Wednesday, August 31, 2005


Where to fucking start?

We went to the Saints game Friday night, right? And thing were already looking ominous by the time we got home. Saturday we cleaned, and packed, and I had my fantasy football draft. Things got nervouser and nervouser as the day went on. I was in bed by midnight, and we were up at four Sunday morning. The traffic wasn't bad, and we were in Memphis by noon.

Since then we've been watching Fox News obsessively, waiting for a glimpse of familiar places. John has spent lots of time with my family and he's loving it. We went out drinking with Siobhan and Cordelia and some of their friends who fled to Memphis. It made things a bit better.

Sonya's parents are out of town on vacation. We've just moved in and made ourselves at home. It's a pleasant suburban life except for the third world pictures on the TV and the constant, nagging thought that almost all our worldly possessions are adrift in ten feet of poo-water.

The news is pretty good coming out of the neighborhood, though. All we have is forum posts from and an occasional passing mention to go on, but everything we've heard about our neighborhood suggests that there's no looting, the damage from the storm isn't bad, and there's no flooding. Still, we may not get to go back for months. Things are kind of up in the air right now.

But we're safe. And much better off than lots of people.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Williams Family Safe

We are in West Memphis, everything is fine. Please don't loot our house.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Did I mention...

...that the Wife is fucking hot?

The Wife: fucking hot.

I, my friends, am a lucky man.


I won some tickets to tonight's Saints game. Club seats, bitch!

See, they can't run the screen, they can't defend the screen.

"See? If I got one problem with the Haslett era, it's that they can't run the screen and they can't defend the screen."

If that was roughing the passer I've got a diaper full of crap.

"If that was roughing the passer I've got a diaper full of crap."

How you doin'? Are these your season ticket seats?

[To the blonde sitting in front of us] "Hey babe. How you doin'? Yeah, I got season tickets. Can I buy you a beer?"

Thursday, August 25, 2005

If I had seen some gypsies on Carrollton, I would have sold him.

It started when we tried to put John in his high chair to watch Sesame Street this morning. He was having none of it, going boneless in the shoulders and arching his body up so I couldn't strap him in.

"Maybe he wants to sit on the floor," Sonya said reasonably. What the hell, right? He sat on the floor and ate his Cheerios. Fine.

Then, after Sonya had left, I was giving him his cough medicine. To take this medicine, John has to have a mask over his mouth and nose for ten or fifteen minutes. Normally he watches Elmo and ignores the medicine completely. Halfway through, though, he started struggling to get to his tricycle and pushing the mask away.

"Down," he told me, "bike!"

"Nope, you gotta take your medicine."

This ended with my right arm clamped around his waist, holding his arms down, while I held the mask to his face with my left hand. And screaming. Lots of screaming.

Then I had to sit on him to brush his teeth.

Then, on the way out the door, he spotted a balloon I got him the other day, floating innocently against the wall.

"B'loon! B'loon!"

"No. No balloon. It's time to go."

More screaming as I carried him like a potato sack out the door.

Outside I sat him down so I could lock the door. He was fine. Then...

"Come on, let's go get in the car."

He sat on the concrete. "No." More screaming, more carrying.

And he struggled against me as I tried to buckle him into his car seat. By this point I'm pouring sweat and I'm sure I looked deranged, muttering obscenities and pushing with both hands, trying to get the little s-head into a position where I could buckle the straps around him

Finally I secured him and handed him some more Cheerios.

He babbled happily.

"Whatever, kid."


I saw an ad for this place a couple of months ago when I was at my friend Mark's house. We did online research. I was intrigued. I e-mailed them to see if they could slot me into a low-pressure, just-for-fun team.

And they did! The first game was last week, but I totally missed it. The girl who works there called me at six in the afternoon to tell me my first game was at nine that night. Can't make it!

But in the week since I got some shin guards and soccer socks to cover the shin guards and apparently that's all you need. I got there early last night, paid my fee, and went in to watch the game before mine.

The field is small - a little bigger than a basketball court, maybe - and the game is fast. No real defenders or forwards - everyone follows the ball up and down the field. The goalkeeper coming out of the box to take the ball downfield is not unusual.

I played defense and stayed near the goal when I played. Twenty years ago. I feared I might be run into the ground.

I got together with my team seconds before the game started. It was me, the black guy, the Vietnamese guy, and the two Latino guys. We looked like a Benetton ad.

And they're all good, able to do those tricky start-stop dribbles that I was always hopeless at. And thin, and in their early twenties.

I spent a lot of time on the bench - I probably played twenty minutes of a fifty minute game. I must get in better shape and lose twenty pounds before next week.

Not that it went badly! I made some good defensive plays, clearing the ball in dangerous situations, and I don't think any goals got scored because I screwed up. The game ended in a 12-12 tie, which I was more than happy with. My team pretty much liked me, and they told me I could come back next week.

The team we played against, though, was a bunch of guys about my age. And there were thousands of them! They were constantly substituting players. When you consider our entire bench consisted of me versus their platoon of fresh, unwinded guys you can see we didn't do so badly. And by "we" I basically mean "the other guys." Must contribute more next week.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

The Hideous Sea Hag

Almost every morning on my way to work I see this old lady walking down Magazine and god-DAMN is she ugly.

[I just made myself laugh when I wrote that. The truth feels good!]

She's just a big freaking mess - horrible clothes, piggy, wrinkly face, flying dog-ass-red hair. And she's like, seven feet tall and four-hundred pounds, so you can't possibly miss her.

"It's the sea hag!" I yell in my car every morning that I see her.

"Oh, I'm kidding," I then say out loud to no one, "she doesn't really live in the sea."

And then I giggle my ass off.


I can see both sides of things when it comes to the woman sitting in George Bush's driveway down in Texas.

On the one hand, her son was a soldier. He was a grown man who signed up to do a job that can be deadly - and that fact has been driven home to anyone who's signed up in the past few years. It's not like the president kidnapped a toddler and dropped said toddler into an industrial food processor. Nobody made the dead guy take the job. No doubt if his ghost could appear and talk to his mom he'd be all, "gee mom...I understand and all, but quit it. I knew what could happen. You're embarassing me."

But I absolutely see where she's coming from, too. This is her baby we're talking about. He was probably laid on her chest, messy and squalling, seconds after he was born. She changed his diapers, heard his first words, helped him to walk and stood watching over him while he slept, thinking that there was the best little boy that ever had been and ever would be and her heart felt like it was bursting with love and pride and the possessiveness that parents know.

And now he's dead, and she can't get all up in the face of whatever miscellaneous Akbar shot her son. So she goes after the guy who gave the order. Will it change anything or make things better? Not at all, but I still see where she's coming from.


Sunday Sonya and John and I made our first attempt to go to the movies as a family. It didn't go badly but it wasn't what you would call a success, either.

The movie? A noon showing of March of the Penguins.

"Peng! Peng peng!" John would say when he saw the commercials for the movie on television at home. So that means he was interested, right?

In the lobby at the Elmwood Palace Sonya went to get popcorn while I chased the boy around as he gaped and pointed. The giant clock over the concession stand really impressed him.

"Tick tock! Tick tock!" he yelled.

I let him run around a bit more and then we corralled him into the theatre in time for the trailers.

And the trailers went well! Most of them were for upcoming computer animation movies, and John was very intent on them. One of them showed the Twentieth Century Fox logo before the trailer.

"Bobby!" John yelled. That's Bobby as in Bobby Hill, from King of the Hill.

"Harry," he said during the new trailer for the new Harry Potter movie.

Don't say my kid doesn't know his pop culture. He's a genius.

But the movie itself, sadly, just didn't hold his interest. True, he'd look at the screen and say "peng peng" (which seemed to annoy the hell out of the old lady in front of us; if we'd stayed any longer I could tell she was going to get ugly) but he was far more worried about getting some more milk. He'd sucked it all down during the first five minutes of the movie after eating half a bag of popcorn.

"Milk! Milk!" he demanded over the dulcet tones of Morgan Freeman's narration, "ding dang milk! Down! Down!" All the while struggling to get out of my lap and beat the old lady on the top of her head.

So I took him out and let him run up and down the halls. Sonya joined us shortly, and then we went shopping. It was still fun, but I don't know what the hell happened to those penguins.

Saturday, August 20, 2005


So for years I've wanted a lion tattoo - but not a cheesey lion tattoo. And they are out there. I wanted something lion, but also cool.

And I finally found this. Not only is it a nice lion for my Leo self, but it's also a nod to the ancestors - at least it is according to the postcard I got in London upon which the rampant lion appeared prominently with the Williams name. Good enough!

And now...the tattooing.

Sage and Harold, pre-tattoo.

Sage and I before the tattoo. If you're getting a tattoo in the New Orleans area, she's the best. And close to the Quarter for all you tourists!

The stencil, with equipment in the background.

The stencil. Notice the terrifying needle in the background.


The deed itself. I took some Advil beforehand, and Sage said the upper arm isn't usually very painful for guys. It wasn't bad at all, really. I'll get more work done on my upper arms.

The finished product.

I'm very happy with the way this turned out. I've thought about this tattoo for years, and I'm totally happy with the finished product.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Utterly Lost

The street sign over St. Charles where St. Charles crosses Poydras usually says "St. Charles Ave." And it's blue.

This morning, though, it was green. With a picture of the Statue of Liberty on it. And it said "E. 51st St."

Midtown Manhattan, Central Business District - same damn thing.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005


...after running into New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin:

1. Dude is tall! Serious, basketball-playing tall!

2. And he's thin - much thinner than he appears on TV. Not skinny, though; just slim.

3. The bald head looks good! He made me want to shave my head, too.

Conclusion: That's a good-looking mayor! He totally fits the part. If I were making a movie about a mayor, I would cast Ray Nagin.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005


Odor in N.O. drinking water being caused by algae

"The musty odor some New Orleans residents have been tasting in their drinking water is being caused by an algae problem in the Mississippi River, the Sewerage and Water Board said Tuesday.

"Board officials said the water is safe to drink and contains no algae but they said the unusual taste will not go away until river conditions improve."

You ever open a bag of potting soil and smell that rich, dirt smell? That's what the water tastes like. Even running it through a filter at home doesn't help.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Chuckles the Bloodthirsty Killer

From Poppy Brite, who has had one of her novels optioned by some horror movie producer:

"I'd be more protective if it had to do with my current work, but as far as I'm concerned, they can turn all the Exquisite Corpse characters into clowns on bicycles if they want to."

I love it. This would be the greatest movie of all time.

I turned to Jay after I finished putting on my make-up. "You ready to go do some killing?"

Jay jumped on his bike and affixed his red nose. "Murder," he said quietly.

Monday, August 01, 2005

John Sings The Classics

So one day last week I'm walking the dog and pushing John in his stroller and it started to rain on us.

"Rain!" John said, "raining!"

And then he sang. "Rain, Rain, go a-" Pause. "Way."

And yesterday I'm pushing him along, walking the dog.

"Winkle, winkle," he began, "how I wonda...uppa buvva...di-ment...winkle, winkle..."

So I bent down and sang Twinkle Twinkle Little Star to him and he grinned and nodded like "yeah, that's the tune! You know all the words!"