Aug 30, 2009

damned hippies



Last night, in an effort to get my mind off of things, I took myself to see "Taking Woodstock". I was the only person in the theater on a Saturday night, so sad.

The movie itself was all right, but a bit disappointing. I think my main complaint is about Demetri Martin, the lead, who just bored me to tears. He's the weakest link to be sure. I especially loved the meeting he has with a couple of hippies in their van.

The movie didn't really take off until the actual concert part. The best parts were then, and Ang Lee, I think, did a great job with some of the visual effects. It was really beautiful at times.

I have only the vaguest memories of hippies. My parents were in their late twenties during the summer of love, and pretty square. I don't know many people of that generation, I don't think.

I remember once visiting a younger cousin of my mother. She lived somewhere near Pensacola. We stopped by on the way to a family vacation. I was very young. She had been a hippie, at least that's what my mother said, disdainfully.

She lived unmarried, near the beach, in an old moldy smelling house with her children, and lots of cats, making macrame and smoking pot and reading tarot. The whole place seemed dark, smokey and gloomy. Hippiedom by then was hopelessly passe, and it all just seemed kind of sad to me, even at that age.

It was nice to see it on the screen as it might have been, fresh and vital and exciting.

Modern New Orleans, 1940


Too wonderful!

The then newly built Huey Long, spotlighted in the beginning of the film, is famously narrow and scary. I remember the driving instructor in high school having used it as part of our final exam.

One of my later teachers once told the class that the bridge was the reason she'd become a nun. As a girl she'd been riding in the back seat of her parents' car, in the rain with a train running alongside the car. Right then and there she swore to God that if He got her safely over, she'd go into the convent...so she did. Can't say I blame her.

Aug 29, 2009

take your time young man.



Back in the day this was the jam.
Still is.
I live for synth cowbell.

Aug 28, 2009

it's never good news on the answering machine

So I just got home to hear one of my mother's famous answering machine messages.
Yes, she's asking if I'm coming over, as she always does, but then, after a pause she tells me that my aunt, her youngest sister, died today.

I'm both shocked and not. I'm shocked because her health had been improving lately...and her death is unexpected. I'm not that shocked, however, because I know she never really has gotten over what happened three years ago....when my cousin, her son, and his son, her little grandson, were both killed in a horrible accident.

My aunt was a loud, large, brazen woman, too soft-hearted for her own good sometimes. She had a hard life. She loved her children more than anything.
In her youth, she'd been dazzlingly beautiful. My mother, always a bit jealous of her younger sister's looks, compared her to Elizabeth Taylor at her most beautiful. Her pictures bear it out. I hope she's at peace now.

It's shaping up to be a rather depressing weekend already.

Aug 26, 2009

"bells will ring...."

Hearing that Ellie Greenwich has died today, I'm reminded of one of my favorite songs of all time, one she co-wrote.

I was just a toddler really, maybe three. Next door lived some older girls, sisters, nine or ten, dazzlingly sophisticated to me. Their mother still had ratted hair, though it had been out of style for at least five years by then. Their father was skinny and wore pomade.
They had barbies and easy bake ovens. I wanted to be like them.

One day, a hot summer day, I remember the girls were having a terrible fight. One of them was standing on the hood of their parents' car, hurling old 45s at the older sister's head. The sunlight gleamed off the flying vinyl. Their mother's prized 45s crashed to the ground in a hail of black plastic. I shudder to think what awaited those girls after that. Somehow I think those barbies might have been baked in that Easy Bake oven.
Who knows. Who cares, really?

What I remember most about that day is that after they'd been summoned in by their bellowing mother, I picked up the one 45 that had not been broken. It was old and scratched, but when I took it home, it still played. It was the second record I ever owned (and it was stolen from the trash).
It was New Orleans' own Dixie Cups singing "Chapel of Love".
It's all so prophetic.

Aug 25, 2009

dans le garbage

A few days ago, the apartment downstairs was rented out. It's the one right across from the French lesbian. I caught a glimpse of the new neighbor, and, well, she looks like she might be another one.
It's hard to tell.
She is French. Of that much I'm sure.
And very tan.
Later that night, while throwing out my trash, I came upon a little treasure trove of hers. Jackpot! Among the items I stole retrieved were the following:


1. one clock radio, slightly smeared with lipstick.2. Two perfect, unused tubes of French depilatory cream, or is that crème?



3. Ten French books, including the intriguingly English titled, Back Street.


What's her deal? (uh...qu'est-ce c'est la dealieaux?)

Anyway, that's what I'm wondering.

Aug 24, 2009

The Happy Hooker


Reading Jill's post about The Happy Hooker (complete with Xaviera Hollander comment!) at her fabulous site, Stella's Roar, I'm reminded of my own reading of that famous classic, on the floor of my parent's bedroom. I must have been nine or so when I found my father's cache of books in the same drawer with his ammo.

Guess which I was more intrigued by.

Actually, the fact that my father had naughty books was not in the least surprising.
Nope.
The fact that he had books at all was, however.
In fact I still can't quite believe it.

Aug 23, 2009

I'm in love.




Speaking of finding love in 90 days...
a few weeks ago I bought myself some 600 thread count Egyptian sheets as a birthday present to myself. I just put them on the bed.
Good lord!
Come 5:30 tomorrow morning it's going to be hell getting out of bed, that's all I know. I might just have to drag them to work with me.

Aug 22, 2009

Four books I've checked out of the library today



Why? Because I've been meaning to read it for nearly a decade now and never have.

Quote: "Overhead a gang of the local flying vermin took off from unseen perch, swooped, and seemed to be zeroing in on Archie's car roof---only to perform, at the last moment, an impressive U-turn, moving as one with the elegance of a curve ball and landing on the Hussein Ishmael, a celebrated halal butchers."

Prediction: won't finish. My tolerance for plot is at an all time low.
_____________________________________________________________________


Why? Because I'm curious as to just how badly being an only child has fucked me up.
Quote:
"The only child is destined to take care of his parents in later life, which can be a real burden...."
Prediction: won't read. Too boring. Too much information about Barbra Steisand and Laura Bush. Too many pictures of Nixon.
______________________________________________________________________________



Why? Pretty pictures help calm me down.

Quote:


Prediction: Nirvana like calm mixed with the frustration of being very poor.
_________________________________________________________________________________



Why? I'm a nerd.
Quote:
"The old Macedonian general Polyperchon, who championed the cause of the boy king Alexander IV--and died deserted by everyone, including his own son, before the fourth century came to an end---used to dance at banquets, tipsy with too much wine. He would dance nonstop, wearing a saffron colored tunic and embroidered slippers."

Prediction: already half finished reading this, boring as it is.
_________________________________________________________________________________


Why? I'm pathetic and it didn't cost anything, except my dignity to check it out.
Quote:
"Discovering and Using Your Diamond Self: Exercises----
(Total time 45 minutes)
You now have all the information on creating and using your Diamond Self. The Inner Work exercises will help you hone these skills.
Exercise 1: Rediscovering your authentic self:
Find a photo of yourself as a toddler....gflhflaelhalrhw3rhohyknnioljjjjjjjjjjjjjjjj

(oh, sorry, I fell asleep there at the keyboard.)

Prediction: I'll skim it and take a nap.

Aug 21, 2009

shit his dad says

Maybe the funniest twitterer I've seen in quite a while is shit my dad says , posted by a certain "Justin"
Here's his bio:

"Name: Justin
Bio I'm 28. I live with my 73-year-old dad. He is awesome. I just write down shit that he says."

"Your mother made a batch of meatballs last night. Some are for
you, some
are for me, but more are for me. Remember that. More.
Me."
from web

"Your brother
brought his baby over
this morning. He told me it could stand. It couldn't
stand for shit. Just sat
there. Big let down."
from web

"Love this
Mrs. Dash. The bitch can
make spices... Jesus, Joni (my mom) it's a joke. I
was making a joke! Mrs. Dash
isn't even real dammit!"
from web

"The dog is
not bored, it's a
fucking dog. It's not like he's waiting for me to give him
a fucking rubix cube.
He's a god damned dog."
from web

"My flight lands at 9:30 on
Sunday...You want to
watch what? What the fuck is mad men? I'm a mad man if you
don't pick me the
hell up."
from web

"When I used
to live in Los
Angeles, I used to step in human feces a lot."
from web


"I didn't live
to be 73 years old
so I could eat kale. Don't fix me your breakfast and
pretend you're fixing
mine."
from web


Aug 20, 2009

You say papaya, I say pitaya...

The other day I got to talking to a nun, about fruit.

(Yeah, that sounded better in my head than it does here. )

Anyway, she's from Vietnam and asked if I'd ever had a pitaya.
(insert your own joke here)
I thought she was mispronouncing "papaya" and said, "sure."

Turns out I was wrong.
After hearing of the joys of jackfruit and the ecstasies of the durian and the rapture of the breadfruit, she told me she'd bring me a cutting of a pitaya plant, so today she did.
The fruit, she said, is especially delicious.

It's sometimes called a "dragonfruit" I see.

And so am I!
(ok, again that sounded better in my head than it does here...but, whatever, I'm leaving it.)

It's a strange cactus looking thing, but she insists that it can be trained to grow up into the waterfall shape you see down there.




We'll see how long it takes for me to kill it.

Aug 19, 2009

the noah arc

How cool would this be? Of course, this city is notorious for pipedreams, but still...



"Gizmodo writes: 'NOAH (New Orleans Arcology Habitat) is a massive, 1200-foot city within a building that's hurricane-proof and can actually float (don't worry, it's tethered to something or other). Conceptualized through a mind trust of three architectural firms, green (wind, solar and water) energies would help power the structure's 20,000 residences, 1,000,000 square feet of commercial space, school, hospital and, just for fun, 3 casinos.'"

By way of towleroad

Aug 16, 2009

happy birthday, Julia!

Last night, thanks to Carlos's planning, Carlos, Marshall, Julie, Debbie and I went to Bayona. We had a meal in celebration of Julia Child's 97th birthday.


Thankfully, Julie offered to drive, since my parallel parking skills are notoriously bad. On the way to the restaurant we took a bit of a detour, by accident, and I caught glimpse of a fabulous ass parading down the sidewalk in coochie cutters and a baby blue tube top. She was walking far too well in high heels to be a biological woman. I could tell that much.

Surely enough, when she turned around to flirt, I could see the adam's apple gleaming in the street light. Trailing behind her were two young thug types, practically panting. Can't say I blame them. She had it going on.


(approximation)

(actual dining room)
It was a four course meal of Julia-inspired dishes. We all had the Veal Orloff, which I'd never had before. I had heard of it centuries ago, by way of Julia herself no doubt, but never had had it.


(not a very accurate approximation at all)

It was wonderful, much better looking than this. Most of us had crepes with cheese and ham as the appetizer. Marhsall and Julie had the liver mousse, which was described as "like wet cat food" more than once.
Oddly, that didn't seem to be a complaint. I had a salad of butter lettuce and a lemon/almond tart for dessert.

(reasonable facsimile)

All in all, a lovely meal.

As an added treat, we got to see local part-time resident Harry Shearer on his way out of the restaurant.

(as I would have liked him to look, but he didn't)

Julie had parked in a dubious parking spot, but near a fabulous trove of trash. I couldn't help but get excited. As I've mentioned before, I'm an inveterate trash thief. When I got a bit too excited, she had to calm me down with a stern warning, "I'm not letting you get fleas in my car!" So I didn't pick up anything...well, much.

There was a black tuxedo jacket on the top of the boxes, a mildewed print, a few dogeared copies of Details, some gold bullion fringe, a pair of thigh high leatherette boots, lots of bamboo, some sequins, a bulletin board with photos of various young men mugging for the camera....and strewn all over the ground were pages of very mediocre Czech porn.

(reasonable facsimile)
I'm no Hercule Poirot or anything, but it looked to me like some young gayling had been evicted from his garret apartment and all of his fabulousness was now out on the street. Sad, but nothing one hasn't seen before.

Aug 15, 2009

boring Saturday afternoon

Baking a chocolate cake, for no good reason.

Singing along with Rufus, just because.



Worrying I'll look like Chaka soon.

Random theft: things that have caught my attention just today

Stolen from Don't Judge My Hair (thanks to Jenn)

"When “forgetting” to wear a shirt under your T.J. Maxx motorcycle
jacket has failed you, one surefire way to get attention is to be literally the
largest thing in the room, so no matter how hard everyone tries, they just can’t
ignore you. You may have singlehandedly destroyed the ozone layer with the
amount of hairspray it took to achieve this feat, but when your gravitational
pull causes the birth of an entire new solar system orbiting around your giant
hair, people will get over it."


------------------------------------------
Pretty redheaded male models stolen from Morphosis by way of Jill's fabulous Stella's Roar






--------------------------------------------------------------------


Vagina bike taxi from Finland



Stolen from the ever wonderful sturle

Aug 13, 2009

Seven more big ones

to quote TJB: "That hateful, hateful Peenee has tagged us so often, we fear that we have his handprints permanently seared into our buttocks." Here are his directions: "List seven of your personality traits, as evidenced on your blog and then pass the award on to seven other blogs with notable personality."

1.I'm shameless thief: that quote up there, blog ideas, pictures online, stuff from the trash, cast off boyfriends. My dumpster diving is legendary. Add to this two other related traits: I'm cheap and I'm poor.

2.I'm ornery. I don't often follow these meme rules, or any rules, but then I'm ornery enough to follow them to the letter every now and then, just to keep you on your toes.

3.I'm a killer. (Ok, maybe it was only squirrel hunting, but I have a gun, and I can use it...well, sorta). Remember, as I've mentioned here before, I have an entire branch of family in jail currently.

4.I'm envious. I envy other people's houses, their style, their blogs, their writing skills, and especially their relationships....the list goes on and on and on.

5.I'm insecure enough to desire flattery and attention. I'm a leo, what can I say?

6.I'm still a bit naive, though I prefer to think of it as "idealistic." See multiple examples filed under "dating".

7.I have the musical tastes of a 60 year old black woman, which actually works out perfectly.

Aug 10, 2009

back to work

Plan:

Trap 100 people for 8 hours in enclosed space.

Agenda:

7:30 "Motivational!" powerpoint
8:00 Stern warnings about everything
10:00 Brainstorm about "natural disaster preparedness".
11:00 Force audience to listen to AFLAC pitch.
12:00 feed 100 people in enclosed space red beans and rice.
1:00 Natural disaster...

just 'cuz


It's just one of my favorite songs of all time.

Aug 9, 2009

Show me your twits


I signed up to Twitter a while back because one of my regularly read blogs (Michael's wonderful Pipedreams) sort of went to an all twitterific format a while back, and I wanted to keep abreast of his wit. It's addictive.
He also writes some of the best twitter comments I've read, by the way, (even if half of them I don't quite understand).

Then, of course, more and more of my friends went to twittering....and well, one has to keep up, I suppose.
But it's hard.
The trouble is, that I never quite know what to twit.
I freeze up.
The point of twitter is to keep it short and current, and that's never been my forte, especially the short part. So mostly I'm a twitter voyeur.

Every time I'm tempted to put something up there, I hesitate. I can't think of anything witty. And it's never succinct, and my mundane life seems even more mundane than most.

What am I going to write? "In bed, reading twitters from wittier people than I. Eating too many Pepperidge Far..."

And then the letter limit will probably cut me off.

I mean even here I've wasted how many characters? just to tell you all that I have nothing to say. It's hopeless.

Aug 8, 2009

Julie, Julia, Julie, Carlos, Marshall and me


Just got back from seeing "Julie and Julia" with Julie, Carlos and Marshall. I can't say I liked the movie really. It was pretty much a snooze, but let's focus on the good parts, shall we?

1. food porn.

2. Meryl as Julia. Perfect.

3. Stanley Tucci. Oh my goodness. Bon Appetit indeed. Of course, I've bored you all at least twice before with my crush on this man, but I can't help it.

Ok, so that's all I got, sorry....except some gratuitous pictures.

Aug 6, 2009

I'd discovered this artist's (Angleo Filomeno's) work a while back. Amazingly, they're embroidered in silk, with gems, beads and sequins. Just beautiful.




Aug 5, 2009

girl crush


I think I've developed a little crush on Sofie Allsop from the HGTV's The Unsellables.
I usually hate these real estate shows. They're like being trapped in a chastity belt and watching porn, but I find myself watching this one, just for her and that accent.

Add to that the news that she "has a degree in medieval history from Edinburgh University" and I'm all starry eyed.
Here's the only clip I could find of her talking (all too little), alas.

Aug 4, 2009

Designer's challenge

Here is my little living room a few months ago. I'm trying to redecorate a bit. I'm getting tired of it. There's not a lot of leeway I have, however. It may not look like much,


but you have to keep in mind some of the challenges I faced when I first moved in:
Nothing can be bigger or wider than 24 inches….(the width of the stairwell)
No holes may be put in walls (as per lease)
No walls may be painted (as per lease)
Everything must be portable. (as per Katrina)
Curtains must be at least 99 inches long.
Entrance to horrible kitchen must be covered somehow
Two ghastly 1970s window units must be dealt with
Irremovable ugly “ye olde colonial” “chandelier” must also be dealt with somehow
Bathroom is 5 feet by 5 feet (handy for using the toilet and washing your hands at the same time)

All items must be purchased in the few stores open post-Katrina.
(in which at least three separate salesmen told me that any furniture I bought "would take a minimum of a month or longer to arrive.")
You must purchase :
1. a bed,
2. box spring and mattress,
3. bedding, comforter, sheets,
4. Towels,
5. lamps,
6. a dining table and chairs,
7. rugs,
8. a sofa,
9. a coffee table, and side tables,
10. a television,
11. microwave, toaster, pots, pans, cutlery,
12. dress 7 windows,
13. etc.
Oh, and all four rooms must be furnished for under 1500 dollars and within three weeks.

Aug 3, 2009

sampling of recent "advice" given to me:

Female friend in happy relationship:
"But how do you know you're gay? Why don't you just try women?"
(trans. Let's get back to me.)

Gay single male friend:
"Just give up. Puh-lease. It's all hopeless."
(trans. just get drunk.)

Single female friend who's found God:
"I think it's just not in God's plan. Maybe He wants something else for you."
(trans. God hates fags?)

Straight female friend in unhappy relationship:
"But how do you know you're gay? Why don't you just try women?
(trans. you could marry me!)

Straight married male friend:
"..."
(trans.: Gee, I've never not been in a happy relationship or rejected. Sorry. Sounds bad.)

automatic



Apparently this post from two years ago or so brings more folks here than just about any other.
Odd.
Though I'm kind of happy about that, since it's one of my favorite songs of the 21st century. I guess it's taken only five or so years to get any interest.
Or maybe there's a retro-electroclash movement going on I don't know about. Who knows. Either way, it's a great song.

Aug 2, 2009

Petrolane

I just found this photo from the mid fifties of a long gone building in the suburbs of N.O. It looks to be some kind of appliance showroom/cum filling station? How cool is this?! Nothing remotely as interesting there now, I'm afraid.



Petrolane, 1352 Jefferson Highway

from the wonderful reginonal modernism photostream.

Aug 1, 2009