Thursday, February 28, 2013

Ketchup Geometry

We were out getting burgers. Over dinner, I was trying to explain to Louise what a 3:4:5 right triangle was. I needed to draw a picture. But I didn't have a pen. But I did have ketchup. Lesson accomplished. Educational and delicious.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Kitchen Door Frame

Since June just turned nine, I of course had to mark her height on the kitchen door frame. (I need to go back over it with a better Sharpie.)  My grandparents used to do this on their kitchen door frame. I remember seeing my markings over the years from sproutling to biggun'. And we've continued the tradition in our house, with our children. We lost the markings from before Katrina — the floodwaters eradicated those1 — but we've kept a steady record ever since. The girls get a bit competitive over who's taller, but you can see, they're closely matched.

1 As this photo from back in the day shows, the floodwaters in the house came up to almost exactly Louise's height at the time. That photo has quirky parallels. It shows the graduated water lines that marked the varying heights of the rising and falling floodwaters,2 much as these mark the heights of children. And lil' Louise, standing up to the lines, measuring herself, seeing how she compares...

2 Those flood lines marked everything, striping buildings in every direction as far as one could see, all the stripes perfectly even, made level by the flat plane of the floodwaters.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Look, Ma! I'm An Abstract Artist!1

Yeah, I didn't know what to draw/paint. But then I decided I didn't need to know what to draw/paint. So I just drew/painted. And wound up with some squares 'n' rectangles. I like the colors.

1 That doesn't sound right. An "abstract artist" sounds like an artist who doesn't quite exist, who is not fully realized, maybe a theoretical essence of artist that is never concretely realized in the empirical world. What do we call a real artist who makes abstract art?

"Quack quack quack quack quack..."

One of the good things about our new fancy phones is that they can be used as alarm clocks. This is good because, instead of waking up to the awful ding-ding-ding-ding of a mechanical clock or the wretched waah-waah-waah-waah of a digital clock or the jarring DJ banter of a radio clock,1 we can wake up to any one of the nifty little tones they put on those phones. I wake up to the quacking of a duck.

I like waking up to the quacking of a duck. It's a good sound, not harsh, but lively enough to get noticed. It's hard to have a bad day when one wakes up to duck-quacking.

The only issue: the other morning, while dreaming, just before I woke, I remember, in my dream, thinking, "Whoah, there’s a duck in my drawer."2 (I keep my phone in my bedside drawer.) I wasn't displeased, just confused: why would it be in there? (It's a very small drawer, but in physics-defying Dreamland, I never wondered how would it be in there?) When I woke up, I confess, I was a little disappointed. Having a duck in my drawer would be funny. (Having a jarring radio DJ in my drawer would not be funny.) Oh, well.

1 Didn't every movie in the 80s have a scene of somebody waking up to a radio clock? And the DJ blather was always used as an expository plot device, "setting the stage" for the day's narrative.

2 Not "drawers". It would be much worse if there was a duck in my drawers.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Signs on Fence, Central City

This Persnickety Old House

You know what I don't like? I don't like when, during the winter months, our house is often colder inside than it is outside. This happens a lot with our poorly insulated chill-prone old abode and our weirdly fluctuating weather. Outside gets cold. The house decides it wants to be cold too, maybe not quite as cold as outside, but close enough. Then outside gets warm. But the house is all like, "Um, I'm still kind of doing this cold thing. Yes, I'll get warm eventually, but please don't rush me..." Dang ol' persnickety ol' house.

Saturday, February 23, 2013


Seems like they should get that neon fixed.

Thursday, February 21, 2013


I just had to replace the tire on my wheelbarrow. On the tire it says "Not for highway use." Damn! I wish I'd known that before I bought it.1

1 I would never have thought of driving a wheelbarrow on the highway, but now that they placed the notion in my mind, I can't help but ponder the logistics. You'd need:
  • A couple more (presumably not-for-highway-use) tires, mounted on those back corner thingies. (Whatever they're called. The little stands that the wheelbarrow sits on when its not wheeling.2)
  • An engine, something small enough to fit but powerful enough to get the thing up to highway speeds, maybe a good scooter engine.
  • A seat, something amply padded. That wheelbarrow is going to be bouncing and shuddering pretty hard.
  • A robust seat belt.
  • Old-fashioned aviator helmet and goggles. Any madcap mishap-prone vehicular adventure requires an old-fashioned aviator helmet and goggles.
Yeah, that should work.

2 When a wheelbarrow's not wheeling, is it just a barrow? What is a barrow?

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Big Lil' Miss

Miss Junebug turns nine today. Happy birthday, darlin'! To think, when I started this blog, she was this little creature:

(She certainly had a lot of personality from the get-go. She looks like a mini-Elton John here.)

Zulu, Martin Behrman, Bass Drums

Zulu, Martin Behrman, Snare Drums

Zulu, Sophie Wright, Snare Drums

Monday, February 18, 2013

I Suppose There Are Better Things

A wet warm/cool gusting night with purple/orange city-lit clouds slinging low and fast overhead — I suppose there are better things, but not so many.

Rex, Dancing Girls

Zulu, Dancing Girls

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Zulu, Sophie B. Wright Drum Major

Zulu, "Baby Doll"

Big Shot

My aforementioned assortment of Zulu beads (plus fake pink rose plus fake yellow cigar). For the record, that is a top-shelf haul. (Photo by Sarah.)

Friday, February 15, 2013


Whew! My metaphorical tank had run out of gas, but I'm sputtering back to life again. Amazing what sleep (lots and lots of sleep) can do. So where were we? Oh, yeah, Mardi Gras.

Things went about as anticipated inasmuch as such things can be anticipated. Some particulars. (I'm still having trouble with linear thought, so lets just go with a sprinkling of assorted bullet points:)
  • We were indeed late getting out the door, but Zulu was indeed later. (This is the first year I've learned not to sweat it. I was up early. I had the bikes ready and the coffee made. I nudged folks awake at the appropriate hour, then let things unfold as they would. Zulu would be there.)
  • Family biking, especially on Mardi Gras day, is a hoot.
  • I've reconfirmed, Zulu is definitely my favorite parade.
  • The kids scored a serious load of Zulu coconuts. (Decorated coconuts are Zulu's prized "throw" — though now they hand them out for litigious reasons.)
  • I scored a serious load of Zulu beads. Load is the wrong word. Collection. A full assortment of their custom beads. (I don't usually get too caught up in the bead frenzy, but they had some seriously cool offerings.) I went for a curatorial approach, scanning each float for who had something I wanted, targeting them, establishing a dialogue, and more often not, walking away satisfied. (I think most of them were just happy to have somebody ask for something besides a "Coconuuuuut!")
  • Rex was Rex.1
  • The torrential rains which had been predicted, every day for several days, held off, the storms repeatedly skirting just to the north of us. Apparently Providence shines on pre-Lenten decadence.
  • By early afternoon, the big show (thankfully) was over.2
  • We saw some Mardi Gras Indians on the ride back, but a brief surge of rain sent them scattering for cover and us pedaling faster for home. 
  • We had the *very* good fortune to wind up, late afternoon, together with friends, at a house with a hot tub and heated pool. It was heavenly. Folks soaked with looks of blissful fatigue as the past days melted away. 
  • Somebody served a kale salad. After days of chips and dip and red beans and rice and gumbo and jambalaya and king cake, it was greeted ecstatically.
  • Then the skies finally opened and the rains poured. It only lasted about fifteen minutes but was itself rejuvenating: clearing the air, washing the muck from the streets.
  • And home. The ladies watched a movie. I didn't make it that long — down for the count at 8:30, slept ten-and-a-half blissful hours. And then the new day. 
That's the long and the short of it. I might get around to posting some photos too.

1 Sorry. I realize a lot of this may sound like gobbledygook. Trust me, it all makes sense but would require an extensive glossary which I'm far too tired to compose.

2 As I've said before, it's the mark of a good Mardi Gras that you're glad when its over.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Roots of Music Band

Roots of Music band, preparing to battle as Warren Easton rolls out. One of the best parts of catching the parade as it lines up is seeing the battle of the bands. Each takes turns forming up and wailing its best stuff, showing each other up. And sometimes they don't take turns. As another band would pass, folding into position in the parade, playing its kick-off tune, Roots of Music would blast them full force with their own song; two bands, one glorious cacophony.

The Night Before Mardi Gras

And so the last of the nighttime parades have rolled, the penultimate spectacle. The frazzled groggy kids have been tucked into bed. Tomorrow morning: up early, snacks and bevies packed, out of the house by 7:30,1 on bicycles, through the neighborhood, over to catch Zulu — one of my favoritest of all parades — as they roll down Jackson Ave. at 8:00. Then over for a bit of Rex. And then who knows where. Hopefully catch some Indians somewhere. And then, by early afternoon, everyone is stick-a-fork-in-me done, and things shift into low gear: gather at a house, low-impact socializing, nourishing, rehydrating. And eventually home, to collapse, veg out. A scrounged together evening meal. Then much needed sleep.

Then Lent.

1 Well, we're usually running a bit late, but Zulu is usually running later. And then they always break down. So even if we miss the first couple of floats, we still get to spend most of the morning with them as they draggle by.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Sophie B. Wright Cymbals

Not a Sprint

Ooh, Lord. Mardi Gras is a marathon, not a sprint.1 Day after day, night after night of fun. And of course, fun + fun + fun = lots of fun. But after a while, it equals "Oh, my God. My soul aches." At which point, the veteran Mardi Gras-er knows its time for a break.2 Yesterday was that day for me: skipped the parades, took the kids to the nursery, bought a big bunch of plants, stuck some of them in the ground,3 took a nap (which given my typical coffee intake, is a rare thing), lounged about, holed up at home for the evening, watched half a movie, and fell asleep at some absurdly early hour.4 Batteries recharged. Ready for more fun.5

1 Though, according to the forecasters, the final miles may be wet and nasty. Shucks.

2 Many a Mardi Gras amateur has burnt out too early and ended up incapable of rousting themselves for Tuesday morning, when the real business goes down.

3 I find mucking around in dirt, tending to lovely little living green things, to be one of the most soothing possible balms for the soul.

4 Though I then woke up at an absurdly hour, even by my standards. I swear, I'm turning into my farmer grandfather. I'm going to have to keep a herd of dairy cows in the back yard, just to give me something to do with all that pre-dawn time.

5 Which will stubbornly proceed in some form, regardless of any potential inclemency.

Saturday, February 09, 2013

Friday, February 08, 2013

Thursday, February 07, 2013

From the Doodle-Ma-Tron: Bird

Blacked Out

I spend very little time on Facebook these days. But I do tend to check it during Saints games, for the trash talking and the play-by-play jokes and laments. And I was also checking it during the Super Bowl, seeing what folks were saying about our hometown hosting.

And then the Dome lights went out.1 And then Facebook lit up. The general reaction was hilarity. And many of the posts were hilarious. I feel compelled to share a few of my favorites.2 (Attributions are hard. Quotes were getting passed around. Lets just credit Funny People on Facebook.)
"Entergy saying 2-3 weeks. Everyone be patient."
A reference to the gruesomely long power outages folks many folks around here endured after Hurricane Isaac. (Entergy is our power company.)3
"It's ok, Superdome. We've all blacked out in New Orleans at one time or another."
(See, 'cause sometimes people drink heavily down here, and...) And my favorite:
"Oh, now someone gives a damn about the people without power in the Superdome!"
Zing! ('Cause you see, there was this storm called Katrina...)4 Why is the darkest humor always the funniest?

1 This post assumes you are one of the many people who watched the Super Bowl and know what I'm talking about.

2 This post would have made more sense about three days ago, but timeliness has never been my forte.

3 If I'm having to explain the jokes, does that kill the humor? Should I just have left it at "You had to be there."

4 There were others with a similar theme: "FEMA says it will be arriving with supplies in 5-7 days," etc.

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Chalmette High School Charmers

"Ooh! Fog!"

I was a bit draggy this morning, laying in bed, drinking my cold coffee, trying to get some get-up-and-go going. I checked my weather app. If warned of fog. I thought, "Fog? Ooh!" That got my feet on the floor. I went to the window: "Ooh! Fog!" That was enough. I'm up now and enjoying the fog very much, thank you. 

Weather nerd.

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

From the Doodle-Ma-Tron: Man with Orange Hair

Yeah, I don't know. Orange hair. Apparently likes to stand in front of maroon walls. Brown tie. I don't know.

Virgin Mary and Dog

Monday, February 04, 2013

Five Minutes: Man with Goatee

Professor? Beat poet? Professor of Beat poetry? All around sad-sack?

Little Dog

Sunday, February 03, 2013


And speaking of birds, there's some bird in the oak across the street — I can't get a good look at it — with a call that sounds very much like the bleat of a lamb. It's sort of freaking me out. Tree-lamb-bird. Baaaaaahhh!

Red Leaves on Green Grass

Those leaves aren't exactly "red". What do you call that?


I just saw a cardinal. We don't get many of those around here. Robins are harbingers of spring. Are cardinals harbingers of anything? Seems like they should be.

Saturday, February 02, 2013


Do you ever wake up from a dream mid-sentence (typically as a consequence of an alarm or other external disturbance)? I did this morning. I no longer remember what that first half-sentence was, but I feel like I'll be waiting for its second half all day. Damn.

Freakish Alien Plant

What are those called again? I don't think "Freakish Alien Plant" is its proper botanical name. 

Friday, February 01, 2013

Crown Royal

I just saw a lady using a Crown Royal bag as a purse. That's a statement.1

1 My college roommate told me of a man in his hometown who wore a full suit made of sewn together Crown Royal bags. That's really a statement.