* (almost the exact same place as the Toussaint-sighting). My attention was caught by the sight of four barely-clad buttocks ba-dumping across the street in front of me (two butts; four buttocks). My brain said: Whoah, buttocks! A millisecond later my brain said: Whoah, tranny-buttocks! Yes, the four buttocks belonged to two highly coiffed gents in very short dresses (and even shorter underthingies).

As I waited at the light, a twenty-something guy in a hotel uniform crossed the street, openly gawking. When he saw me similarly gawking, he veered out of his way over to me and, smiling knowingly, blurted, "Those are dudes!"

I love how he just couldn't stand possibly being the sole possessor of this information, how he just needed to share.

That... that... dude looks like a lady. That... that...

* I think "Tulane and Broad" would make a good splendor-and-misery-of-life Dickensian cable-drama: the jail, the criminal courts, the jury lounge, the bail bondsmen, the discount market; the bus stop, the ever-present homeless guy; further up, the gumbo shop, the Latin grocery (and we could weave in subplots from even further afield: the wheeler-dealer Creole stretch through the 7th Ward where just the other day I saw Cao, the world's smallest congressman, hustling for votes outside the-restaurant-formerly-known-as-Pampy's).

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Little Miss June Frances has started reading Harry Potter. My, my. This is a major (and recurring) milestone around here.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Look at that curious-hued Rolls Royce driving down Broad Ave. yesterday afternoon. Look at that license plate that says "SONGS". Curious, huh? Q: Who would be driving such a distinctive vehicle? I can tell you, because as soon as I caught up at the light, I immediately recognized the distinctive driver. A: Legendary R&B maestro, Allen Toussaint. Cool, huh?

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Chart Wednesday (yeah, whatever...): Monkey business

Tuesday, October 05, 2010


Okay, we completely fell off of our Chart Thursdays and Poetry Fridays, but this is the Outback Steakhouse of blogs, "no rules" (yeah, it's a very dated reference, but this blog has no rules against datedness), so I declare this to be Poetry Tuesday (and if you don't like it, you can proclaim this to be I-Don't-Like-This-Being-Poetry-Tuesday Tuesday, and that'll just have to be that). For today's poetic shenanigans, we venture into the realm of musical lyrics, which aren't quite the same thing as poetry, but they're close enough for our dubious purposes.

So Roger Miller* wrote a song called "Reincarnation". It goes like this:
If l was a bird and you was a fish,
What would we do? l guess we'd wish
Re-in-incarnation, re-in-incarnation
Wouldn't it be a sensation
To come back too like reincarnation?

If l was a tree and you was a flower,
What would we do? l guess we'd wait for the power
Re-in-incarnation, re-in-incarnation...
And then it keeps on with its silly, regularly-structured self, repeating some verses, throwing in a couple of bridges, etc. But silly, regularly-structured things tend to stick in my brain, and I sometimes find myself absent-mindedly making up new couplets for this song. Like (off the top of my head):
If I was a chicken and you was a duck
What would we do? I guess we'd wish for the luck
Re-in-incarnation, re-in-incarnation...

If I was an aardvark and you was an alligator
What would we do? I guess we'd wait 'til later
Re-in-incarnation, re-in-incarnation...

If I was an orangutan and you was a chimpanzee
What would we do? I guess we'd wait and see
Re-in-incarnation, re-in-incarnation...
As you can see, they start to get clunky and unwieldy, but that's sort of the fun of it: How ridiculous can they get while still nominally obeying the form?***

Your turn: What star-crossed pairings would cause you to wish for the power of re-in-incarnation, re-in-in...?

* Yeah, he seems to come up here a lot1, 2, 3, 4. Not sure what that's about.

** When I typed up the lyrics, I broke the lines kind of weird, but that's because the lines actually do break kind of weird. The verses are just rhyming couplets: "fish"/"wish, "flower"/"power"; the chorus starts in with the sing-songy "Re-in-incarnation..."; but there are those little grace words in between
"for", "of", etc.which don't fit in the verse, rhyme-wise, and don't fit in the chorus, beat-wise. So I just broke them out their own little line. (My own silly variations often cram in implausibly long phrases that have to be said really fast to keep time—e.g. "If-we're-graced-with..."—into this lyrical no-man's-land.)

** I like games where the objective is to do increasingly outlandish variations on some basic task. I have a goofy little game I play at home where, after feeding our dog, I throw the plastic cup I use as a scoop back across the kitchen into the dog food bin, basketball-style. But the intent isn't just to get it in: it's to get it in after some ridiculous, improbable sequence of deflections and bounces; like maybe it banks off the wall by the pantry, hits the cereal box on top of the refrigerator, lands on the counter, rolls off the edge, bounces a couple times on top of the cabinet door, and then plunks down into the kibbles and bits. (That would be awesome! I've never actually gotten anything so complex—more typically, it bounces off a bunch of stuff and then lands in the middle of the floor, startling the cats—but someday...)

Sunday, October 03, 2010

June and purple wall

Friday, October 01, 2010

Fun With Stationary: Bus(ness Card)y Bee

You know what I like? Designy-artsy-craftsy stuff. The CDs were fun. And more recently? Business cards for Sarah's new non-profit venture:

Snazzy, huh? It's amazing what one can do these days with a computer, a decent printer, and a paper cutter.