25 September 2006

The Saints are Coming!

Actaually, they came and went. With a revengence.
"Fans clad in gold and black strolled around the French Quarter throughout a brilliantly sunny day, ready to look forward instead of looking back at those awful scenes of suffering inside the Superdome in the days after Katrina."

I cried.

Oh - and U2/Green Day rocked! Not that I'm biased in any way. heh. heh heh.

18 September 2006

God, I love Willie Nelson.

Oh - whoever officiated the LSU-Auburn games needs to be fired. After they are tarred and feathered and run out of the SEC on a rail.

30 July 2006

Highway to Hell

Only drunks and children tell the truth:

25 July 2006

Superfreak

Those Irish bogs are wacky things - but come on - this is surreal:

Irish archaeologists Tuesday heralded the discovery of an ancient book of psalms by a construction worker while driving the shovel of his backhoe into a bog.

OK - I can accept that. THIS defies reasoning, in light of current events:

"The book was found open to a page describing, in Latin script, Psalm 83, in which God hears complaints of other nations' attempts to wipe out the name of Israel."

Are those hoofbeats?

************UPDATE**************

Those weren't hoofbeats after all. Apparently, the numbering of the Psalms changed when King James I took it upon himself to rewrite the Bible and the book in question was open to the modern Psalm 84 which does not reference the destruction of Israel.

Whew. What a relief. I was startin'to wonder if I needed to prepare for the Rapture. Glad to know I have a few more days of drinking.

21 July 2006

In The House of the Rising Sun

The bloggers of NOLA and their affiliated supporters, hecklers, lovers and friends are having themselves a confab in August - appropriately called Rising Tide. And I've been invited (I feel so special). It is scheduled to coincide with the 1st anniversary of The Incident. I hope my student loan money is in by then so I can go.

Hey - maybe the grand jury will decline to indict the doctor and nurses (IMHO) A.G. Fart, I mean, Foti, has thrown to the jackals. There is some righteous anger against both him and Tenet Healthcare over the seeming lack of corporate culpability for the lack of evacuation plans etc. in the Times-Picayune forums. There is no way in Hell that there will be an impartial panel selected if it goes to trial. What a waste of precious time and resources.

13 July 2006

Shout At The Devil!

Valerie Plame is suing Cheney, Rove, and Libby in a civil suit. Details soon.

heheh.

****UPDATE*****
CNN's lame story

11 July 2006

And your mother smells of elderberries

This is what a lipreader says the Itlaian, Materazzi, said to provoke Zidane (who wasborn in Marseilles, but to Algerian immigrant parents) into the infamous headbutt:

Hold on, wait, that one's not for a nigger like you.

We all know you are the son of a terrorist whore.

So just fuck off.

ummm- so although I hate that France lost, I don't think I would have held back either, given the racial tension in France lately.

Oh, and Materazzi has not denied that's what he said.

30 June 2006

Can't Get There From Here

Bench Slapped - review of major newspaper coverage of the SCOTUS rebuke of presidential over-reaching (I love that title!)

Here are some excerpts from some nice writeups on the Hamdan decision:

"Secrecy for its own sake, arrogation of power for its own sake, is not a sufficient executive argument." and "The administration isn't really asking for constitutional blank checks. Why should it, when the president thinks he has his own constitutional Swiss bank account?" - Dahlia Lithwick on Slate (she's my fave SCOTUS analyst. The fact that I have a fave -well, that's just sad, I know)

"This administration has taken the astounding position that if the president has "inherent authority" to do and act whenever Congress is silent, then it follows that any act of Congress that regulates such an authority is an invalid impingement on his "inherent power." This conflation of what a president can do if no law prohibits his action and what he can when the law forbids it is a truly insidious legal doctrine." - Walter Dellinger

"What the Court has done, rather is use the democratic process as a lever to discipline and constrain the President's possible overreaching. Given this Administration's history, that's not necessarily a bad thing." - Balkinization

"Moreover, in the eyes of the world, this decision by his hand-picked Supreme Court simply makes Bush look more and more like the little American Dictator he really is." - Hoffmania.com

On a down note, most reports are now saying that Roberts would have backed the gubmnet - but I'm going to double-check that. (googling) Shit - the bastard is not the level-headed guy I thought he was. At least he recused himself - that's somewhat redeeming. Even if he had participated, the shrub still would've gone down in flames.

Oh Loren - Unlce Tom read his dissent to "show his strong disapproval of the decision." whatever.

29 June 2006

The Night They Drove Ole Dixie Down

SCOTUS tells him no! My my this is not working out the way Shrub intended at all. heh heh And his ace in the hole, John Boy, didn't participate because he heard the case on the appeals court last year - where he voted against the administration - so this was was very, very very sharp rebuke - essentially 6-3(counting Roberts).

I'll post excerpts of the opinion as they are released - I bet John Paul Stevens or Ginsburg wrote it. And I'd wager a $1 that Thomas, Scalia, and Alito sided with the government. This is huge - if the admin defies the Supreme Court and keeps Guantanamo prisoners in cognito and refuses to implement habeus corpus, which I think is essentially what the justices will nail them on, that and a breach of seperation of powers - that's coup d'etat - at least the beginning of one. We'll see how much Shrub respects the Constitution won't we. If he defies them - man, there will be some pissed off conservatives - and I think that Roberts is actually extremely able as a jurist and will have no problem coming down like a hammer on the admin is it comes to that. oooh - I love Constitutional law! I wonder what Paula thinks. UPDATE I was right - Stevens wrote the majority and the three stooges dissented. Stevens: "The military commission at issue is not expressly authorized by any congressional act . . . [the tribunals] must be understood to incorporate at least the barest of those trial protections that have been recognized by customary international law. . . . In undertaking to try Hamdan and subject him to criminal punishment, the executive (Bush) is bound to comply with the rule of law that prevails in this jurisdiction." Bush's response: "To the extent there is latitude to work with the Congress to determine whether or not the military tribunals will be an avenue in which to give people their day in court, we will do so." 26 June 2006 Dude Looks Like a Lady This is, well, truly New Orleanian Purple Rain Abandon it! Obviously, the fact that the nation's capitol was built on a drained swamp (conveniently owned by Geo. Wash.) and is inhabited by noxious creatures necessitates it's immediate evacuation and subsequent abandonment. 14 June 2006 Tom Joad (this is a cross post from Flamin' Field of Collards) Core price reading jumps more than projected, fueling fears of further Fed rate hikes; worker wages aren't keeping up but Rove says Republicans should run on the strength of the economy. What a tool. I guess as long as you don't want your middle class and young to have viable economic futures, you would see the economy as perfect. Although Lou Dobbs is speaking in the context of illegal immigration, I think he is onto something when he says "President and Senate allied with 'corporate supremacists." Another name for fascism is corporatism after all. If a conservative bulwark like Dobbs is naming that evil that dare not speak its name, then how far down that path are we really? Can we truly come back? I'm beginning to truly wonder if there is a way, given the compromised integrity of our political system. I truly fear a coup - and not one as relatively benign as what happened in 2000 and 2004. It keeps me up at night. The web of connections between this administration the slimey underbelly of our military is frightening. Any bright cheery news would be most welcome. 08 June 2006 A Fount of Scintillating Insights It's not often you see a historian profiled in the MSM - I've always kinda' liked Hofstader, but he is a bit dated in some regards. I've always admired his ability to meld his politics with history, but come off as balanced and objective. That's not easy. Anyway, the article is interesting. So there ya' go. 06 June 2006 Happy Rapture to Me! Yes - my family loves me so! I feel these people's pain 03 June 2006 Taxman, yeah, I'm the Taxman There is a fascinating debate going on in the Slate forums about the issue of inflation. There are apparently several well-read history buffs and economists who are making some very valid and provocative points. Worth a looksee anyways. 02 June 2006 White Rabbitt I read something incredibly creepy last night - it's linked off this blog which is maintained by a rather interesting fellow from NOLA. It took me a while but then WHAMMO! Nazis. oh and here is an uplifting bit of evangelical fare - a shooter game based on the Left Behind series. They characters shout Praise the Lord everytime they kill someone. How do we get back through the looking glass? A. 20 May 2006 Kentucky Fried My friend the Colonel sent this in reply to a silly psoting on myspace. Good times, good times: "I met Ann one night while jogging on the NLU campus around midnight, I spotted a couple of shadows near the adminstration building. I threw a big rock into the bushes and out came two people, a man and a woman, holding radios and fruit jars with clear liquid in them. I didn't bother asking what they were doing but later I met Ann in the light of day and realized it was her, I now know from the news that the male was Hugo Chavez." 15 May 2006 The Chorus and the Ring My brother won a prize! My brother won a prize! (snippet from official communique') Congratulations. Your paper, "Howard Kester, the Lynching of Claude Neal, and Social Activism in the South during the 1930s," was judged the best entry in the LeRoy Collins Graduate Essay contest. The award will be presented at the Society 2006 Annual Meeting luncheon on May 26 at the Naples Grande Resort and Club. (end snippet) He's sooooo cool! Oh and check out Dangerblond's blog. I think she's cool, too. 13 May 2006 The rest is just things I had an epiphany - as I do from time to time. And, the kernel from that ephemeral moment is . . . . stuff doesn't matter. yo. Exhuming McCarthy From this site (although I do not agree with, not condone, the anti-Israel and some other stuff on that site - it was just convenient) ------------------------- Dr. Lawrence Britt has examined the fascist regimes of Hitler (Germany), Mussolini (Italy), Franco (Spain), Suharto (Indonesia) and several Latin American regimes. Britt found 14 defining characteristics common to each: 1. Powerful and Continuing Nationalism - Fascist regimes tend to make constant use of patriotic mottos, slogans, symbols, songs, and other paraphernalia. Flags are seen everywhere, as are flag symbols on clothing and in public displays. 2. Disdain for the Recognition of Human Rights - Because of fear of enemies and the need for security, the people in fascist regimes are persuaded that human rights can be ignored in certain cases because of "need." The people tend to look the other way or even approve of torture, summary executions, assassinations, long incarcerations of prisoners, etc. 3. Identification of Enemies/Scapegoats as a Unifying Cause - The people are rallied into a unifying patriotic frenzy over the need to eliminate a perceived common threat or foe: racial , ethnic or religious minorities; liberals; communists; socialists, terrorists, etc. 4. Supremacy of the Military - Even when there are widespread domestic problems, the military is given a disproportionate amount of government funding, and the domestic agenda is neglected. Soldiers and military service are glamorized. 5. Rampant Sexism - The governments of fascist nations tend to be almost exclusively male-dominated. Under fascist regimes, traditional gender roles are made more rigid. Divorce, abortion and homosexuality are suppressed and the state is represented as the ultimate guardian of the family institution. 6. Controlled Mass Media - Sometimes to media is directly controlled by the government, but in other cases, the media is indirectly controlled by government regulation, or sympathetic media spokespeople and executives. Censorship, especially in war time, is very common. 7. Obsession with National Security - Fear is used as a motivational tool by the government over the masses. 8. Religion and Government are Intertwined - Governments in fascist nations tend to use the most common religion in the nation as a tool to manipulate public opinion. Religious rhetoric and terminology is common from government leaders, even when the major tenets of the religion are diametrically opposed to the government's policies or actions. 9. Corporate Power is Protected - The industrial and business aristocracy of a fascist nation often are the ones who put the government leaders into power, creating a mutually beneficial business/government relationship and power elite. 10. Labor Power is Suppressed - Because the organizing power of labor is the only real threat to a fascist government, labor unions are either eliminated entirely, or are severely suppressed. 11. Disdain for Intellectuals and the Arts - Fascist nations tend to promote and tolerate open hostility to higher education, and academia. It is not uncommon for professors and other academics to be censored or even arrested. Free expression in the arts and letters is openly attacked. 12. Obsession with Crime and Punishment - Under fascist regimes, the police are given almost limitless power to enforce laws. The people are often willing to overlook police abuses and even forego civil liberties in the name of patriotism. There is often a national police force with virtually unlimited power in fascist nations. 13. Rampant Cronyism and Corruption - Fascist regimes almost always are governed by groups of friends and associates who appoint each other to government positions and use governmental power and authority to protect their friends from accountability. It is not uncommon in fascist regimes for national resources and even treasures to be appropriated or even outright stolen by government leaders. 14. Fraudulent Elections - Sometimes elections in fascist nations are a complete sham. Other times elections are manipulated by smear campaigns against or even assassination of opposition candidates, use of legislation to control voting numbers or political district boundaries, and manipulation of the media. Fascist nations also typically use their judiciaries to manipulate or control elections ----------------------- I'm just saying . . . . 12 May 2006 The Boy in the Well I generally think Andrew Sullivan is a tool, but this article was unexpectedly agreeable to my palette. My Problem with Christianity by Andrew Sullivan (originally published in Time , May 15, 2006 edition) link to Time article Are you a Christian who doesn't feel represented by the religious right? I know the feeling. When the discourse about faith is dominated by political fundamentalists and social conservatives, many others begin to feel as if their religion has been taken away from them. The number of Christians misrepresented by the Christian right is many. There are evangelical Protestants who believe strongly that Christianity should not get too close to the corrupting allure of government power. There are lay Catholics who, while personally devout, are socially liberal on issues like contraception, gay rights, women's equality and a multi-faith society. There are very orthodox believers who nonetheless respect the freedom and conscience of others as part of their core understanding of what being a Christian is. They have no problem living next to an atheist or a gay couple or a single mother or people whose views on the meaning of life are utterly alien to them--and respecting their neighbors' choices. That doesn't threaten their faith. Sometimes the contrast helps them understand their own faith better. And there are those who simply believe that, by definition, God is unknowable to our limited, fallible human minds and souls. If God is ultimately unknowable, then how can we be so certain of what God's real position is on, say, the fate of Terri Schiavo? Or the morality of contraception? Or the role of women? Or the love of a gay couple? Also, faith for many of us is interwoven with doubt, a doubt that can strengthen faith and give it perspective and shadow. That doubt means having great humility in the face of God and an enormous reluctance to impose one's beliefs, through civil law, on anyone else. I would say a clear majority of Christians in the U.S. fall into one or many of those camps. Yet the term "people of faith" has been co-opted almost entirely in our discourse by those who see Christianity as compatible with only one political party, the Republicans, and believe that their religious doctrines should determine public policy for everyone. "Sides are being chosen," Tom DeLay recently told his supporters, "and the future of man hangs in the balance! The enemies of virtue may be on the march, but they have not won, and if we put our trust in Christ, they never will." So Christ is a conservative Republican? Rush Limbaugh recently called the Democrats the "party of death" because of many Democrats' view that some moral decisions, like the choice to have a first-trimester abortion, should be left to the individual, not the cops. Ann Coulter, with her usual subtlety, simply calls her political opponents "godless," the title of her new book. And the largely nonreligious media have taken the bait. The "Christian" vote has become shorthand in journalism for the Republican base. What to do about it? The worst response, I think, would be to construct something called the religious left. Many of us who are Christians and not supportive of the religious right are not on the left either. In fact, we are opposed to any politicization of the Gospels by any party, Democratic or Republican, by partisan black churches or partisan white ones. "My kingdom is not of this world," Jesus insisted. What part of that do we not understand? So let me suggest that we take back the word Christian while giving the religious right a new adjective: Christianist. Christianity, in this view, is simply a faith. Christianism is an ideology, politics, an ism. The distinction between Christian and Christianist echoes the distinction we make between Muslim and Islamist. Muslims are those who follow Islam. Islamists are those who want to wield Islam as a political force and conflate state and mosque. Not all Islamists are violent. Only a tiny few are terrorists. And I should underline that the term Christianist is in no way designed to label people on the religious right as favoring any violence at all. I mean merely by the term Christianist the view that religious faith is so important that it must also have a precise political agenda. It is the belief that religion dictates politics and that politics should dictate the laws for everyone, Christian and non-Christian alike. That's what I dissent from, and I dissent from it as a Christian. I dissent from the political pollution of sincere, personal faith. I dissent most strongly from the attempt to argue that one party represents God and that the other doesn't. I dissent from having my faith co-opted and wielded by people whose politics I do not share and whose intolerance I abhor. The word Christian belongs to no political party. It's time the quiet majority of believers took it back. (Disclaimer: Re-posting of this article should in no way be interpreted as an endorsement of Time, Andrew Sullivan, Christianity pr the clubbing of baby seals.) 11 May 2006 South Central Rain It finally stopped raining. I love the rain - don't get me wrong. Nothing better than sitting on a covered porch with a beer and good book listening to the pitter patter of raindrops but *geesh* enough already. The ground is so saturated I feel like I'm back in the homeland. It supposedly will be clear until next week - I hope so - the kids have had 3 field trips cancelled and a ball game. Oh - BTW all you peeps who thought I was being paranoid - HA HA HA! Big Brother WAS tapping my phone. That amazes me - and people like Sessions try to defend this - what do they care how many times I call my sister every week, alarmingly high as that number is. There is no purpose to be served by this - I am tempted to switch my phone service from Bellsouth. And now, the man in charge of the NSA domestic spying is nominated to head the CIA - so we want the military in charge of intellligence? And we are supposed to believe there is no conflict of interest here? As a student of Latin American history, this is bad. bad bad bad. mucho bad! Grande bad. Coup d'etat bad. Anyway - off to drive the taxi - both baseball and gymnastics today - across town from each other at back-to-back times. Oh. Joy. A. 09 May 2006 The Omnipotent Hedgehog \begin transmission from the Cosmic Hedgehog "I feel compelled to comment on this. With the government telling us what a great nation we are, and how we are God's favorite or some such non-sense like that, I wonder what kind of spin they'll put on this. Basically, it's the same old, same old. If you are lucky enough to born to white family that can afford insurance, you probably going to be okay. If not, oh well. 'The report, which analyzed data from governments, research institutions and international agencies, found higher newborn death rates among U.S. minorities and disadvantaged groups. For African-Americans, the mortality rate is nearly double that of the United States as a whole, with 9.3 deaths per 1,000 births.' I can't help but find this an obscenity for a nation that prides itself so on it's Christian ethics and morality. A nation that sees itself fit to impose it's will on the rest of the world. We don't feed our starving, we don't educate our children, we don't provide shelter for our homeless, and we don't provide adequate medical care unless you can afford health insurance. Yep, our Christian practices and religiosity must really make Jesus and his Dad smile. article here \end transmission\ 07 May 2006 A.B.D. yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay ME! whew and now - to rest. Thanks to everyonefor all the support and e-cards! I'll have a pithy post tomorrow! :-) 23 April 2006 If my brain explodes and no one is here to see it, will it still stain the carpet? Please pray I do not turn into Kelly Bundy between now May 5. I swear - I don't think one more book or argument will fit into my brain. I'm givin' her all she's got, cap'an. We're at full capacity. Anymore and she'll blow. 16 April 2006 Easter and stuff I think that National Geographic's release of its translation of the Gospel of Judas was deliberately timed to coincide with this, the holiest of days to Christians. I know - I'm incredibly jaded to think so, but here - see for yourself- front page on Slate. (at least it was when I posted this.) Of course, Catholics are outraged that anyone, even someone writing almost 2000 years ago, would dare disagree with their "inerrant" selection of Gospels - despite the fact that the text predates the first Council of Nicaea by at least 100 years. *sheesh* Wouldn't want a pesky thing like facts to interfere with "gospel truth." Anyway - still reading and stressing, per usual. Just 13 short days until I crash and burn. Of course, my baby brother takes his comps on Tuesday, making me feel even more inadequate. Thanks, Josh! :-p Off to shove more inane and useless crap into my incredibly imploding head. 11 April 2006 New Post here it is. a new post. *sigh* so much chaos - so little energy Suffice it to say - comps are totally stressing me out, money is evil, children are causing me to lose my glorious raven locks, and I'm really really tired of the rat race. But - a very very very very very very dear friend is getting married in 2 short weeks and I will get that respite from the grind. Until I face the firing squad of Latin American comps 4 days later. Anyone got a cigarette? 25 March 2006 Inspiration and shame so I was coming home from Target and I was at the light at Stage and Germantown - the busiest corner in surburia. On the sidewalk was a lone 30-something Af-Am man with a sign. A peice of poster board with the simple Shapried message "End the War." That was all - one lone voice on a busy street corner -speaking from the heart. That's America at its finest. I honked in support as I headed home to my cozy nook on the cove, shamed. p.s. and Memphis choked. But hey - the REAL Tigers are moving on. 24 March 2006 Spitfires I'm not generally a fan of the Dixiechicks' music, but I love their moxie. Their new song is on their website - http://www.dixiechicks.com/. I don't think they're gonna get a lot of airplay in some markets. heh heh. So - that's about all. Pat's party went well. I'm still swamped at school and can feel the ulcers forming. But hey - at least the Tigers won! Lance is supposed to come a callin' Monday evening - that should be fun. I think I'll take him to eat Bar-B-Q or maybe Japanese. hmmm - any suggestions? 14 March 2006 yeah so my baby turned 9 today. wow. 9. that's almost 10; half-grown; old enough to get "the talk." man. *big grandmama sigh* so yeah. reflecting on the passage of time, aging, lots of uplifting stuff running through my brain. but it's been a great 9 years having the Peapod around, so there's that. 10 March 2006 The Wrath of Ann Here's a post I put on the myspace page. I went off a bit on my poor cousin (sorry Jen) but anyway - I am a passioante one, aren't I? She was not necessarily defending Bush/Rep actions in Katrina, did make a few remarks that hit my hot spots. SO here's one reply: I know you would Jenny. It's all so broken but the solution is not to throw the babies out with the bathwater. Did you know the overwhleming majority of "welfare" receipients work close to or at full time? But$5.15 an hour does not meet poverty line standards, which are insanely out of whack anyway. As far as the 9th Ward, many, but not all, residents were black. Many, but not all, were poor. Many, but not all, received some form of government assistance. But so many that were poor, that were on the dole - were so desperately poor, so desperately unable to get out of the cycle of poverty, violence, and illiteracy that they had given up. Other members of that community, however, were doctors, lawyers, teachers, fireman. policemen, business owners, preachers - who CHOSE to live there, to try to help those less fortuante and because it was their home, their family and friends were there, their churches, their schools. Too many people equate poor with black and therefore with welfare queens and drug abuse when the TRUE picture is much closer to our own families than we'd like to admit. The economic and social playing field is so skewed in favor of the already rich that the poor have virtually no chance of advancement and the middle class is more likely to fall than to rise. And the solutions presented by the party in power? -Cut education funding, cut social services, lower taxes on the wealthiest while increasing them on the poorest, spend $300 BILLION on a war that orchestrated to up the profits of a select few companies that conveniently are tied closely to said administration while a major U.S. city DROWNS because the Corps has been starved for years in order to underwrite coporate tax cuts. (I could go on - but you get the point.) I think what I meant by "Christians" are those who selectively use the Bible to advance/justify thier own personal agendas - and conveniently ignore the parts that don't mesh with their selfish interests. They're all about "Thou shalt not kill" unless its the death penalty. "Love thy neighbor," as long as they are just like you. "Do unto others," as long as it benefits you. Hypocrites, pharisees. A pox on their houses. BTW - most Democrats are Christians as well. I really get pissed when the fountains of bile that pass for political commentators imply, or outright say, that Christianity and the Democratic Party are incompatible. Perfect example of selfish agendas - they KNOW it's a LIE, but say it anyway to fuel the flaming bigotry of their base. IMHO - what religion as person does or does not espouse is in no way reflective of their worth as a person or their ability to be a thoughtful, honest, ethical public servant. Our Constitution deliberately excluded a religious test as a qualification for office becuase the framers had witnessed first hand the decisive and destructive nature of religion in politics. Many of those framers, BTW, were deists, not Christians. Another common myth that's perpetuated by self-serving toads. So yeah. That's what I think. :-) Which I then followed with this: one more thing - "these people" paid taxes, whether sales tax, property tax, income tax. "These people" are citizens of the United States, not refugees from some third-world country. "These people" are still people and deserving of help, sympathy and empathy. IMHO - the "Christian" thing to do is quit the speechifying and actually DO something. (like Jimmy Carter - a true Christian if I ever saw one and why, lookie there, a Democrat to boot!)I want to see the President with a mask on, crow bar in hand, pulling moldy sheet rock out of Lance's house, for 12 hours a day, 7 days a week. I want to see Dick Cheny roofing the shoutgun that was home to an elderly black woman who raised 5 kids on a washer-woman wages and suffered through segregation. I wanna see Donald Rumsfeld shelping garbage off the streets of New Orleans for$5.15 an hour. I wanna see Condi Rice picking up the tattered remnants of people's lives along the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

We all have dreams. Those are mine.

yeah well, so there you have it. My first soapbox blog. *sigh*

Oh wait I have another great picture of my brother, who OFFICIALLY passed his written PhD comps. Talk about a red-diaper baby - Woody is certainly getting his activist creds early!

04 March 2006

Throw me sumpin' mister!

Went to Mardi Gras. John, Kim and I had a realtivley low-key, but nonetheless fantabulous time. Our cousins, aunt and uncle were so accomodating. We hung out on St. Charles doing the family thing Monday night - snagged TONS of loot from Proteus and Orpheus (Scarlett Johannson is not that great in tperson - cute, but eh.) They had incredible throws - beanie babies, cool stuffed fish and excellent heavy beads - no cheap stuff. Tuesday we made it to the other end of St. Charles and set up the ladder between very eclectic groups - white physicians and families to our right and two African American families to our left. Lots of kids - which was nice to see. Every one got along well - although I think someone was pilferring throws rom us. We're missing some stuff we know we caught and placed in our bags. Oh well - just plastic crap, right? Anyways - lookie what I got - a sacred Golden Coconut from the Zulu Krewe (and no, I didn't have to "work" for it. I think it was my eyes - and my I (heart) NOLA shirt. OK, so the girls didn't hurt my chances!) I am extremely happy about that souvenir!(As I understnad it, each member of the Krewe has a set number of coconuts - the higher you are in the krewe the greater number of coconuts you get to give out. Colors matter, too - nautral is the most common, then black, then (aaahhhhh) gold. For a white chick to get a golden coconut is pretty awesome, IMHO.) Zulu wears black-face, which is kinda' freaky the first time you see it. They also had some white riders this year - in black face, too. They lost several members in Katrina and many are still displaced. I'm impressed they rolled at all.

Rex was next - they also had great throws. No one was stingy this year. Thanks to Lance's darling little boy, I snagged a stuffed Bouef Gras, a traditional symbol of the Krewe. I headed back to LaPlace with Lance after that while John and Kim headed to the Quarter. Wednesday morning, I met John and Kim at Cafe' du Monde. After beignets, we wandered around a bit, taking pictures and spending money. I bought muffalettas, mufflateta relish, t-shirts, hats, magnets. I felt compelled to buy stuff - to help out theshop owners and city. As I stuck the "I {fluer-de-lis} New Orleans" magnet on my car, some locals walked by and said "Woo hoo - tourists!"

I'm sure lots of y'all (given anyone really reads this) are wondering about the state of the city. Well, it's better than you think and worse than you can imagine. There is TONS of work being done - shops are open, buses are running, houses are being rooofed. But the sheer magnitude of the destruction is hard to comprehend. Block after block of what Jared called "dead houses." I saw Lakeview but could not bring myself to go to the 9th Ward. People want to come home, but what can they come home to other than uncertainty right now? 98,000 FEMA trailers have been requested, but so far only 45,000 have arrived - after 6 months. :( The area is pulling together, though. There was a very cool vibe in the city - and I don't just think it was because it was Mardi Gras. I hope this is the jolt the city needs to get tourists (i.e money) back south. Brian and I hope to take the kids down this summer when the aquarium and zoo reopen.

Speaking of Brian, his "band" iscoming over in a bit, so I better go start cooking! Á bientôt!

26 February 2006

Take Two

I've moved to blogspot because apparently, you can't comment on myspace unless you're a member and the whole point is to have a conversation with people, so open commenting is a must. I'll keep the myspace, but it won't be updated as often as this one.

Brian doesn't understand the title of the blog. I think it's self-evident - given who 's writing it- but I had to explain the red diaper baby bit. I guess mine was really more of pink, but my kids' definitely had redder ones. There are worse things to be than a bleeding heart liberal, I suppose.

Yesterday was the regional History Day fair and I am still exhausted. It was held at the Redbirds' stadium, which is a phenomenal facility. The Redbirds operate as a non-profit and are incredibly generous with the time of their staff and their resources. The arbitrary renumbering of all the entires without notifying us and the subsequent hour and a half delay in judging is really a small price to pay for such a cool venue and support. We even made the paper, which is great. Now, if we can get some funding . . .

My brother Joshua took two of his four written PhD comps this week. His loverly wife, Teresa, also took her master's comps. They are better students than me. Taking comps with a 3 month old? YIKES! Oh - look at this photo. Teresa took it. I think it is incredibly beautiful. I'm going to get it professionally printed and framed. Maybe give copies to my parents as well.

So - I have about 6 weeks until comps. I'm guessing I'll scrape by in American, but crash and burn in Latin American. I do get to retake Lat Am after I fail, but it's going to be humiliating to face everyone. If they only wouldn't focus on historiography so heavily - being able to regurgitate lists of books, IMHO, is not as important as UNDERSTANDING what the books are saying. But, the hoops are set and I must jump. Sick thing is - I did this to myself. I swear - that Catholic upbringing really left a masochistic streak in me.

Oh - I actually read a book for fun Tuesday night, Falling Angel by Greg Iles. I liked it - he had some excellent social commentary about not just Natchez, but so many Southern communities. Not quite as good as Quiet Game, but worth the time, I think. I'm sure I have friends that think it's too pedestrian, too bourgeoise, but sometimes I think those friends are pretentious [insert a five letter word beginning with p that also means "to pierce slightly with a sharp point"]s sometimes. You will know who you are when you read this - don't get all righteously indignant. No harm meant. Tough love, baby, tough love.

I wish Memphis had a decent radio station. (told you this was random firings) I'm listening to XM radio on DirecTV - there's a station called Fred that's really cool. In the last little bit, they've played Stone Roses, The Pixies, the Boomtown Rats, and this sounds like maybe non-icky Joe Jackson. Yep. It is. There is WEVL, but it is so eclectic that you can't just turn it on and KNOW you'll hear something you'll like.

OK - enough blather. I need to edumacate myself about the Early Republic.