Thursday, September 30, 2004

Bad Decisions, Chicken

I've been feeling full of bad decisions lately. You know, like "sure, I'll take that pill the stranger gave me" or "no, no, I drive better like this" or "that hooker's a chick and I'll prove it!" That kind of thing. It's not like me at all. I think I need a night out with the guys.

That would mean I'd need some guys, though.

I think I could put together a respectable little posse. Me, maybe two or three gentlemen I know. I've got to work on that.

Totally unrelated: I'm driving down Carrollton this morning, taking John to school. Right before I get to the park I see a huge black chicken walking down the sidewalk.

"Look, John!" I yelled. "A chicken!"

"Ahh-eee," John responded, "meh-meh."

Wednesday, September 29, 2004


From a friend of mine who is a teacher in Jefferson Parish:

I met a new student today who introduced himself saying, "My name is Tegrin, like the shampoo." It was difficult not to laugh. Not just a shampoo, but a dandruff shampoo. Nice work, Mom and Dad.

Via Henry: An awesome story about the unstoppable Jerry Fontenot. Sounds like he had as much fun in the evacuation as we did.

In my endless surfing I came across the website of a guy who went to my high school (full disclosure: I graduated with his sister. Nice family - good people.) He is married with two daughters, one of whom has some pretty serious health problems. His wife is the one who usually updates the site, and the general impression I get from reading is that yes, life is a challenge for them but things are going relatively well and they are happy. Count your blessings and all that, right?

Here's the thing: the wife, in her updates, sprinkles her prose liberally with references to Bible verses. Occasionally she's follow the reference with the verse itself, but sometimes she'll just talk about how the verse applies to the situation at hand as if she's assuming her audience will understand both the reference and its application.

Who does this? Where do you learn this?

Seriously. I studied literature in depth and at length back in the twentieth century, and I've read and re-read more than a few books, but I still can't pull a page and line number out of my head and apply it to any given situation, much less have a reference like that ready for any situation. I know I live in the big godless city and I don't go to church so I just wouldn't get it, but really. When do you pick up this talent? I mean sure, if you're a preacher or something I guess you better know your stuff. But just some normal person on the street? Do they memorize the whole thing?

I read a moderately good book last summer - The Devil and Daniel Silverman by Theodore Roszak. Briefly, it's about a liberal gay Jew from San Francisco who is invited to speak at a conservative Christian college in northern Minnesota. Hijinks ensue. It was funny, but heavy-handed. Anyway, at one point Daniel calls one of the college's professors on his habit of peppering his speech with Bible references. Daniel points out that it's not a fair way of making a point, because a) not everyone is familiar with the Bible and b) not everyone accepts every word of the Bible as literal truth and c) the person quoting the Bible could be making things up and most people wouldn't know d) how would the Bible-quoters feel if someone started quoting, I don't know...the New York Times or the Village Voice or something like that?

I really like the idea of making up Bible verses, too.

"Dude, you shouldn't eat olives. It says so in the Bible."


"Thomas 12:42. 'And thou shalt not eat the fruit of the olive tree, for it is sinful and sour on the tongue.'"

"Dude, I didn't know..." And he eyes the dish of olives suspiciously.

See? That sounds Bible-ish, doesn't it? You don't know, do you? It could be in there and you wouldn't know, you Satan-cuddling sinner. You are so going to hell.

You could actually read the Bible to keep out of hell, though. That link has lots of translations including the stand-up-and-salute gorgeous language of the King James Version. Back in the day, man, they knew how to write.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004


"I think John likes Amanda*," John's teacher told
me. Amanda is a cute little girl - brown hair, brown
eyes - in John's class.

"Why's that?" I asked.

"Yesterday they followed each other all around the
room, crawling under every bed and behind every
chair," she said, "then John pushed her down and
crawled on top of her."

And that's interesting, because that's
exactly what Sonya and I did when we were

* Totally not her real name, of course.

Friday, September 24, 2004


I was doing some freelance work the other night. It consisted of making some changes to the text of a book - a baby-name book.

The name was "Hugo." There was some history of the name, then it said "this name will be perfect for a stocky toddler."

Well, yeah...but what about for the rest of their life? Truly, very few people stay stocky little toddlers all their life.

In conclusion: naming a kid something that will be cute when they're a baby with no thought to having to live with it the rest of their life? Probably not a good idea.


Faint praise for Christina from Go Fug Yourself:

" can give a girl ringlets, a comparatively modest dress, and eight pounds of comparatively tasteful face paint, but it still won't clean the crust off her tainted hooch."

Tainted hooch! Hee!

Thank you, Siobhan, for pointing this site out to me. Everyone: go read every page.

Thursday, September 23, 2004


From yesterday's paper in my hometown:

"I'm so thrilled to have so many cast members return," said...Theatre Director Jen Whoopdeedoo. "We have a lot of new talent on board as well and I'm looking forward to a teriffic show."

Whoopdeedoo returns as director and Kevin Nochinatall is music director for the production.

As long-time readers will probably guess, Jen is my good buddy of Jen 'n' James fame. What you don't know, though, is that I went to school with Kevin Nochinatall. His clothes were unfortunate, to say the least, and he had a monster, spit-spraying lisp. He jerked his hands like a very sick conductor whenever he heard classical music, and he belonged to some obscure, no-jewelry-wearing, holy-rolling, foot-washing religion.

"Ask him if he's gonna play football," someone dared me on Kevin's first day at our school. I asked him.

"No," he said, horrified, "I have brittle bonessssss."

And that pretty much set the tone for his high school career.

Speaking of theatre, this guy is funny and associated with the most kick-ass acting troupe in town. You should read.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004


Yes, we're back. Yes, the family and the Williams Estate are fine. The Estate is fine because there was no hurricane. According to my people who stayed in town, it was a little breezy Thursday morning. No rain. Our power didn't even go out.

But better safe than sorry, right? We left the house at two on Tuesday afternoon. Seven hours later we pulled over at a gas station in Mandeville. Seven hours to go about thirty miles. It's not much consolation, but everyone else who left town at the same time we did had a similar experience. The gas station was overrun, though the thought of New Orleanians as gypsies, traveling in packs of hundreds and over-running small towns with their dogs, kids, strange accents and unquenchable thirst for beer is pretty cool.

We got on a back road after that, and traffic opened up a bit. About ten-thirty we made it to Interstate 55 in Hammond, and traffic was back to normal. But it was late at night, and we had a long drive to Memphis. I did, anyway. Sonya did the seven hours of stop and go traffic across the causeway, bless her heart. Not that she slept; Sonya is a bit of a nervous rider.

I stopped at a rest stop in northern Mississippi around three on Wednesday morning. Hundreds of cars parked everywhere. It had the same gypsy vibe of the gas station we'd stopped at six hours before, but this time the caravan was asleep. A few cigarette smokers and dog walkers wandered around, all presided over by Mississippi state troopers. I napped a little while, then kept driving. We made it to my mom's house at seven, just after sunrise.

John, little scamp that he is, slept the whole night through in his car seat. His mother tried to take him to bed with her. He was having none of it. It was morning, and that means he needs to get up and eat some Cheerios. So he and I stayed up. My brother got out of bed and my mom came in, so we visited with them for a while. Finally, blessedly, John took a nap. I took him to the bedroom and the family slept the rest of the day away.

We had a nice little vacation. The highlight was probably going to the zoo Thursday afternoon. It was cloudy and breezy and warm and John rode in his stroller, swinging his feet and studying the animals.

The Memphis Zoo is awesome, but it's very different from the place Sonya and I went when we were school kids. And that's interesting, because it hasn't grown that much - it doesn't take up much more land than it did when we were kids. But almost everything we remember has been torn down and replaced with something prettier, nicer and probably better for the animals.

For the record, John was equally impressed with the pandas, the bats and the goats. My kid, he don't discriminate.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004


Driving to work this morning. The traffic was strangely light for a weekday. Listening to one of the quieter moments from the Return of the Jedi score (and no, I'm not that big of a geek - it was on the XM) and driving through a near-deserted city was really kind of creepy. There was more traffic in the CBD, but it wasn't quite normal.

I drove by a lumber place on the way to work. It's not a home improvement place or a hardware store - just lumber. There were lots of cars and trucks, all getting loaded down with plywood. Some businesses were already boarded up.

I've talked to people - older people - who've lived here all their lives and never left town for a hurricane. They are leaving town for this one. It seems like everyone is. So are we. We're leaving for Memphis tonight. Please don't loot our apartment.

Wednesday, September 08, 2004


Went to the bank at lunch today and saw the Genesis space probe thing crash into the Utah desert like a thousand sacks of crap.

"What if it brought back...I don't know..." Sonya mused.

"Don't worry," I said, "the chances of us all being turned into zombies are pretty small."

"No," she continued, "I'm not worried about zombies. It's more like..."

"Space rabies?" I guessed.

"Yeah. Space rabies."

Speaking of zombies - I was in the kitchen Monday night, doing whatever. The gate was up. John was at the gate, babbling away.

"It's like he's a zombie," I told Sonya, "and he knows the brains are over here, but he can't quite figure out how to get at them."

I squatted in front of John and looked at him through the gate.

"Braaaaaiiiiiiiinnnnns," I said in my best zombie voice, "give me your delicious braaaaaaaaiiiiiiiiins."

He thought that was pretty funny.

We went to Memphis for the holiday weekend. Very little to tell. We ate and saw lots of family and friends. On the trip to Memphis Friday night John and I were in the back seat.

"Ay bee," John said, "ay bee ay bee ay bee."

He then said it all weekend. Everyone tried to translate it. Baby? Happy? My personal guess is "A, B," like he's learned the first two letters of the alphabet song. Try any of those guesses with him, though, and what does he say?

"Ay bee."

Thursday, September 02, 2004

Bootie Roll Call

Girl's names mentioned in the Petey Pablo masterpiece Freek-A-Leek:

  • Shameka
  • Kiesha
  • Tara
  • Shawna
  • Sabrina
  • Crystal
  • Derhonda
  • Lisa
  • Falicia
  • Tonesha
  • Siobhan*
  • Monica
  • Monique
  • Christina
  • Yolonda

* Hey, who let the Irish girl in here?