Jan 31, 2007

From Craigslist's Lost and Found:

(Cute but true:)

Lost: Mayor

Reply to: comm-269887746@craigslist.org
Date: 2007-01-28, 7:40PM CST


Black man with shiny head and foot in mouth. Owners are looking for him. Has been missing since April 22, 2006. Goes by "Ray" or "C-Ray". Last seen hiding behind podium at peace rally. Needs medication. To catch him, approach slowly with a mirror. He will become entranced by his reflection at which point you can gently collar him.

If you see him, please call (504) 658-4000.

Jan 23, 2007

a subtle work of (Alabaman advertising) art

Beware, this will get inside your head and will not let go until you pound it out with a hammer on the skull.

first day of school

Wow...and to think I almost could have been teaching little Maddox Jolie Pitt.

Well, probably not really, but my friend Sylvie, who did teach at his new school down here, tried to get me on there, despite the obvious obstacles. I think she just wanted a friendly face there. I did talk with them, despite it all.

Still, had she stayed there, she definitely would have been teaching him.

Jan 21, 2007


Once upon a time I saw a book my friend Michael had. Casually flipping through it,not paying much attention, I suddenly came across Joyce! and I was transfixed.
I mean really, how can one not be?
That dress.
Those glasses.

She's part of a lovely book called (a tad bit derogatorily)The Worst Album Covers Ever

He works in mysterious ways...

Behold, the Lord!

And you thought that whole "Blessed Vigin in a slice of toast" was something.
Click here to see the shrine

Jan 15, 2007

the single stigma

A few weeks ago, I came across an ad in the "purely platonic" section. I'm sure I was the only soul who responded...in fact I was told so.
It was a gay man who was lamenting the loss of a number of friends post K. I could relate.
I wrote to him, he promptly wrote back this:

Hi Jason,

Thanks for responding. I've never ever placed nor have I responded to an ad like this before, but I thought, what do I have to lose?? How long have you and your partner been together, and what do you guys do for a living? I'm a psychotherapist in private practice here in Uptown New Orleans, and my partner is a heatlhcare attorney for a medium-sized firm downtown. We've been together for 18 years now.

Would like to get together for dinner sometime, as that's always a good way to get to know people. Assuming that you'd enjoy going out to dinner sometime, what kinds of foods or restaurants in the area do you guys like?

Any other info. about you guys would be appreciated.

Thanks again,

I was elated, but a bit confused. Nowhere in his post had he mentioned a partner.
Nowhere in my response had I mentioned one either.

But whatever, it certainly didn't matter to me.

Frankly, I was all excited to meet these guys.
They seemed interesting, and I'd love to have more gay couple friends, you know.
So I wrote back eagerly...answered his questions.

And never heard back a word.
I'm not sure if it was the stigma of living outside of uptown that did it, or the dreaded plague of singlehood.
That's my suspicion, however. You'd think it was contagious.

jell-o, Angelina Jolie and a crawfish pot

Today, in honor of MLK, Velinda and I took a trip down to the French Quarter (or "quarters," since it is MLK day after all). She'd been told by a friend about a store on St. Peter's that sold some sort of homemade coconut butter soap, supposedly "good for her hair type."

We found the place, which looked rather like a bakery to me. The soaps were all of a very homemade type. I thought initially that they might be frying 'em up in the back room.

But as it turns out, so the salesgirl said, that they were made in Toronto, of all ungodly places. She also went on to tell us that "Angelina Jolie and some other-actress-whose-name-escapes-me-just-now had just been there not long ago.


Much more interesting to me than Angelina Jolie were blobs of a jell-o like substance that the salesgirl *swore* was soap.
I didn't believe her.
(You can see it here yourself. I wouldn't blame you if you didn't believe me)

Suddenly, she tossed a big ball of of foaming salts (a "bath bomb" she called it) into what looked like a big crawfish pot. It sizzled like it was boiling. Then she demonstrated the jell-o soap. It really did work, too.
"Really good for the feet," she informed us. "I like my feet to feel good."

(ummm ok)

When she left, Velinda and I fumbled around for the jell-o in the fizzing pot of bath bomb salts. We ended up throwing soap at each other like the 10 year olds we were. Thankfully she bought a lot of product, so they couldn't throw us out.

After that, we drove up to the Degas house and got a free tour, by pretending to be a married couple looking for accomodations for visiting relatives. All good clean fun.

Is this what passes for romance nowadays?

Found this gem at Craigslist Missed Connections:

hot dude in my class - w4m - 20

Reply to: pers-262793959@craigslist.org
Date: 2007-01-15, 12:07AM CST

I was sitting in class on the first day when you came in. I was the new girl with the long dark hair. You were the cute and funny guy who made fun of the prof. before he walked in. I thought you were incredibly charming and quite adorable. I wouldn't mind getting to know you in special way. Let me know if you want to go smoke a giant blunt before class and then have sex in my car while listening to coldplay. Make sure you wear a funny hat.

Location: Loyola

Jan 9, 2007

The History Boys

I finally got myself to see "The History Boys" tonight. I'd been told that it was good by at least three people, who were wild about it. I was dubious. In fact it took a long while for me to warm to it, but eventually I came around to liking it.
In short, I recommend it.
It takes on some really great points about education for one thing. I'm too lazy and tired to write a review of it right now. Besides, this synopsis I found
does a fine job itself:

The Basics: Eight over-achieving sixth-year students (that's being a high-school senior in England) are assigned a tutor to help them get into Oxford or Cambridge. They like him well enough, but he's all about teaching to the test, rather than the boys' favorite teacher (Griffiths), a man whose willingness to go off-script is well known, as is his propensity for putting the moves on his students.

What's the Deal? What's so cool about this movie is that it's about happily living in a hermetically sealed bubble of ideas surrounded by other people who take ideas seriously and are happy to live there too. None of the dialogue sounds a thing like what the normal 17-year-old would be caught dead talking about ("What is history?" for example). But just sitting in on the movie is like getting to spy on a private club for smart people. It's like what Dead Poet's Society would have been if it hadn't been stupid emo crap.

And Then There's the Fondling: The most beloved teacher in the place (Griffiths) has a ritual that involves copping feels of his favorite boys. Weirdly, though, the young men don't seem to mind. In fact, one of them laments that he's never been chosen to be "bad-touched." When one quips, "Are we scarred for life?" another quickly retorts, "I certainly hope so." So if it's hysteria you're looking for, you've come to the wrong movie.

Jan 6, 2007

More unsolicted reviews of recently seen movies

The Queen-- THe best movie I've seen this year, perhaps. Helen Mirren is wonderful. I ain't telling you anything new there, I know, but it still should be reiterated.
There's a wonderful use of symbolism with the stag, almost overdone, but not quite, and still very effective.

Casino Royale--I went to see this with my friend Ben. Neither of us really wanted to see it, but it was the only movie that night that generated any interest at all. I've never really liked the Bond movies much. This was promised to be much grittier, but it was still, in my mind at least, very much a Bond movie. I also got a little confused with the plot, but that was probably my own fault for not paying enough attention. Daniel Craig is great, however. I'd never seen him in anything before, but he seems to be a good actor. He doesn't play the character as a cartoon, but as a real man. Eva Green, however, distracted me with her craziness. I had seen her debut in "The Dreamers" and thought she was crazy there, but then I figured she was *supposed* to be crazy. Turns out, she's not that good of an actress. She really is crazy, I'm pretty sure.
I mean just look at the get-ups she wore for the film's opening.

Do you see that look in her eyes? Imagine 2 hours worth of that. Anyway, she was a major distraction in the movie. There's been a lot of talk about how this Bond film reverses the pattern of most Bond movies, in that it is Bond who is the new Ursula Andress rising from the sea, dripping with sex. Clearly, it is he who is the real "Bond Girl" here.
(Completely gratuitous Daniel Craig-in-a-bathing-suit shot here)

Apocalypto--When I saw the trailers for this, I was genuinely excited. My friend Dennis, like me, had high hopes for it too. It really did have a great trailer, mysterious and understated. The movie, however, disappointed in many ways. The most glaring way is that it is simply too drawn out, but then that's my complaint of 99.9 percent of all movies. In short, the plot is that a young indigenous man is trying to escape from his captors (the Maya) to get back to his pregnant wife, who is (ridiculously) trapped in a hole. When the hole fills up with rain and she goes into labor, well, it begins to get ridiculous. Ok, so it begins to get ridiculous a bit earlier than that. But let's focus on the positive. It is beautifully photographed. It is exciting (for the first hour or so). It's very gory, if you like that sort of thing. It's also almost hallucinogenic in its beauty. When I walked out of the theater after seeing it, for a while I was still in a daze, lost in its world. That's pretty high praise from me.

Dreamgirls---I took myself to see this one alone. I was feeling down and thought it would be a bright pick-me-up. It almost was. The movie couldn't compete with the drama in the theater however. I'm talking EMS and everything. The theater was packed, and this was on a very stormy Thursday night, not exactly prime time. About 30 minutes into the previews, we all begin to wonder what's going on. Why has the movie not started? Then the houselights come on and the previews stop. The police walk in. The stretcher is brought in. There's some sort of commotion up there (I can't crane my neck to see it. I can only barely hear it. It's very subdued) You could hear a pin drop in the theater.
Eventually a woman is led down the aisle by the police. She's trailed by a line of 4 young children, one dragging a toy monkey on the floor. She gets on the stretcher. They take her out, and the movie finally begins.

As quiet as the audience was during that drama, they were considerably less quiet during the movie. The woman in front of me spent the entire movie on her cell phone with her children's father, arguing. Her 3 children had also brought toys to the theater. Somewhere just after Jennifer Hudson's great swan song, before the movie ended, all 4 of them got up and left abruptly. I guess they already knew how it ended. She was still on the cell phone as she left.

But back to the movie. I had almost forgotten. It was all right, certainly not as good as I had been led to believe by the reviews. Jennifer Hudson is good, but not *that* good. Beyonce is perfectly cast, I think....a pretty girl who can't sing. The best acting in the film is by Eddie Murphy. He really shines, almost redeems himself. The art direction is bit cheap looking to me, and the songs were very very bad. The audience laughed occasionally when the singing began. The fact that it was a musical seemed to disconcert them.

Yet more unsolicited review here.

Jan 4, 2007

new year, old neuroses

Nearly two years ago or so, sometime around September, I responded to a personal ad I found at Salon.com. The ads there, by the way, were of a generally better quality than a lot of other sites.

I met him soon afterward, and I was imediately infatuated.

One of my persistent neuroses is wondering constantly "does he like me?" Not without reason, unfortunately.
It's a neurosis that is constantly being played with by God, or the devil, or myself, I'm not sure which, like some sort of crazed violin.

Regardless, unlike most first dates I've had, the one with him seemed remarkably clear. He really *did* seem to like me. Impossible to believe.

In fact, he, again unlike the other men I've met, actually called the day after to say how much he enjoyed our date. I was floored.

Of course, it couldn't be that easy, nothing ever is, but the first date was nice. At my suggestion, we met at d.b.a. (a nice, straight bar) on Frenchman, a nice change of pace from the usual boring coffee houses. We talked and talked and talked.

He was (is) a bona-fide fashion designer. He had lived in NYC most of his life, but was from Virginia originally. He had recently left New York and decided to come to New Orleans because he had fallen in love with her. He had given up the rat race of the fashion world and was aiming for becoming a photographer and artist. He was clearly in the midst of a life change.

Here's his picture

Instead of leaving after our first meeting, he confessed that he was hungry and seemed genuinely happy when I suggested we have dinner. He was too charming for words that night.

After that, we went home.

(By the way, I have to preface this entire entry by saying there are absolutely no prurient details to admit.
I'm not happy about this fact, but there aren't. The whole story is as chaste as a nun, and there in lies the rub, so to speak.)

So, if you're still with me, (and I wouldn't blame you if you weren't), I'll resume.
During the year, we went out every now and then. Not nearly enough to keep my insecurity at bay. He was busy, to his defense, but he did always seem to be eager to see me when he could. Still, it wasn't enough. The delicate tightrope walk of not seeming desperate and yet not simply abandoning everything was hard.

We never did anything more than kiss. It was as proper as a courtship in the 1950s.
(He is a virgo, by the way.)

Of course, my neurosis was working overtime the whole time, debating whether he liked me or not, the dreaded words: "He's just not that into you" echoing constantly in my head. With the track record I've had with disinterested men, I always had to ask myself if he was *really* interested in me romantically.

By the same token, I think he was interested in me in the proverbial "that" way. There was evidence there too, amazingly enough. One night there was even some questioning on his part that suggested he was interested in a relationship. He was clearly asking the questions one asks of a potential mate.

Katrina blew him away, of course. Just like that he was gone.
He moved back up to NYC for a while, and then to Virginia with relatives. Before then, however, we had started to see each other a bit more frequently, though not nearly enough. Before the hurricane, we had had a really lovely day, shopping on Magazine St. We had plans to celebrate his birthday, which was the week of the big K in fact. Needless to say, that never came to pass.

We had a number of nice dates, one of which was seeing his roommate, a really great jazz singer, perform. She was a personal friend of Chaka Khan, by the way...and to think I was one degree away from Chaka-freaking-Khan!
But I digress....

After the hurricane, we corresponded a bit, I let him know I was all right. He did the same. I spoke to him once or twice on the phone. I've emailed him a few times, with intermittent success.
He seems very happy up there. The hurricane was a terrible shock to him, since I think he was hurricane phobic in the first place. The last I spoke to him, back in August, he was doing well.

So a few days ago I sent out my customary New Years wishes to those friends whom I haven't seen in a while, him included. I can't say I expected him to respond. I certainly haven't heard from most of the people I wrote to. But last night I got a message from him, asking me to call him. At least right now, I'm paralyzed. I can't seem to bring myself to do it....at least now.

I need to work up the nerve. It's the old neurosis back again. It's easier to live in ignorance, I guess. I'm scared of hearing for certain he's moved on for good, even when I know he has.

I'm very ambivalent about posting this, by the way. It seems very indiscreet of me, and I'm sure it is, but maybe that's the point.

I've really never told anyone really about this, but a very few friends, and as indiscreet as this seems, it seems even more foolish not to tell something that was (is?) so important to my life.
I'm not sure if that makes sense...but at least right now it does to me. I'm not so sure about tomorrow.