Mar 31, 2010
Mar 28, 2010
2. A tattooed midget hipster, all of four feet, dressed like a lumberjack in plaid and rolled jeans, walking down Airline Dr.
3. An Arab family having dinner at The Texas Roadhouse. The father, one of the ugliest men I've ever seen: huge, pockmarked, unibrow....was dead silent.
His wife, clearly two decades younger, was equally quiet, but dark eyed and pretty, dressed in a black hijab, drinking sweet tea and eating a fried onion blossom. Their three sons, loudly played video games at the table, messily eating buffalo chicken wings, each dressed your standard Redneck camouflage ensemble.
4. A sixty something black man, tall and slender....an albino...striding across Tulane Ave., dressed in a burgundy polyester suit---an absolutely breathtakingly beautiful sight.
Mar 26, 2010
C. (for Coloring outside the lines)
N. (for Narcissism)
F. (for Fashion)
V. (for Vagina, which he once had )
E. (for eek!)
O. (for Cousin Oliver)
Y. (for "Yes, Please")
M. (for Make your own fun)
B. (for Big Gulp)
mostlt by way of my own site(goldenfleecing) and the fabulous
Mar 24, 2010
Needless to say, this city is famously full of such characters, but these two women are especially interesting to me. I hope one day someone decides to examine their lives more, make a film, or a book perhaps. In the meantime, I think I might just take a trip to see what their house is like on Dauphine St. now, if I can find the address.
Here are a few quotes from a great introduction to them online, part of a play about them produced a few years back:
"Flora and Piroska immigrated to the U.S. from the Jewish shtetl of Nagybanya,
Hungary, in 1922 to pursue their career as "international dancers," performing
under the names Nita and Zita. Photos indicate that their act combined burlesque
and acrobatics. Together, they performed all over the United States, and, as far
as we can tell, Shanghai, Panama, and perhaps Paris and Egypt. The sisters were
known for carrying their elaborate, handmade clothes and costumes with them in
two steamer trunks.In the late 1940's, the sisters settled in New Orleans and
became quite reclusive...."
"Their home became their refuge. They painted their entire house -- inside and
out -- in brightly colored sponge patterns, and painted most of their furniture
with intricate spider web figures. On the rare occasions that they did leave the
house, they dressed in fine handmade clothes of their own design.Flora and
Piroska died in 1985 and 1991 respectively. They are buried in the pauper's
section of Hebrew's Rest Cemetery in New Orleans. The only people present at
Piroska's funeral were a Rabbi and Betty Kirkland, the sisters' next door
"Nita and Zita lived in their house on Dauphine Street in the Faubourg Marigny from approximately 1947 until their respective deaths in 1985 and 1991. They were known for making all of the repairs to their home themselves, including repairs to the roof. Always resourceful, they fixed the floor of their home with tin can lids hammered in with tiny nails, and covered over holes in the wall with fabric. If they were known for their diligent work ethic, they were NOTORIOUS for their wild aesthetic: they painted their entire house, inside and out, with wild, abstract patterns. Bead curtains hung in the archways of their house, and photos of them in their showgirl prime lined the walls. In photos of Nita and Zita taken in their home when they were older, the painted walls and bead curtains give the effect of a fantastic nightclub or shimmering stage."
"The house was literally packed with thousands of pieces of handmade clothing,
hundreds of photos of Nita and Zita performing, handmade bead curtains, handmade
placards advertising Nita and Zita performances, and more...."
(Here's a dress of theirs that was offered for sale a while back, now sold. )
You can read more here and
Mar 22, 2010
Ah well, I couldn't afford either one really. I hope they're both very happy. Don't worry about me, no, I'll be all right. No, really.
Anyway, after that, I took myself to Goodwill where I found this
Guyabera shirt, "hecho in Mexico" It's a "wedding shirt", so an old Mexican man who was shopping with me told me. He'd worn one similar to his own first wedding. It was clearly too out of date for him. He'd moved on fashion wise. He was looking at the acrylic Cosby sweaters c. 1982. It looks better than this photo shows....and only 3 dollars.
Onward to the Salvation Army where I bought nothing (too pricey), and Red White and Blue.
Actually, it should be renamed Red, White and Yellow, since it always faintly smells of urine. I don't even want to know why.
There I was tempted to buy some gorgeous old wing tipped leather soled shoes, with the most beautiful patina, They'd been lovingly cared for, quality shoes, at least 50 years old, but they pinched my feet, and I just couldn't do it. I did pet them again on the way out, however.
Eventually I landed at Target (don't I always?)
Where I managed to score the one and only medium Liberty of London (for Target) shirt left. They seem to have sold out everything online. My mother claims it looks like one of her blouses, so that's put me off.
Well, that and this photo, which scares me (since there are at least 3 things I happen to like in it...don't even try to figure out which 3. I said don't even......oh, go to hell, all of you!)
Aaaanyway, on a whim I also bought this lampshade, also by Liberty, which actually doesn't look half as fruity as it appears...ok so maybe it does.
Anyway, it just won't fit my lamp base (yeah, yeah, there's a metaphor in there I don't want to explore), so it's going back toute suite.
Subliminally, I think, it made me remember this:
I guess I'll be keeping my old lamp until I can find something better. I have dreams of something Venetian and glass...
Mar 21, 2010
Anyway, here are some quotes from tonight's dinner. Sadly (?), I know it's all the truth.
1. "'I have a son your age,' one of them tells me. She was kinda hot for an old chick.
"Oh, reeeally? Hmmm?' I say."
On what happened to him after the last time I'd seen him. Three married women in their 40s, having a girls' night out at the next table offer him and his friend a ride after dinner. They ended up at the Hustler Club.
2. "Brandon lost, but it didn't really count. I mean really. He's a stripper anyway, so what's the point?"
On playing strip pool.
3. "Her mom was all like: 'Why don't you two date? You're always introducing her to different stuff! She needs to get her mind expanded like that' I was all like: 'You just don't even know.'"
Friend's mom to him after bringing back leftover pho.
4. "They all say if you say 'no homo' before you do it, it doesn't count as gay. Or maybe that's after. I don't know. You know, like: 'hey, let's fist! No homo'. And then it's not gay. Something like that."
On the conversation at a party of his roommate's army friends.
5. "He's out of Juvie now! It's gonna be hot."
In reference to a question about his 17 year old ex.
6. "You should come! Two dollar shots, man...they even bring 'em to you in the hot tub. I spent 95 dollars last Wednesday. I was fuuuucked up."
7. "Oh, no, it's not that organized,"
Answered in response to my, "Gee, how does that work? Do you play spin the bottle or something?" Asked in response to his recounting of the four girls and two boys he'd had sex with the night before.
8. " Uh...well, I've been to Chik-Fil-A three times this month,"
Answered by me, in response to his question "What's new?" Sadly, this pretty sums me up.
Mar 20, 2010
Exhibits a and b
*courtesy of the fabulous mean dirty pirate
*by way of the ever debonair tjb
Mar 19, 2010
Getting off a carnival ride, the roly polier one announces to his friend, clutching (phantom) pearls, fanning himself, like a 50 year old church lady.
Mar 18, 2010
One day, a few years ago, exhausted, I came up with what turned out to be an interesting assignment....completely off the cuff. That's how it often works, isn't it? It's how it often fails too, but let's focus on the positive, shall we?
I think it came to me while we were snoring through excerpts of Samuel Johnson's Dictionary. His 18th century wit wasn't doing for them. Imagine that.
I came up with the idea that they should come up with 5 words of slang that they knew. The assigment was to write the word, define it, decide how to spell it, show the pronunciation (using the symbols in the dictionary), figure out the part of speech, and use it in a sentence. We'd create our own "dictionary". Even though I was making it all up two seconds before telling it to them, it was pretty successful.
I learned a lot. They learned a lot. They were awake. I was awake.
Goodness all around.
Anwyay, here were a few of the ones I remember:
Foolie- (n) friend
Woadie- (n) friend
Smash- (v) sex
Cake (n) money
Beastmode (n) relaxation
Ratchet (n, adj) 1.gun 2. looking fine
growns (n) rims on a car
thru (adj) drunk
blunted (adj) stoned
chickenhead (n) slut
gank (v) to rob
buttaface (n) girl with a nice body and an ugly face
throwed (adj) great, tight
bird (n) a girl who won't put out
Murk (v) 1. leave 2. murder
and my two favorites:
gutta (adj) looking good
chapped (adj) looking bad
Anwyway, while doing this, a girl asked me a very good question:
"So what kind of slang was popular when you was in school?"
I couldn't quite think of any.
I mentioned Valley Girl stuff, but truth be told that really didn't enter into our daily language much. It was more something you'd hear on tv. The best I could come up with was "groovy", which, as I explained to her, seemed to be resurrected initially to make fun of the 70s, but then caught on in earnest sometime in the 90s. I still can't quite think of much. Can you?
Mar 17, 2010
Mar 16, 2010
I found this collecting dust in a box. I'd found it years ago in a thrift store and despite its tackiness, had to buy it. Seems to have been a store display for some perfume maybe in the 50s or so. It had a black base at one time. It's good solid vinyl (I think)...and thus survived Katrina's waters intact.
I found this up in my mother's attic recently. I remember it from my earliest childhood, before it was banished to the attic in favor of the (hideous) "Spanish look". It used to have an interesting tall skinny barrel shade with a kind of nubby texture. Exposure to 100,0000 degree New Orleans heat for the past 40 some odd summers has destroyed that, however. All that's left is the base. I'm sure this was the first exposure I ever had to marble. It initiated a life long love of the stuff.
I keep looking for some sort of shade to replace it. It's not been easy to find just the right one.
Before my aunt Dolores died a few years ago, she left my mother some of her stuff, including this clock, a gift I believe from her much hated third mother-in-law. It doesn't work, but being a sucker for anything shiny and ersatz gold, I decided to hang it up on for a while. I'm aiming for a kind of francophile's-apartment-in-1960 kind of look here.
Mar 14, 2010
I was walking down the darkened hall, hurrying to the safety of my bedroom.
The radio in the room next to mine was turned on. Passing the doorway, I heard a peculiar, tinny voice. I stopped.
It was this song:
I was hypnotized. I sat down in front of the radio, and drifted off to some other world, the 1940s through a disco prism.
I got up and didn't know what to do. No one announced the name of the song. It was gone. No matter how often I listened to the radio, I never heard it again. There was no one to tell about this discovery. I wouldn't have known what to say even if there had been.
My peers would have thought me weirder than they already must have.
The song was stuck in the back of my head, however.
Sometime, about eight years ago, I found out the artist's name (Dr. Buzzard's Original Savannah Band), and in the intervening years I've found out more about them. I've found a couple of interesting articles about them, like this one. I learned how some of the members eventually split off to become Kid Creole. I've even listened to some of Cory Daye's own music.
(I see that a number of artists, most famously: M.I.A. Ghostface Killah, Miss Kittin, Tribe Called Quest, De La Soul, were somehow or another influenced. )
Anyway, when, thanks to the internet, I found the song again, I remember being surprised. It was not nearly as "different" as I remembered it being. If I'm honest, I didn't really even like it much any more.The other night, however, I found this video and bookmarked it. Since then I've kept replaying it. It's a glimpse of a lost world, maybe several lost worlds...nostalgia built upon nostalgia built on more nostalgia.
I think I've finally grown to love the song for real now, where I once just had a childish infatuation.
Anyway, finally, this past week I got a copy of the cd in the mail, and have been playing it every day to work, and fallen in love with this:
(thanks to the fabulous michael guy for prompting this rerun)
Mar 13, 2010
I guess I'm in a traditionalist mood at the moment.
I went to the newly opened Chik-fil-A, the first one in the metro area. It's hard living in a third world country here. One day I hope we'll be as advanced as Baton Rouge. I can only hope.
It was crazy busy, and despite the lack of refill on my diet coke (unheard of!), still worth it.
It's been 3 years since I've had a Chik-fil-A sandwich, I think....so of course I got the classic. Fried chicken on a buttered bun, I mean really, how much better can it get?
Next stop was the bookstore, and on a whim, bought this book...discounted to 15 dollars.
There are even a few vintage pictures of the westbank in it.
Next on the trip were a few antique stores. In one, I found a perfect mirror, a 19th century repro of a Baroque mirror, but could not afford it. Left, but kept thinking about it the whole day after.
(semi-reasonable facsimile, see figure below)
Lastly, I decided to take my lonesome to see "The Last Station",
because I'm a costume drama whore and, hello, Helen Mirren.
Of course, she's fantastic. How could she not be?
The adorable Mr. McAvoy was an added attraction.
I really enjoyed it, though everytime I'd see the mirror in Tolstoy's parlor, I'd start to daydreaming again.
(talking about classics, aged to perfection there, huh? damn.)
Mar 11, 2010
Tony Duquette chandelier
Edward Wormley sofa (thanks to PT in DC). Cool, no?
A multipurpose keychain (shank-a-bitch-ifix)
A rococco mirror.
(I've been in a French kind of mood lately.)
A trip to Paris.
a Theodore Roszak sculpture (by way of the haunted lamp )
This knitted hat, for when hell freezes over (i.e. I get to Paris).