Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Birthday Retrospective

Because I am lazy and nothing of interest is happening, I present to you an exercise in self-linkage: the Birthday Retrospective.

July 29, 1998 - Sonya and I were just back from Cincinnati (a shithole) and seeing Jimmy Buffett. And I got steak.

July 28, 1999 - The coworkers take me drinking and Sonya makes lasagna. And I hold a Linkless Birthday Retrospectacle '88-'94 Edition.

August 5, 2000 - I packed a U-Haul all day long. I constantly drank water but never had to pee. It was pretty impressive. And sweaty.

October 3, 2001 - Yes, it's months after my birthday, but the story of the birthday - and getting my Bettie tattoo - are here.

July 28, 2002 - Nothing. But I'll tell you what we did: we went to Gulf Shores and met up with Christie and her family. On the actual day of we drove back to New Orleans and Sonya and Kelli and I went to Crescent City Steakhouse. We ate steak and drank wine. Ooooh! And that's the weekend I wrote a script for a short film that had to be finished in forty-eight hours. I was busy - it was a good birthday weekend!

July 28, 2003 - Also nothing. I wasn't too motivated to update last summer. Sonya went to the doctor that day - it may have been the day we found out it was going to be a boy - and I was in a funk what with no job and a baby on the way. But Sonya took me to Sake Cafe and poured sake down my throat until I felt better.

Hmmmmm....what about, say, 1997?

Okay, I just checked IMDB and Air Force One came out in 1997 - so I went and saw that on my birthday with Sonya and Donna and her then-husband, Bill. And then we went to...Friday's, I think? And I think I got some new tires on my truck. Yeah.


I got nothing. I would have been working at AALAS...Sonya and I were living at the Gayoso House...but I can't think of anything. Nothing.

Dammit. Why is that? It's only eight years ago. What happened?

Wednesday, July 21, 2004


Scandal! I was reading a copy of Offbeat today at lunch. Apparently, the local music magazine has had a split with WWOZ, beloved New Orleans community radio station. The talked about it in a big editorial in their letters section (the link works for now, anyway).

See, at the top of every odd hour WWOZ does the Livewire Events Calendar - a listing of bands playing around town that daay. For years, Offbeat sponsored (and provided the listings for) the Livewire. According to Offbeat, WWOZ just dropped them and didn't even let them know.

[Disclosure: sometimes my alarm clock is set to WWOZ, but I get up around six. Last summer when I was jobless it went off at seven to wake Sonya up and I enjoyed laying in bed, listening to the rundown of live bands. That's really my only involvement in this. I'm for the Livewire!)

Anyhow, in their editorial Offbeat really lets the management of WWOZ have it. A quote:

"WWOZ station manager David Freedman is the person responsible for severing all of WWOZ's ties with OffBeat. In a recent meeting between myself, David Freedman and Dwayne Breashears, WWOZ's Program Manager, Freedman characterized OffBeat as 'not a friend of WWOZ,' 'not caring about the local music community'-assertions we found troubling and hurtful-and publishing a magazine with the sole interest of 'making money,' a statement we find absurd and ultimately, laughable."

I haven't heard the WWOZ side of things, but after reading this I'd have to side with Offbeat. It's always full of articles about obscure local musicians and really, it's a freebie magazine you get in a bar. Anyone who thinks that the people behind it are just out to make a buck is not looking at things realistically.

That said, I'd be very interested to hear what WWOZ has to say. It's certainly possible that we're not getting the full story from Offbeat.

UPDATE: Oooooh! Here's the list of WWOZ's problems with Offbeat. NB: This list was posted on Offbeat's forum, by the person who wrote the editorial, so enjoy with a grain of salt:

"I challenge Mr. Freedman to write a letter to us to get his side out to the public. These are the main reasons for his ire that he presented to me: 1) Barbara Hoover's ranting posts on OffBeat's old message board which we 'allowed' and did not edit; 2) The fact that Bunny Matthews chose not to testify in the case Hoover filed against WWOZ (he did not want to be involved with Barbara's case); 3) I suggested in a MetroVision meeting a few years ago that there be a separate music internet portal (other than WWOZ) to be fair to all the other sites in town who covered music (I did not at any time push OffBeat's site to be the 'official' portal); and 4) WWOZ did not make any money from Best of The Beat 2002 (we didn't make any money on Best of The Beat; we never do!). Freedman claims we did not give him an accounting of this event, although he did suggest we run expenses through WWOZ (which we chose not to do). That's it in a nutshell."

Interesting. It looks like these two are taking turns pissing in the communal small pond. Hurray! More drama for me to enjoy!

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Summer 1994

Ten years ago:

After we graduated from college - and I mean later that day - I made a run to the liquor store, then Christie and Sonya and I and a few other people went to Heber Springs. We drank and ate and swam and took the pontoon boat out on the lake for days at a time. After about a week we went back to Conway, though. None of us had a real, post-college job and we were all a little antsy.

We were living at the apartments at Clifton Street then, a sprawling, vaguely barn-ish complex painted yellow, right behind Hendrix College and not twenty yards from the train tracks. They were busy train tracks, too. Trains rumbled by at all times of the day and night

It was a two-bedroom third-floor walk-up. It was big, though, and as nice as a college apartment can be. We had black mini-blinds in our bedroom; even at noon the room was dim.

Sonya and I had a pile of graduation money, but we didn't blow it. We lived very frugally. We stayed home, staying up late and sleeping all day. We listened to Jimmy Buffett constantly.

I had a bacterial infection. I didn't know where it had come from and neither did my doctor - I hadn't even been sick that summer, but suddenly I was running a high fever and felt like shit. I was given powerful drugs. I laid on the couch for a week, napping and sweating.

About six weeks after graduation Sonya got a job at Hasting's, a books/music/video store and the center of cultural life in Conway. I got a job at the one-hour photo in Wal Mart - the town's center of commerce. We had our collective finger on the city's pulse, the Wife and I.

I remember lots of staying up late and playing Sonic the Hedgehog. And drinking. And hanging out with our friends. Many of them had just graduated, like us, but it seemed like no one had left town.

It wasn't a bad time. Just very transitional.

Monday, July 19, 2004

Top Five Tunes

So I was driving to get some Indian food for dinner tonight and I listened to Surrender by Cheap Trick three times or so. It's definitely one of my favorite tunes, all time. So what would my top five be?

5. Big Star - Thirteen

4. Elvis Costello - The Other Side of Summer

3. Elvis Presley - Suspicious Minds

2. Cheap Trick - Surrender

1. Tom Tom Club - Genius of Love

And what would your top five be?

Friday, July 16, 2004


Three o'clock this morning. John was sitting against the front of his bed, hands on the bars, rattling them like he was a goddamned prisoner. And screaming. What was he screaming?

"My lawyer screwed me over!"

"It was dude's car! I didn't know that stuff was in the trunk!"

"I didn't have a gun! I didn't know they were going to rob the place!"

This morning Sonya and I were staggering around. John was sitting in bed, hands on the bars again, and grinning. I looked at Sonya.

"Free the River Ridge One."

Thursday, July 15, 2004

Holy Shit


From an e-mail I sent to a friend:

"Our latest excitement:

"John was teething something fierce last week. He was cranky and clingy and he quit eating solid food - just bottles.

"Well, he's over that now. He's his own happy self. But! He was getting up in the middle of the night last week to eat. That's cool; he wasn't eating enough during the day so he was probably hungry.

"Now, though, he's getting PLENTY to eat during the day and still getting up at two or so and demanding a bottle. This won't do. So last night we figured we'd just let him cry it out.

"For an HOUR the boy stood in his crib and screamed at us as if we were deaf or stupid or possibly both. We kept laying him down and he kept popping up like a determined boxer who just won't lay down. Every few minutes one of us would go over and lay him down and try to calm him. He'd be back up and screaming by the time either me or Sonya had made it back to bed.

"The noise was incredible. It was like an airplane - a big one - in our bedroom.

"Are we agreed," I yelled at Sonya at one point, "that he's probably not going back to sleep if he's standing up? And screaming?"

"Finally, after an hour, I gave him a little water. Satisfied that he had won, he went back to sleep.

"So Sonya and I are both a little punchy today. Ah, the rewards of parenthood!"

Wednesday, July 14, 2004


Saturday I was driving Siobhan and her woman around so they could see some apartments. Siobhan was sitting in the back with John. John had been in and out of the car and he was acting a bit tired of riding. Not crying or screaming or anything, just tired of and resigned to his situation.

"Oh my God," Siobhan said from the back seat, "John just took his pacifier out of his mouth, sighed, and then put it back in."

"He's filled with ennui," I told her.

Tuesday, July 13, 2004


Andrew Sullivan sums up my views on the war in Iraq quite nicely:

"To my mind, the war to depose Saddam is still justifiable, morally important, and will, if we stay the course, eventually be regarded as an important milestone in the war against terror. But at the same time, it seems to me that there's no denying that the actual case made by the Bush administration for war was built on false information."

Exactly. Exactly!

Thursday, July 08, 2004


From today's Times-Picayune:

"The battle for day-old bread and leftover popcorn still rages in the grass and along the walkways in City Park, but now the pigeons and squirrels have considerably less competition.

"As of Friday, about 50 raccoons that had congregated near the park's haunted house, attracting carloads of gawkers and raising fears of rabies, had been relocated by a local trapper to St. Charles Parish."

I've seen them! One time Sonya and I were at the park for a run. We were walking by the haunted house (and what's the story on that?) and there were dozens of raccoons surrounding the building. Some were standing, some were sitting. All were watching us walk by as if they might try to take us, if they thought the odds were good. It was a little spooky.

Wednesday, July 07, 2004


Insane night last night. We went to bed at eleven. John was up at twelve, one, two, and three. The first three times I put him on his back and patted his stomach 'til he went back to sleep. At three, though, he demanded a bottle.

"I need some formula, bitch!" Those were his exact words. To me. His father. What are you gonna do? So I fed him. Then I put him in the bed between me and Sonya and he was not going to sleep.

"I'm stayin' up all night, bitch!"

So Sonya took him to the living room, laid him on her shoulder and kicked back in the recliner. There they spent the rest of the night. Sonya and I were Mr. and Mrs. Blurry this morning.

And Sonya took John back to the doctor yesterday, 'cause really, this level of misery is just unheard of for the boy. The doctor assured us it's just teething. Teething! He's got six teeth already. When those came in he may have fussed a little, but mainly he just drooled and grew teeth.

But waking up in the middle of the fucking night? It's been six months since he pulled that shit, and we were happy to see it go.

And Sonya has an ear infection. And I have a lingering something, but considering all the insurance I don't have it's just going to have to linger 'til Labor Day or so.

However, I did receive my first paycheck from the new employer yesterday, and that shit is sweet. Real money! For real work! Not like that semi-volunteer shit I was doing at Tulane. Have I mentioned how glad I am to not work there anymore?

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Talkin' 'bout my demographic.

Hey, this is me! (From Daddytypes and, originally, the New York Times.)

A long, unpleasant weekend. John fell and took a nasty bump on the head Thursday night. Friday morning he woke up and seemed fine, but he puked twice. As far as I know, he's never even puked once, so this was upsetting for Sonya and I. Add in that vomiting is a symptom of concussions and John ended up going to the doctor on Friday.

The doctor didn't think the bump on the head was a big deal, but she was worried that he still had a little bit of cough that's been clinging to him for the past few weeks. She sent him home with an albuterol inhaler. "Albuterol" must be the scientific name for "crack," because it made the boy crazy. He wouldn't sleep or eat baby food - he just wanted to suck on bottles and cry. Very sad. He was better last night - we only gave him one hit off the inhaler yesterday. We figured the coughing at least didn't make him miserable, right? So we had fun.

But it wasn't bad! True, it was probably John's worst weekend since he was born, but it wasn't horrible. We watched lots of movies and cooked and ate. I made some extra-good spicy potato salad. Even Sonya liked it and she doesn't like potato salad.