Sunday, December 28, 2008

My Week

Lunch at Squeal on Oak, Phil's Grill, and Lucy's. Squeal was the best.

Dinner at Arnaud's. I had the quail. Totally worth it.

Found Brother's Three. Could become home away from home.

Shopped on Magazine - Aidan Gill is awesome, Vegas is unaffordable, Thomas Mann is perfect, Dirty Coast could use some help that was interested in helping customers. Their stuff is amazing and luckily sells itself.

Shopped at Louisiana Sports Shop (best salesman in town despite no Tulane stuff), Tyger Gifts (I went to Tulane, remember?), and Black and Gold Sports Shop (lots but expensive).

Saw Paul Sanchez (at d.b.a. and Carrollton Station), Prospect.1 (awesome), and Make it Right (even more awesome). I meet Chuck Taggart. Awesome guy and he should have been added to my blogroll long ago.

Finally got my Ycloskey High Tops from Dillyberto.

Continental Airlines gets a 0 out of 5 for delaying/canceling my flight and forcing me to drive to New Orleans with an 8 month old.

Kudos to the three grandmothers who took care of Baby George while I shopped, drank, and ate my way through another week in New Orleans.

Totally forgot (or ran out of time) to shop at Robert's for Sazerac Rye (thanks for the tip, Chuck!) and other necessities.

Got lots of books to read to George (and to my lovely wife) that explain the uniqueness of Louisiana and New Orleans.

Sure wish I had more time there.

Friday, December 19, 2008

News of the Freaks

A person in a town near here thought it would be cute to name his son Adolf.  That's always a little risky, but it's totally effed up to make his middle name Hitler.  But to make sure we didn't miss the point, he named his daughter Aryan Nation. 

I work at a school in New Jersey known for it diversity.  This is absolutely insane.  This parent should reported for child abuse twice.  I am embarrassed to live near this idiot.

Drawing a Blank

Kate and I agreed to take each other to dinner, but now that I am on the spot I can't think of somewhere to bring her.  I have a few ideas (Gautreauxs? Bayona?) but I am honestly out of ideas.  Where should we go out to eat that's special?

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Tag!

I am it. I was tagged by A at gris-grits. And though I don't always play along, I thought this time it would be fun. So here we go:
  1. Link to the person who tagged you.

  2. Post the rules on your blog.

  3. Write six random things about yourself.

  4. Tag six people at the end of your post and link to them.

  5. Let each person know they've been tagged and leave a comment on their blog.

  6. Let the tagger know when your entry is up.
6 random things about myself:

  1. I cried when I traded my 1993 Toyota 4x4 in for my Subaru Forester. My wife questioned my masculinity, but she stayed with me anyway.
  2. Every time George and I get the mail, we sing the song from Blues Clues (which I don't know how I know because he is my first child): Here comes the mail it never fails it makes me want to wag my tail! When it comes I want to wail! Mail!
  3. I have way too many shoes for a man. I have three pairs of running shoes, three pairs of brown dress shoes, two pairs of black dress shoes, 3 pairs of converse all stars, work boots, two pairs of waterproof winter boots, three pairs of tennis shoes, a pair of walking shoes, and a bunch of flipflops/sandals. My favorite pair of shoes are the ones I wore at my wedding - white and brown bluchers, but I don't get to wear them much.
  4. I hate wrapping presents. Hate it. I don't know if it's because I am bad at it that I hate it or I hate it because I am bad at it. Why can't you just give gifts to someone and say "I was thinking about you when I bought this" or "I hope you like this thing I bought for you" or "Here."
  5. I try very hard to do it, but I just can't figure out how to use my grade book. I keep pretty good records, but it never seems right. I need to take a class or something.
  6. My stomach hurts when I eat bananas and tomatoes.
So there you go. Random facts about me.

And now I have to tag 6 people. I don't know who to tag that hasn't already been tagged. But I can give it a shot later.

UPDATE: Here are my tags - Erin at Just Off Magazine, Mr. Clio at World Class New Orleans, pistolette, Professor Homan, A Little to the Left at the Head Pelican, and for shits and giggles, Offsides with Fletcher Mackel.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

One of My Ideas

One of the things that my friends and I considered was to start our own New Orleans style brass band.  We had a name and everything - N.O. Talent Brass Band (tm).  None of us knew how to play any brass instruments or even the drums, but we were going to be a gimmick band.  Sort of.  Our idea was to play brass band versions of TV show themes  - Little House on the Prairie, Wild World of Sports (you know, the agony of defeat), Newheart, Bonanza, whatever it would take.  Of course, this idea has never gotten off the ground.  But still, it would be interesting to take those 60s, 70s and 80s songs and funk them up a bit.  Maybe one day we will get it together.

A Good Week


George is celebrating his dad's good week. 

The Saints won, dismantling one of the NFL's best pass defenses, and kept their slim playoff hopes alive.  Deuce scored number 54 setting a Saints record.  I won my confidence pool for the first time in at least two years.  My wife's fantasy football team (I am general manager so it's really my team) won and is still in the playoff hunt.  My fantasy football team in the big fantasy league won putting me in first place.  Even though I lost in my other league, I still am in second place with the most points scored all season.  Unless I decide that I don't care anymore, I should make it into the playoffs. 

I don't have to work on Wednesday, my mom is coming to town tomorrow, and George and I are going to the allergist to get off the $25 a can formula since he has been determined not to have soy allergies anymore.  The only bad thing I have going is that I have to finish grades and writing end of term comments.  But when I am in this this kind of mood, everything is good.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Free Agency

Brandon Jacobs will be a free agent next year. Should the Saints go after this hoss?

Where's the report?

Did anyone go to the Po-Boy Festival?  Tell me about it.  Who has the best po-boys these days?  Where should I be going?  What should I be ordering?  I need to know so I can plan my next trip!!!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

A Thanksgiving Miracle

The whole of my mom's family would come to New Orleans for Thanksgiving. All 3 siblings It was always great to have my cousins around since we were five or 6 boys all born within a couple of years. My aunt and uncle who lived in Jackson would come down and stay with us. Their son and I were the closest of all my cousins - we both played tennis, liked strange music, and were frequently partners in crime. During the day we would head to Terrytown to my godmother's house for an insanely huge dinner where we would try to see who could get away without eating peas, green beans, or anything else green.

After dinner we headed home where our parents promptly fell in to a post turkey dinner food coma. I am somewhat hyperactive by nature, so relaxing is foreign to me. I could not wait to go out and do something, anything, to get away from my parents and the eyes of adults. Wednesday was the big night to go out. What could we do on Thanksgiving?

It turned out that U2 was playing in Baton Rouge at the PMAC. We had mentioned that as a possibility while in the car home from dinner, but we didn't have tickets and it had sold out long ago. Then there was the directive from my dad as we were heading out - "Don't even think about going to Baton Rouge." We took stock of our situation - between us we had less than 30 dollars, the car had a quarter tank of gas, and neither of us had any idea how to get around in Baton Rouge. (There were no ATMs, and I certainly never had enough money to put it into a bank. I had what I had. Heck, my dad even gave me 10 dollars and we still didn't have 30).

That clinched it. U2 it was. As soon as we left the house in my 1983 Nissan Stanza (the same one from Halloween), we agreed to head to Baton Rouge. We hopped on I-10 and headed north and west. We had pilfered a few beers from the garage to get us up there and get us feelling good.

We got off I-10 wandered around for a few minutes while the gas gauge began to dip dangerously low. Eventually we found LSU and paid $5 for a parking spot in a field. Still, we had no tickets but we didn't mind. We were going to be content to stand outside and listen the best we could. We were there, and we were happy enough. Brit and I figured it would be best if we got out of the parking lot and at least headed up the ramp.

As we started walking toward the Assembly Center, a guy a few years older than me but with an extraordinarily good looking woman asked us if we wanted to buy his tickets. He and his date were going to do something better than listen to a U2 concert. I think I would have gone to the concert first, but it wasn't me. And I bet his story is pretty interesting, too.

"How much?" Brit asked.

"$20" the lucky man said.

Brit and I looked at each other forlornly. We were so close to getting into this concert, but money was going to be an issue. Damn it.

"Each?" Brit inquired.

"No, 20 for both."

Our wallets immediately came out of our back pockets and we handed over the requested amount. Thank yous were exchanged, Brit and I were giddy. Holy shit. We were going to see U2.

We made our way into the concert. The seats were not great, but they were the first row just above one of the entrance tunnels so we had totally unobstructed views of the concert.

I don't remember if there was an opening band, but I do remember that they played the Beatles on the PA. And everyone began to sing along. When they came out, the crowd went wild. I remember running around the entire stadium during Pride (in the name of love) and making out with a girl whose name I remember but will not say here. I still love that song.

When the concert was over, Brit and I still were in disbelief. We had seen U2 live. And the crowd sang 40 as we walked down the ramp. It was surreal but awesome.

When we got to the car, we drank the last of the beer and waited for the crowd to leave. We really couldn't spare the gas waiting in traffic. I have no idea what time it was but I knew our only real issue was how to get home before curfew. We thought.

As soon as traffic died down, we started up my little car. We were very low on gas, so we stopped at a Circle K to fill up. I had grabbed a handful of change on my way out of the house, so we had that to pay for gas. It couldn't have been over three dollars. It was always embarassing to pay for gas like that, but you do what you have to do. I filled up the best I could. Then I had a terrible idea. New Orleans is downriver from Baton Rouge. I could see a levee. I would just follow the levee down river as long as I could. Surely there would be tons of gas stations and convenience stores and traffic. How hard could that be. It would be much faster than trying to find my way through Baton Rouge to I-10. What if I wandered around Baton Rouge with no money or gas?

We turned left on River Road. I think. I figured left was downriver for some reason. It probably was. We drove for at least a half hour and all that happened is that it got darker and darker. There were no lights. There wasn't much of anything. In fact, I felt at one point that the road actually ended. So we turned around and headed back from where we came.* It was one of those moments in life where you realize that the amazing thing you just experienced was about to bring the pain of reality down on you. Yes! We saw U2 live! No! We weren't supposed to be in Baton Rouge and we were running low on gas. We had no cell phones. If we had run out of gas, we would have had to make a collect call to my dad who would have to come get us. I really didn't have an excuse - I was clearly told to exactly not do exactly what I had done. This amazing night was certainly going to end horribly.

Brit and I navigated our way back through Baton Rouge and wound our way to the interstate. We headed home, fingers crossed. 90 miles later, we got off I-10 in Metairie. The little yellow gas pump on the dashboard was shining brightly. It had been for some time. But there was still enough in the tank to get my back home. It was a Thanksgiving Miracle.

We made up some story about what we had done and we agreed to stick to it no matter how much my uncle tortured us for the truth. He would come and quiz us and grab the pressure point just above the inside of the elbow until we fell in pain begging to tell the truth. We didn't cave this time.

I don't know if my parents ever knew that we did that. Sometimes my dad would let me know that he knew what we had done, but he never let on about this one. Hey, dad, I know you told me not to go to Baton Rouge that time, but we went anyway. Sorry about that. But it was really fun. You would have liked it. And, if you knew what we did, thanks for letting me think I got away with it. It made it more for me.

Hey, Brit, I found this online - it's the set list and a bootleg. I think I know what I am getting me for Christmas.

UPDATE: Brit said he found his ticket stub. And he did. Check this out! And I even found out there is controversy surrounding this concert - did they play "With or Without You"? No one seems to be able to remember, and it's not on the setlist! Whoa!



*As I got older and became slightly more familiar with Baton Rouge, I think I was on Highland Road heading south. If I had gone five more minutes we would have been on I-10 near where the Tanger Outlets are today. But we were nervous, it was late, and there was nothing for miles. Or a sign that let on we were on the right track. So we turned around. Lucky stupid kids.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Who's Fault is this?

500 Cases sitting around without police reports.  I remember when my apartment got robbed in college on Upperline St.  It took a while for the cops to come, and then I had to go downtown and wait to be told the report was not available.  The stereo system my dad bought me for high school graduation was gone, and I had nothing to show for it.  When my car was broken into and stolen at the end of January in 1993, it languished in the tow lot off Downman for 8 weeks because there was no report even though the idiots who stole it were caught in it the night they stole it.  It took a lot of phone calls and several trips out ther to reclaim my car.  Now the police are waiting 2 years to do reports.  This system is broken, and no one seems interested in fixing it.  When my truck was broken into (3 times) I didn't even waste my time reporting it.  Shouldn't the police be working WITH the DA?  Maybe the don't like me, but isn't the DA their ally?

If you let the criminals go you are accomplishing three goals:  more criminals on the street to commit more crimes, reinforcing their belief that they are above the law, and reducing the public's confidence in your ability to protect them.  That's a lose-lose-lose.  How is that a good thing?

Monday, November 17, 2008

Blech

Some kid at George's daycare had some projectile vomiting almost two weeks ago. Last Thursday, George got it.  Then my wife got it.  I was able to hold out yesterday until the Saints game was over.  I had planned on going down to the bar to watch, but I am I didn't.  It's not just the nauseousness.  It's the heavy head and exhaustion.

Tomorrow we go to the allergist to see if his allergies are real or if he can go off the $25 a can formula.  Someone told us that we could potentially get reimbursed from our insurance company for it.  It's worth looking into, I guess.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

What do you do with a Bye Week

The last two weeks have been exciting, busy, and stressful.  I sure am glad I had a bye week in the Saints season to get some things accomplished. 

Barack Obama was elected 44th President of the United States.  Though I tend to have Republican leanings, I have been pretty anti-republican since Katrina.  Since this feeling has not abated over 4 years, perhaps they won't ever go away.  And though my father-in-law is a die hard conservative, my mother-in-law (who lives much closer) is a die hard liberal and educator.  I agree with her and her partner on most everything these days.

Last weekend instead of watching football, my wife and I went looking for nice towns and neighborhoods in New Jersey.  Sure, Pennsylvania is nice, but it's an hour from work.  I miss all the plays and games and special events because it's a two-hour driving sacrifice, one there and one back.  I like the school, the parents, and the children a lot, and I want to be part of the things that go on there.  But I haven't been able to justify it time wise.  And I can't commit a baby to a school if it means he's going to be in the car 2 hours a day.  So we went looking for houses.  We found a nice town with a train to New York and big trees and a cute downtown with an Indian restaurant and a coffee shop, all within walking distance of just about every house in town.  Now we need to start getting this house together so we can start really making a commitment to this move. (In contrast to New Jersey, there are three (3!) Indian restaurants in the entire Lehigh Valley.  I can only imagine life in Missouri.)

It's getting to the end of the marking period, and I have quite a few students that I just am not connecting with yet.  I feel like the kids and I have just missed each other.  I have too much work to do, and I think that I may be forgetting to remind them of simple things that I would not normally forget.  So between trying to figure out what I am missing, forgetting, and being consumed by my new history class, I am a little loopy. 

This Friday we played the seniors in touch football.  Since we don't have a football team, the kids usually get beat pretty badly.  This year, our quarterback was a little bit off.  For the first time in the 230 year history of our school, we tied. 6-6.  I feel like I kissed my sister. 

My wife has been traveling a lot with her work, and I have been home alone with Baby George.  I love hanging out with him, but its really hard to get any school work done.  Part of it is guilt for not spending time with him, and part is that he doesn't really nap all that much.  He sleeps through the night, and he goes to bed fairly early.  However, once he hits the sack, I am way too tired to do much except drool on myself and watch tv.  (He really hated the time change last weekend.  (I did, too.)

It's all I can do to keep the house clean enough to walk around in by myself.  Right now, the shop vac is in the dining room, test papers are on the island in the kitchen, leaves are all over the yard, and halloween decorations are everywhere.  I think most of my laundry is in the dryer, and the dishwasher is running.  The floor is covered with leaves and dog hair and dirt pieces.  If I had a minute I would vacuum or something, but I have no idea when I am supposed to do that.  I don't know how single parents do it.  They must be saints.

Tomorrow, I have to go grocery shopping, plan for school, and cook some good Louisiana food before the Saints play at 1 PM.  I know I can do it, and I will have fun doing it all with George.  But I sure wish I had someone to help me out so I could take a shower sometime this weekend.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Seriously

It's not even the end of October, and it's snowing.  A lot.  And it's sticking to the ground.  What does that mean the winter will be like this year?

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Yes We Can Can

I keep expecting to hear Allen Toussaint singing his amazing song with a photo montage of Barack Obama.  But I think Marc Broussard has a version that is pretty good, too.  I like computers, but I sure don't have time to do it justice.  Anyone else been hearing this in their heads?  Well, here is a version with Lee Dorsey singing from youtube.  

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Abita Pecan Harvest

I like this beer a lot.  Except after a six pack I feel like all my teeth have little socks on them. 

Not at all related note:
I wonder how many weekends the Saints, Tulane, and LSU have all won their games.  LSU and Tulane lost.  Is this a good or bad omen or just normal?  Is there any relationship between the actual teams and my fantasy football teams (all 3 of them).  I need to start keeping better records, though I have to admit when I lose all 3 fantasy leagues I am a pretty pissed off person.  (For my poor students, if the Saints lose Monday sucks, and if I lose, Tuesday sucks for them - when did I become Harry Clark?)

Friday, October 24, 2008

Halloween Story

My apologies to anyone who lived in the Bonnabel area or anywhere north of West Esplanade in Metairie around Halloween 1987.  The story I am about to relate is true, and no attempt has been made to hide the identities of those mentioned.* 

On Halloween 1987, I was a senior in high school.  Things were going great, and I had a 1983 Nissan Stanza with a sunroof.  On the way to school that Friday, I refused to let anyone sit in the front seat of my car as it was occupied by an inflatable skeleton.  I drove around in a green-skinned mask with pink cotton hair.  I have no idea where either of these items came from.

Halloween was a Saturday that year.  I believe that we went to the Rocky Horror Picture Show at the old Sena Mall.  My memory is hazy, but I think I was with Chris and George.  Carlos was supposed to join us, but he bailed so he could hang out with his girlfriend, Tina.  That, we thought, was lame.  We didn't care for her, and he blew a chance to hang out with the guys.

So we drove around collecting pumpkins and jack-o-lanterns.  We filled the trunk of my little stanza three times.  Each time, we emptied the full trunk of pumpkins on Carlos' yard at the end of Ridgeway.  When we were finished early in the morning, his entire yard was covered in small, medium, large, and extra large sized orange globes. 

But we weren't finished.  We drove around stealing everything that wasn't nailed or tied down.  And some things that were.  Some people near Causeway had an entire family of scarecrows stuffed with brand new clothes, many with the tags still on.  We divided the clothes, the prize being the long-sleeved Stolichnaya t-shirt.  We didn't even know what Stoli was back then, but the shirt was great and was only recently retired from the LatinTeacher collection.

We stole sheets hanging from trees and every other scary Halloween thing.  We filled the trunk and half the back seat with clothes and plastic items and headless horsemen.  One of the stuffed creatures we stole had a pole which would not fit in the car.  We did not want to leave such a marvelous find on the side of the road, so we opened the sun roof and held on as we continued to pilfer things.  I can only imagine what this must have looked like though I am not sure many saw us.

At the end of the night, I guess we dumped the sheets somewhere because I have no idea now what we would have done with them.  I know we kept one to create a compartment in the trunk in which to hide beer.  The rest had holes cut out or were stained or damaged in some way.  As a student who went to a school where uniforms were required, it was great to have some clothes that weren't bought by my mom or khaki.  Sure I didn't know what Stoli was, but I had a cool shirt that the chicks would dig.  And Carlos had to pick up pumpkins all morning.  Serves him right for dissing his friends. 


*I will tell this story as though it were Halloween night, but it may
have been All Saints' Day night because I think Carlos got in a lot of
shit on a school day.
  I think I remember him coming to school later than usual because he had to clean up all the pumpkins in his yard.  However, I am getting old and my memory isn't what it used to be.  10 years ago, I could have told you the time that we stole each item.  It might make more sense as to why there were so few cars and people about, but then again, I remember it being late which would not have been so likely on a Sunday.  The point is that this was really fun, and I can't believe we didn't get in trouble for doing so much mischief.  The year before, in my pink paisley shirt, I walked home along the levee smoking cigarettes as people jogged by in the early morning sun.  My mom gave me a curfew of dawn because my dad was out of town.  I didn't make it.  But that's another story

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

By the numbers

This weekend in Columbus, OH, I ran in the Columbus 1/2 Marathon. 

Here are the numbers:
13.1 miles
2:34:02
Helped to raise over $25,000 for a family whose mom died from a rare cancer in March
11,000 others ran in the race
2 blisters the size of quarters- one on each arch
1 beaten up knee (the left)
5:00 AM wake up call
10:45 AM first beer
0 glasses of water after running

It was fun and challenging.  If my knee would cooperate, I would do it again.  I would love to run a full one before I turn 40 in a couple of years.  I think I would need to train a little more diligently than I did for this one.  You know, the Mardi Gras Marathon is coming up....  And I already know I can run 13.1 miles...I wonder is I have enough time to train.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Missing my friend

I sure wish I had Brian around.  I have so many things I want to talk to him about and share with him.  As ornery as he could be sometimes, he always listened to me and gave me good advice. 

He would be loving the Saints this year. 

Hoodoo on You you

Apparently, the New Orleans Voodoo of the AFL are dropping out of the league. No particular reason is given, but I am glad that I have a hat and some other memorabilia.

My
buddy Brian had season tickets and loved going to see the games. I
never made it to one since I was up here. I hope they come back one
day.

Where are the Voodoo Dolls going to go?

Friday, October 10, 2008

Jason David Sucks More Than You Know

As much as I think Martin Gramatica is an ass clown and douche, Jason David cost us the Viings' game.  Here's how I see it:

Kaesviharn HAD to interfere.  #42 had been burned like my wife's rice.  Kaesviharn was simply taking charge of the play. Even though he was out of position, he wasn't passed by. 

I sat here watching and saw 42 in the game.  Oh, shit, I said to myself (and maybe out loud - I was slightly inebriated at that point).  And Gus Frerotte said, "Look at that shit.  They put him in.  I know who's getting my next pass."  And lo, so it was said and so it was done.

Result:  Pass Interference at the spot of the fowl.  Ryan Longwell hits a game winner. 

It is my personal opinion that Jeffery, Clio, Berto, Cliette, me, the ghost of Hap Glaudi, or golden throated Jerry Romig could do a better job of coverage than Jason David. 

Special Note to Mr. David:  Sir, I don't know what it is that happens in practice, but you have to a) pay attention to the opponent and b) TRY to do what your coaches tell you.  They can talk all they want but you are the one that has to perform the actions.  I strongly doubt that you "kick ass" at practice but just can't figure it out during the game.  When I used to play flag football, even I knew not to let the receivers get behind me.  How is it that you, a paid professional, do not understand this?  I suggest you tear up your contract and start coaching high school football.  Just don't coach the defensive backs.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Assclownery

Seriously. WTF? Reggie's head was turned and then the jackass who pulled his face punched the ball out. And there was no flag. Ed Hochuli may have just refereed his final game in the NFL.

Changing focus

Martin Grammatica Sucks Martin Grammatica Sucks Martin Grammatica Sucks Martin Grammatica Sucks Martin Grammatica Sucks Martin Grammatica Sucks Martin Grammatica Sucks Martin Grammatica Sucks Martin Grammatica Sucks Martin Grammatica Sucks Martin Grammatica Sucks Martin Grammatica Sucks Martin Grammatica Sucks Martin Grammatica Sucks Martin Grammatica Sucks Martin Grammatica Sucks Martin Grammatica Sucks Martin Grammatica Sucks Martin Grammatica Sucks Martin Grammatica Sucks Martin Grammatica Sucks Martin Grammatica Sucks Martin Grammatica Sucks Martin Grammatica Sucks Martin Grammatica Sucks Martin Grammatica Sucks Martin Grammatica Sucks Martin Grammatica Sucks Martin Grammatica Sucks Martin Grammatica Sucks Martin Grammatica Sucks Martin Grammatica Sucks Martin Grammatica Sucks Martin Grammatica Sucks Martin Grammatica Sucks Martin Grammatica Sucks Martin Grammatica Sucks Martin Grammatica Sucks Martin Grammatica Sucks Martin Grammatica Sucks Martin Grammatica Sucks Martin Grammatica Sucks Martin Grammatica Sucks Martin Grammatica Sucks Martin Grammatica Sucks Martin Grammatica Sucks Martin Grammatica Sucks Martin Grammatica Sucks Martin Grammatica Sucks Martin Grammatica Sucks Martin Grammatica Sucks Martin Grammatica Sucks


UPDATE: He is going to cost us another game. We need to score 9 touchdowns per game.

Warning Track Power

Tony Kornheiser said something brilliant tonight about Reggie Bush (roughly paraphrased) "In college at USC, he hit homeruns all the time. In the pros he has warning track power. He starts hitting homeruns he will become a star of stars." He also said that he was one of the most exciting players in the league today. I like Tony.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Saturday, October 04, 2008

SEC vs. Big 12

There's been a lot of sports talk about which conference is stronger. And today the number 1 ranked Oklahoma Sooners opened conference play. Against Baylor. And they won. Big deal. It's Baylor. How can anyone who watches and comments on Division I football possibly think that the Big 12 is better? From top to bottom, every team in the SEC can win any given weak. Ole Miss beat Florida last week, for chrissakes. Is Baylor really going ever to compete with Oklahoma? When is Texas A&M going to return to their glory years (the 50s)? Kansas has a football team (are they better than Duke's?) I don't even think I can name all 12 schools. Even this year, Vandy is 4 and 0 and giving a much better Auburn a run for their money. SEC rules.

If you were to ask me about the top of each division, I would say that perhaps the best Big 12 team is better than the top SEC team. However, I can watch that happen shortly after New Years in the BCS Championship Game. Unless somehow it's Big 10 and SEC. I just don't see how the SEC won't be in it.

This is what people need to do to waste time on TV. There really is no debate.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Getting it off my chest

Years ago while in school at Jesuit, there was a young man. I remember his name, but I don't necessarily want to print it here. I remember him being in the accelerated classes, though I could be wrong about that. But I remember more importantly that he was absolutely tortured by some of the other students. I don't recall having a particularly close relationship with him, but I did stand up for him from time to time. I just could never understand - here is this kid, one of the brightest in his 7th grade class, that has to be excited about going to Jesuit. Maybe his parents were elated. Maybe his grandfather had gone to school there. He was obviously bright enough and talented enough. But for some reason, he was teased by others in our class. And his responses just egged them on.

On more than one occasion, my frustration brought me to the counselor, Father Hecker. I am not sure he knew how to help a teary-eyed 13 year old, and Father never found me to see how I was doing. I don't think my classmate ever knew.

So here we are, 25 years removed from 8th grade, and I can't get the thoughts of the bad things they did to him out of my head. One student pulled a chair out from under him, embarrasing him in front of our 8th grade class with Mrs. Kreller. I can still see him walking in front of school. And years later some continued to tease him as he worked at the Esplanade Mall.

I do not understand why this is affecting me so much, but I wanted to apologize to him. I am sorry that you were treated so poorly at a school I love. I wish I had done more to help you. I hope you are doing well, and that you did not take all that personally, even though it clearly had to be torturous. I hope he has found some great way to improve this world. I also hope he has done something great to really show the assholes that made his life hell that they didn't effect him one bit.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Joey's Back

But why? Don't the coaches know we need a corner back and not a quarterback? This is insane.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Almost Famous

The Onion is very funny, and I really should read it more often. My little school (with students not nearly as hoity toity or privileged as implied in this article) is mentioned in an article this week. Of course, the story is entirely fake. Thanks for "getting the brand out there"(as C Ray would say), the Onion!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

What You Are Missing

If you lived in the Lehigh Valley, you could be doing any of the following things:

  • Attending The Celtic Classic in Center City Bethlehem and seeing who can eat the most haggis.
  • Trying to figure out how many Peeps $700 billion could buy
  • Collect "Cop Cards" for the police of Greenwich, NJ
  • Attending the dedication of a sculpture for David McDonogh, the first black man to graduate from Lafayette College (which is across the street from me) and who became a doctor ( and who was a slave from Louisiana- not sure of any connection to John McDonogh though)

Next time I will have a much larger sample.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Be Nice

I don't know the name of the group, but directors of admissions are in New Orleans this week.  They may need a little help getting around and finding the good stuff to do this week.  I believe that part of their conference is doing some community service.  Thanks, directors of admissions!!!  Now show them a good time - even if they head to New Orleans without telling me.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

A Haiku

To express oneself
In seventeen syllables
Is very diffi

Hoodoo and gris-gris

I think I inadvertently contributed to the Saints loss last weekend.  I neglected to wear any Saints gear until the second half, and George's Saints outfit never left the back of the big red chair.  Also, I kept thinking I was going to get it all together and make a big ol' pot of duck and sausage gumbo.  I didn't.  And all those empty promises led to the Saints losing (that and the fact that they didn't run the ball much in the 4th quarter despite a 9 point/2 possession lead).  Also, I didn't drink.  I am not sure what I was thinking.

But this weekend I did get to it.  My house smells amazing like only gumbo can!  And now I just have to get all the stupid little chores done so I can focus on the important part of the day - watching the Saints and eating.  And maybe a couple of Abita Ambers.  Or a dozen.  The gris-gris should be off now.  Go Saints!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Mental Dislocations and Rootlessness

Tom Piazza has written a book which Kevin Allman reviews. And mental dislocation and rootlessness describe exactly how I feel about New Orleans. I will be purchasing and reading City of Refuge. I hope that no one else in this country ever has to feel like that about his or her city.

I was talking to some folks just last night, and I am beginning to come to grips with why I am sad about New Orleans. It hurts when you feel forgotten and ignored when you think people care. But in the end this will only make you stronger. I hope it will be a better place when all is said and done. The NOLA bloggers are helping tons in this regard.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Bruce Babbitt Redux

Dear Mr. Babbitt
I understand your point about New Orieans. I get it, but it's not just
logic and science and rational thought at play. Humans can be logical
and scientific and rational, but they are also emotional. That is what
seems to get lost in all of this. And New Orleans is a city in this
country of ours. I don't think I have ever heard people saying that we
should just give up and move away from any other American city. It may
not sound like it to you, but that is what a quote like this says:



The best
course is a managed retreat to defensible positions throughout the
delta country. In the course of this century, we must prepare to
evacuate low-lying lands that cannot realistically be saved. And then
we can turn to protecting those areas that will remain above sea level,
perhaps 10 to 20 percent of the delta, including communities like
Houma, Morgan City and Lafayette.

Before Congress is
asked to spend vast sums of federal money on ineffective, piecemeal
levee projects, Louisiana must prepare a land use plan for the entire
delta showing what can and cannot be saved. If the state is serious
about its future, it should begin preparing that plan right away.


New Orleans is (purposefully, I think) not mentioned.



Is New Orleans built on low ground? Yes. Is it going to continue to
subside? yes. Should people live there? Probably not. But the fact
is that they do. I used to live there. I have family that lives
there. I have friends that live there. It is not some playground or
food mecca for me. It is home. And all logic and science and reason
flies out the window at that point.



Do you tell someone who lives in tornado alley that they shouldn't
rebuild their home or that it should just be forsaken and left to the
winds and storms? Do you tell people whose houses are on the edge of
sinkholes not to move to the same neighborhood? What about mudslides? Or avalanches? Or river floods? There are many parts
of this country whose residents live in danger from natural disasters.
If we tried to move all people from natural disasters, where would we
all live?



New Orleans used to be one of America's jewels. It now seems like it
is one of America's embarrassments. I, for one, do not subscribe to
this view. Besides being a major international port, New Orleans is an
American city. Never have I heard of anyone abandoning another
American city. Sure, we may agree that Galveston is not the smartest
place to live. But it is wrong to suggest that New Orleans shouldn't
be rebuilt or that the "delta should reclaim it." Any part of it. It
is home. It is emotional. And until you can find a scientific way to
measure "what it means to miss New Orleans," I don't want to hear it.


LatinTeacher

Next time

Next time there is an evacuation and/or real storm, check this out - scientists and others want to know the actual impact of the storm, not the theoretical. You can post with you mobile phone (via Twitter) of internet access. Looks interesting to me.

Morons Are Everywhere

Especially here. I appreciate little in his argument - starting with the part in the title where he puts the question mark. Hey, Sadim Touch, you suck. Jason David sucks as a DB. George Bush sucks as a president. Dave Wannstedt sucks as a coach. You suck as a human being.

Your assumptions are beyond understanding. Are there no poor other than in New Orleans? I have been to Columbus, and I live in Pennsylvania. There are poor families all over this country. I am amazed that you seem to think they were all in New Orleans. I wonder how many of these homes were in "flood plains" in Iowa. Or Missouri. Or Pennsylvania. Or wherever you live.

In response to you blog, let me say this - Louisiana is a state that is a member of the union of states, much like whatever state you live in. We have bought in to the idea that there is one "federal" government who has the best interest of all its constituents at its heart. New Orleans is a city in one of these states. People come to New Orleans to abuse it - they drink too much, they eat too much, they use our oil and gas, but they don't want to acknowledge its importance outside of that. All we know is how to party.


But that is a foolhardy view. New Orleans is a MAJOR port. Not just in the UNITED States, but internationally. It is at the mouth of the river that drains over 2/3s of the very productive first world UNITED States. Many other countries (and states) would envy a city with as much diversity and wealth as New Orleans. It provides seafood, rice, sugar, natural gas, and petroleum products to the rest of the UNITED States. Cut off your nose to spite your face? Ever heard that one?

It is sad when a politically contrived "economic downturn" can make other Americans question whether another city lives or dies. My brother-in-law is a mortgage broker in Ohio - and he is having a tough go of it. I resent, Samid, that you think the federal neglect of New Orleans impacts his livelihood and family. Poor decisions by lenders for many years (encouraged by governmental entities like Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae) have led to this. Hurricane Katrina, and the failure of the federal defenses, did not.

So, SAMID, I am calling you out. You are a jerk. And an asshole. And you can suck it.

Even with your assinine comments, I bet there are New Orleanians who would invite you to their houses for dinner or drinks. We don't tend to hold grudges - we like everyone - even if they call for more of the same. Spend some time with someone from New Orleans, and you will understand how important it is. Theories are awesome; reality generally is something differnt.

Galveston

I have never been to Galveston. It's a city of around 60,000 from what I have heard, and this simulation puts things in perspective. If the projection is correct, it looks like parts of Galveston could be completely covered in water. Unlike New Orleans, the water should recede relatively quickly. Nonetheless, the destruction seems to be great. Hope people do smart things and look out for each other.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

What I Would Like to See

An NFL commercial featuring a Brass Band in someone's kitchen while they are cooking red beans and rice and watching a Saints game with their son and wearing black and gold face paint (vs. those mardi gras feather masks). Of course, it would be pretty cool if they were wearing gold jumpsuits, too. A second commercial could feature the black and gold bike patrol. Sans the visit for Bloody Doubles...

The one where everyone in New Orleans lives in the French Quarter doesn't do it for me. Neither does the idea that there is a "Sports Store" down there. A store front full of shirts that say "I got Bourbon Faced on Shit Street!" would, unfortunately, be more accurate.

Bruce Babbitt, a public official, writes something stupid

And he proves it here.

I do not have the time to rip him a new one. I have read this article closely. What kind of jackass proposes that there be a wall to prevent people on the land from getting to the water or the water from getting on the land? Then the entire East Coast, all of Florida, all of California, etc. would have to be walled off, to protect it.

Or we could figure out a way for industry to pay for wetlands restoration because of the way that they rape South Louisiana with man made canals and pipes and extracting materials from under our land.

Hey, Mr. Babbitt, how about a nice cup of get a freaking clue?

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Really?

I am not a naysayer. I am a realist. I know there has been a hurricane in the vicinity this week, but this can't be right. This wouldn't be accurate in a small city like Easton. The last update to the "Corruption Watch" was early August. Come on, Times-Picayune/Nola.com. If you aren't really going to research corruption, don't give me a section that pretends that you are. You just made me waste 15 minutes of my life grabbing the screen, figuring out how to convert it to jpeg on a mac, and post it. All for a section of your website that doesn't really exist or is underfunded. Thanks.

School Thoughts

School has just begun. I am already excited to be teaching history, but I also have conflicting thoughts. The textbook is rather heavy, and my students have to travel a ton this year. I have a SmartBoard (tm) and an awesome projector. Would it be too much if the students left their books at home and took guided notes from the board and projector or handouts? I don't think so.


Also, I have tons of things to do with 7th grade and 8th grade Latin. 7th grade will be creating themselves as Romans. They will have to read about Roman clothing and then create the appropriate clothing for a sort of paper doll. 8th grade will be recreating a classical statue/mosaic/relief/work of art. They will have to dress like and pose like the work of art. It's always funny.

I don't feel like I have any time to eat or get a cup of coffee or even run to the restroom this year. I am sure I will get into the groove soon...

I think my students are going to learn a lot and have a lot of fun doing it - on tap for 6th grade is candy mosaics, creating a coat of arms, and a trip to Medieval Times Restaurant.

I guess school really starts on Monday. Finally. I can't wait!

WHO DAT

Dat is all.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Receiving Difficult Answers

It seems that the arrival of Gustav has provided some individuals an opportunity to bring up the question of whether New Orleans is worth it. Many of the articles that I have been sent seem to discuss the same topics in a similar way. It seems like these are "talking points" the same way that articles and opinions were published during the midwest floods this summer.

The MinnPost
The Oregonian
Montgomery Advertiser



The authors claim there are some tough questions to answer, but for New Orleanians and Louisianians the answer seems obvious - do what it takes to protect us because we are far more important than most people realize. There are ships full of Midwestern grain and corn that need a port to get goods to market, there are oil and gas pipelines and refineries providing energy, there are farms that supply a nation with rice and sugarcane, there is the industry that supplies the country with fresh seafood, and the list could go on. Go tell them what you think.

To discuss the future of New Orleans in terms of dollars and cents just can't be done. Because underneath all of the monetary values are the people that choose to live in an area that gets threatened by hurricanes because they love it. Sure, New Orleans is a soup bowl. Who could argue with that? And the soup bowl is not protected adequately. What would it cost to make New Orleans safe? What did it cost to make airline travel "safe", if it even is? What did it cost to rebuild San Francisco? Chicago? Every flood that has taken place on every creek or stream or river that the residents who live on those creeks or streams or rivers should know is coming? Did they rebuild? Was it ok for them to rebuild knowing the danger? What makes New Orleans different? Has Montgomery, AL ever had a flood? Has any city in Oregon? Minnesota? Did people rebuild?

Sure there are tough questions, but the answers are not. New Orleans deserves world-class flood protection - improve and redesign levees and drainage, restore wetlands, and do it all correctly and honestly and with integrity.

To me the tough question is this - what is taking so long?

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Misperceptions and Apologies

Apparently, there is a lot of that going on - around the country, around New Orleans, and around this blog.

Professor Cigler has sent me some articles that she has written about Katrina and the way that humans interact with their environment. She has handled my rude comments with class, and I am sorry if I offended her. There have been other professors who truly believe that New Orleans should not be rebuilt. After a more careful examination of the article in which she was quoted, it is clear that she is simply posing a realistic question that others have asked, too. I am inclined to agree with her position - New Orleanians should not rebuild in areas unless they can be made safe. She is not advocating for the abandonment or razing of New Orleans (even if the sentence following her quote is "Yet abandoning New Orleans hardly seems an option either.")

Restoring wetlands is an important part of this which Professor Cigler advocates for. Also, smart planning and levee design are part of her approach. In fact, it's hard to find fault with much of what she says in her papers and articles. Professor Cigler understands that much of the country is in harm's way and does not even realize it, something New Orleanians know all to well.

Professor Cigler, I would like to publicly apologize for using inappropriate comments to criticize your opinion. My use of profanity was made after a cursory reading of the article, without an critical eye or ear. I am thankful that you have been in contact with me and have corrected my erroneous view. You are a much better person than I, and I appreciate your time and your contribution on this argument. It's hard to hear that your hometown and home to your family and friends should be left for dead, and clearly you are not one of those saying that. My sincerest apologies for any ill feelings.

The previous article will be removed completely.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Industrial Canal Update

Floodwaters and waves are overtopping the Industrial Canal on the New Orleans side. There are also some sea-going vessels that have broken loose. Hope the levees (or T-walls or I-walls or whatever they have done) hold everywhere.

Power Outages and Hurricane Tip

This website (from entergy) shows where power outages have occurred so far. The responses look automated, but at least you can see if you have to empty your refrigerator when you get home. Looks like Berto, Mr. Clio, Sean, and my brother are going to be doing just that. My mom looks like she is ok so far.

I am watching WDSU on my brand newly installed DirecTV channel 361. (Thanks, DirecTV!) I feel like I am home. It's a beautiful day here in PA (and will be for the next week or so), but I am waiting for the wind and rain to start any minute. I need to get away from the TV and get some work done. This obsessing isn't helping me at all.

Best tip I heard this hurricane season - put your meat in a plastic garbage bag in the freezer. When you return home, all you have to do is chuck the bag! I wish I could remember who told me that to give them credit.

Stay safe, everyone.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Unbelievable

I find it hard to believe that there weren't 53 players that were better than Jason David. How on earth did he make the team? What is coach seeing? I guess now we hope for the rest of the team to remain injury free so he can't see the field. Because Jason David sucks.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Counting Minutes

till 4 PM on Saturday. Because that is when Jason David better get cut.

Remembering

I was always obsessed with New Orleans, even when I lived there. I am not sure how I live anywhere else. Three years ago today, Katrina made landfall in Louisiana. The effects of the hurricane were bad to be sure, but the negligence of the Army Corps of Engineers caused widespread flooding and the death of hundreds. They have not yet been held accountable for this. I will still remember New Orleans as it was, and I will hope for a better future. I will love New Orleans no matter what she looks like. But I will always hate the Army Corps of Engineers for what they have not done.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Modeling

I haven't checked the historical accuracy of the forecast models, but many of these scenarios would be bad for New Orleans.

I don't know if the archdiocese closed Our Lady of Prompt Succor or if Sally Glassman did her thing this year, but divine intervention is not necessarily a bad thing.

Go away, Gustav. We no likey you.


Sunday, August 24, 2008

No Flipping Way

Doesn't General O'Dell know that Mayor Nagin just won an award for Excellence in Recovery? Those guys in Washington are stupid.

Nice Summary

Thanks, Biloxi Sun Herald. This is pretty much dead on. I always wondered why there were flood walls...

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Jason David Doesn't Allow Big Play

According the neworleanssaints.com, Jason David made a (gasp) tackle for no gain in the third quarter!

CB Jason David then came up in run support and tackled Perry for no gain and the Saints again halted the Bengals and forced a punt.
Way to go! I will watch the game later on DirectTv to carefully ascertain the level of sucking coming from #42.

And again I ask where is Shockey? It's starting to look like the Giants got rid of some damaged goods.

Joe Biden?

I like Barack Obama. He's young, he inspires, and he is charismatic. On the other hand, I find Joe Biden abrasive, obnoxious, and entrenched. I would rather see Obama choose someone as VP with his similar qualities and who can also move people to change. Joe Biden doesn't strike me as this kind of person. There's a reason that Joe Biden puts feelers out every 4 years and then doesn't get the votes necessary to become a real presidential candidate.

I sure wish John Edwards hadn't nailed Rielle Hunter.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Someone is lying

My bet is that its Warren Riley. Again, no one in the city or responsible for the city has any idea what is going on during his or her watch. How can the police who are housing criminals not have a record of their arrest? That simply doesn't make sense. And armed forces should not be allowed to arrest citizens ever. That can only lead to revolution, dissent, and ill-will (see also South America).

Better was the young man climbing a ladder and trying to harm one of the crime cameras. Luckily, no one manning the camera was able to contact officers in the time it took the young man (or two) to walk down the street with the ladder, set it up, climb it and do whatever it is he did to the camera. That's the more worrying story. If the cameras aren't monitored, what's the point?

Please be wrong

Anxiousness

I dropped George off for his first day at daycare. I didn't think it would be so hard to leave him. I feel like I don't know what to do now. I am glad Ms. Janet could tell I was nervous. "Everything's going to be ok, dad," she said. "There's no reason to be nervous." That sort of worked, but I think it will get easier with the passing of some time.

Luckily, my lovely wife hired a professional organizer to come over today to help me clean my office. I hope I can focus on what he's telling me instead of wondering what the boy is up to. I know he's going to be fine, but it's not him that I am worried about.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Finally

A use for junk mail. Combined with Google's street views and on the ground verification, this seems like it might work better than some of the other estimation systems.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Please make it happen

I understand that companies who have to come to your house to do installation work (DirecTV for the Saints games!) need some flexibility to schedule multiple calls on the same day. You gotta make money. But the first call of the day always seems to run late, messing up the rest of the day's schedule.

Once, just once, can't I be the person who gets to go first?

Prediction: George will have a complete and total meltdown when the doorbell rings.


Monday, August 18, 2008

Jason David Sucks

Jason David sucks. Jason David sucks. Jason David sucks. Jason David sucks. Jason David sucks. Jason David sucks. Jason David sucks. Jason David sucks. Jason David sucks. Jason David sucks. Jason David sucks. Jason David sucks. Jason David sucks. Jason David sucks. Jason David sucks. Jason David sucks. Jason David sucks. Jason David sucks. Jason David sucks. Jason David sucks. Jason David sucks. Jason David sucks. Jason David sucks. Jason David sucks. Jason David sucks. Jason David sucks. Jason David sucks. Jason David sucks. Jason David sucks. Jason David sucks. Jason David sucks. Jason David sucks. Jason David sucks. Jason David sucks. Jason David sucks. Jason David sucks. Jason David sucks. Jason David sucks. Jason David sucks. Jason David sucks. Jason David sucks. Jason David sucks. Jason David sucks. Jason David sucks. Jason David sucks. Jason David sucks. Jason David sucks. Jason David sucks.

UPDATE:
Jason David sucks. Jason David sucks. Jason David sucks. Jason David sucks. Jason David sucks. Jason David sucks. Jason David sucks. Jason David sucks. Jason David sucks. Jason David sucks. Jason David sucks. Jason David sucks. Jason David sucks. Jason David sucks. Jason David sucks. Jason David sucks.

UPDATE 2: Jason David knows that Jason David sucks. Gary Gibbs says, ""He certainly is someone who doesn't need to be exposed." If he's on the field, he's exposed. Apparently, it's all about technique. His technique is to let the opposing player catch the ball and score touchdowns. He knows he needs to improve in this area of play.


Idea stolen from Ashley Morris.

Curious Coinciding Events

One of Brian's favorite blogs to read was that of Leroy Sievers at npr.org. Leroy also had cancer, and he, too, passed away over the weekend. He wrote nearly daily about his fight, and if you get a chance to read some of his work, it's moving and honest and human. May he rest in peace.

I'm not the only one

John DeShazier had a nice little online chat today on nola.com. And my question got through.

Screen Capture:

This is Cool

The Sounds of New Orleans.

My wishlist -
The sound of the Superdome with the voice of Jerry Romig somewhere in there.
A streetcar passing.
The voice of anyone selling greens fees at City Park.
"How Ya Gonna Clap"
A float and a band passing on the street
St. Augustine's Marching 100
Any conversation in Bucktown
Listening to a Saints Game on the radio (with all the background noise)
A crawfish boil (burner on, conversation, etc.)

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Saints Thoughts

Negative:
Jason David is by far the worst defensive back I have seen play football in person. That includes flag football. Toi Cook has been redeemed. The best line I heard last night about his play was this - he's so bad that he couldn't cover a queen size bed with a king size sheet.

There is no way he should make the team in any capacity. He needs to go play in the CFL or one of the arena leagues. I don't think he's good enough for NFL Europe even.

Sometimes when coaches make a mistake, they have a hard time admitting it (Haslett and Brooks, anyone?). Yes, Jason David made one good play last year against his old team in the first game of the season. That was enough to get him a spot for the season. Last night, the Houston Texans threw the majority of their passes to the left side of the field because that was where #42 was. I would do it, too. On at least one occasion, he missed a tackle, too.

Personally, I think Jason David sucks. I hope that Coach thinks the same thing. My voice wouldn't make it through the first regular season game.

UPDATE: BayouBuzz quote I agree with:
If the Saints best cornerback, Mike McKenzie, was healthy, David wouldn't still be on the roster. Until McKenzie returns, the Saints are allowing him to play himself off the team.
Come on back, Mike!

Positive:
Colston can catch anything. Reggie was pretty exciting. Deuce is the man always and forever. It's good to have him back.

I met Chef Who Dat last night, the Mayor, and Hana Morris.

So we lost a meaningless pres-season game. It was a good warm-up.

Lessons Learned:

Riding to the Superdome with the Black and Gold Patrol is awesome (they even gave me a pair of Shrimp Boots!!!). People up and down St. Charles an all around the Dome were excited. However, drinking a bottle of Old New Orleans Rum before the game makes the ride home a bit of an adventure.

Cliette can ride with the best of them.

Losing a pedal is not the end of the world. Neither is getting a flat. Brian would have had some fun with that situation.


It was sad to walk by Brian's old perch and not see him there.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Brian's Writing

Brian was a great storyteller. He could spin a yarn like no one I know, carefully pulling out the details to reveal the story at a slow and intriguing pace. The punch line was always worth the wait.

Years ago, he and some of his friends had a website with some of their stories. In a bizarre metaphor, it no longer exists in its original state but it is still around if you know where to look.

Last night at dinner, Dillyberto and I were discussing the old Brian stories. He went home and used the internet archive to locate some of Brian's old stories. He used the awesome pseudonym Frank Rizzo. There are stories of life on an oil rig, imagined conversations, rants, random thoughts, etc. I remember reading these stories years ago and waiting with baited breath for the next one to come along. There are too few here, but they are worth reading from time to time.

Monday, August 11, 2008

It's Over

Brian Bordelon passed away this morning. Besides being a respected computer instructor, a golfer, an award winning English and science teacher, a paramedic, a writer, a JazzFest enthusiast, a blogger, a Saints fan, a fantasy football commissioner, and many other things, he was also my best friend. That's the part that I will miss the most.

My thoughts and prayers go out to his amazing wife, his family, his friends, and his grandfather in their time of loss.

The End

Brian's health has taken a serious turn. It is doubtful that he will recover, and things are grim. I have story upon story I could tell about my friend, but most of them are only appropriate for me and Brian. While I am sad and hope for the best, I know it is only a matter of time before I get the call and make the trek down to South Louisiana for the funeral of a man who died too young. I am thankful that I had the chance to know Brian, and I am glad that baby George and Brian had an opportunity to meet each other.




Thursday, July 31, 2008

Let's Ask C Ray

What's the actual number of houses on the "list"?

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Yankees BS

Seriously, if this doesn't prove that the Yankees view the rest of MLB as their Minor League Farm Team, I don't know what does. I remember hearing people say in the late 90s that the Yankees had "homegrown" talent. Besides Jeter? Really? Who?

Jerks.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Is this really bad?

Bennigan's corporate has filed for bankruptcy. All corporate stores are closing. I feel for the people who lost their jobs without much notice, but isn't the world a little better without Bennigan's in it? Next on my list - TGI Friday's, Applebee's, and Olive Garden.

Do Watcha Wanna

This would fire me up. GO SOUTHERN!




9 Days

until I get to see the NEW ORLEANS SAINTS on ESPN. I think that with the small improvements that were made on defense (Vilma) the Saints will improve this season. I don't think Tampa Bay has made significant improvements, and I believe the distraction of the Brett Favre bull crap will help. I don't know what Carolina has done to get better, but I do know that Jake Delhomme has not been the same QB as the year they went to the SuperBowl. Atlanta is in shambles (Can you say schadenfreude?).

The Saints have the inside track on the NFC South this year, and we don't have to start the season against the SuperBowl champs. Instead we get to meet our new nemesis, Tampa Bay. This game, like last year's opener, will set the tone for the season. It's home this time, and it's a must win.

I don't think Deuce will be back at 100%. I also don't think Bush can carry the load, even with his new "commitment to football." But the team will be better this year, somehow. I just know it.

Go SAINTS!

Notice that I didn't even mention Shockey?

UPDATE: There is a reason I teach Latin and not math. It's 9 days, one astute and anonymous reader pointed out. Nevertheless, the DirecTV guy is here. No more Mother's Bar for me. George and I will be spending our Sundays drinking beer at home.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Make your plans now

To be in Bowers, PA for the 13th Annual Chile Pepper Food Festival. I am running out of last year's supply of salsa and hot sauce. My favorite right now is from Jeff's Chile Spot in Downingtown, PA. Fat Sam's Sassy Chipotle Salsa - a little smoky, a little hot, and a ton of flavor.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

This is what they see

And it's hard to argue with them.

Is there a way to impeach Nagin? Can Robert Cerasoli change the culture of corruption? Will things get better once the thieving Jeffersons get convicted? Or will others step up in their place to steal from the poor and needy? Will the Corps of Engineers stop lying and live up to its mission?

When is enough going to be enough? People in other parts of this country would not stand for such bullshit. Why do we?

To kill the many-headed hydra, you have to start somewhere. Though the evil may grow back, you have to at least start pruning.

Awesome Photo

At least to me. It's Troy from the Cosmic Cup Coffee in Easton. George and I need to make a few more trips there before summer is out. With Kate out of town next week, we should be able to make up a little bit. Interesting article, too. I, personally, like FaceBook but it's a huge time suck.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Louisiana Sports Shop

An old student of mine's dad has opened this place - been there about a year.

I hear there's not a lot of Tulane stuff, but you should still go there for your Saints, Hornets, and LSU stuff. I even heard he's open on Sundays...unlike some other places on Veterans.

Shockey

I don't think this will turn out good. He's not a team player, not the kind of guy Coach Payton seems to have on this team. But he is good.

I still don't understand why we aren't chasing after defensive backs.

Do it then

But where is Mr. Bush?

Friday, July 18, 2008

I miss them

The New Orleans Brass. Who couldn't love "Chuck A Puck"?

No Way

Now let's see if the police and DA can make the charges stick. HA! I laugh because of the number of times I have been burned in the past by incompetence and sloppy work. But I am hopeful.

Joe Cool Lives


When I was a kid, my dad had Tulane football season tickets. Joe Cool was on all kinds of Tulane t-shirts and I loved it. Now, he's back. Except he lives in Easton. And his name is George. Watch out, LSU!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Struggling

And this is why. I went to New Orleans this last weekend to see my best friend, Brian. He is sick. It was good to see him, and I am glad that he got to meet baby George.

A few months ago, I wasn't so sure that he was going to make it this long. But he has. And he is as stubborn a cajun boy as you will find. I don't know if he can beat this monster, but I know that the monster has cowered, flinched, and gotten its fair share of abuse. If cancer had a tangible, sentient component, it would be crying. Chuck Norris wishes he was as tough as Brian. Brian's just that kind of guy.

But the cancer is stubborn, too, and it's getting stronger as Brian gets weaker and his weapons to fight are running out. I have no doubt that he will fight as long as he can. I hope he kicks the cancer's ass. If anyone can do it, he can.

Fight on, brother, fight on.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Two Things

1) Jack came back from the kennel with a hoarse bark. I always wondered if a dog could make himself hoarse from barking. Now I know the answer.

2) Figuring out how to teach history is not as easy as I thought. Right now I have way more ideas than I do plans (which is to say I have some plans but, boy, do I need more). Latin is much easier to plan for.* I guess I have some more looking to do.



*I wish there was a group of history teachers somewhere that exchanged best practices/lesson plans/ideas like they have for all my Latin text books. Yahoo hosts these groups for Latin and they always post materials and chat about how to teach difficult concepts. It's a great support group and it's text based. How much better can you get than that?

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Potential Shenanigans?

According to the Worcester Telegram and Gazette, the Dominion Tower and the New Orleans Centre (with parking garage) are going to be taken by the state to use for offices. Some offices would be for the city if I am reading this article correctly.
Nagin didn't respond because he's in Panama.

I wonder if this is akin to TV stations advertising their own TV shows. That money has to come from somewhere. In this situation, is the state going to charge the city rent? Will it be fair value? Should the city own the building and charge the state rent? Someone needs to keep an eye on this because there is a great deal of potential scandal lying here.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Running

I was here but missed the running of the bulls. I just couldn't get up after a late late night of drinking. Years ago, I would have sucked it up and done it. I must be getting old. I think I will regret this decision for at least a year. What a perfect combination of insanity, running, drinking, and a city.

The reunion was fun, but certainly the day would have been better had I gotten hit with a wiffle ball bat by girls on roller skates as I ran through the French Quarter with beer and the Rolling Elvi.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Semi-Sorta Famousish

My blog gets mentioned at the Times-Picayune blog. Is that like a journalist interviewing another journalist? I hate when that happens.

Now if they would just proclaim Kermit the Frog the best JazzFest totem, replete with pictures and an interview, you could dip me in shit and put me on the mantle.*


*When George (who is doing great!) was in the NICU for that horrible week, the head doctor said something similar to us at one point. This was one of the only things that he said that made me laugh. Most everything else caused my mouth to drop open from shock.

Monday, July 07, 2008

The K-Word

According to this blog, there is a play called Katrina: The K Word. It started in New Jersey. Anybody want to host it in his/her neck of the woods?

Princess Sobsalot and Jungle Jim

I have a couple of ideas for children's books. I don't know where I come up with this stuff, but as I was feeding George this morning lightbulbs were popping all over the place.

The first book I had an idea for was about a princess who constantly cried. Her name is Princess Sobsalot. She is loosely based on a girl I know. The idea would be to have her go on adventure - to the park, to the mall, meet a boy, go to a ball, etc. - and learn a lesson about being nice to other people. These lessons would teach her that sobbing and being pushy didn't make her happy, but that interacting kindly and gently with others did. I have written, I think, the first installment already.

The second idea is definitely less well thought out. It is just an idea because it sounds funny to me. This would be a series of short books using the character Jungle Jim to introduce children to outside activities and animals. OK, so maybe I just want to have one book called "George and Jungle Jim." Like I said, this is not well thought out just yet.

I think these ideas need some work, but I also think they have some potential. And if a miracle happens and I get these ideas published, I may get that $1000 the real Princess Sobsalot owes me.

Links of the Day

A lot of what I post is probably old news to anyone who actually reads this blog. Here are my links of the day:

Finding cracks in the immunity wall

Forgotten victims (probably won't work properly...)

A new Saintsation! (I am singing INXS now)


Sunday, July 06, 2008

Fixing the Pumps (or Not)

Though his blog has not been actively updated since July 3, 2007, Matt McBride has been doing tons of work at thinknola.com. His intense scrutiny, knowledge and tenacity is admirable. The newspaper and journalists everywhere could learn something from him. I only wish he was finding out good stuff and not more bull crap from the Army Corps of Engineers.

Keep up the good work, Matt.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Happy Independence Day

Though it was a bit of a sham, it is still amazing that the great thinkers of the late 1700s were able to make a compelling argument for our little country to be a separate entity. And then move the masses to back up their plan, and through a little grittiness and luck, pull it off. Today we celebrate that movement and this little experiment we call the United States of America. For my part, I am going to see a buddy in New Jersey, swim in his pool, drink a few too many beers, and eat high fat content foods. I have the freedom to make those choices.

Also, I deserve it because I ran 4 miles this morning. Happy and Safe 4th of July!

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Reality Sucks

My friend Brian has been fighting a monster of a beast - cancer - for three years. I remember that he felt ill during my wedding* (very unlike him), and he sought medical help (very, very unlike him). In the course of their investigation, they found out he had Stage 4 colon cancer. In the meantime, Hurricane Katrina came and forced him and his wife to move to Baton Rouge. As he likes to say, there is no cure, only treatment. And he has been constantly treating and monitoring the spread of the beast. He has seen several doctors, trying to find one that shares his stubbornness and hope. He has been to Arizona to enroll in an experimental (of sorts) treatment regimen. New medicines are always just around the corner, but after three arduous years the reality is grim.

The cancer has spread and increased its invasion of his body throughout the last few months, taking over his lungs and significantly hindering his ability to breathe. JazzFest, Brian's favorite New Orleans event, was almost a chore because he had a great deal of difficulty catching his breath, and with all the dust he had several coughing bouts that lasted hours. It was sad to see your best friend struggle to enjoy something he loves.

He has fought valiantly for a long time, and I hope he has the strength left to continue his fight. I sit here in Pennsylvania wishing there was something I could say or do. All my words feel trite and meaningless. It's hard to know what to say, so I try to keep myself upbeat. But the truth is that I feel helpless. In the next week or two, our new family is coming down to meet Uncle Brian, hoping that we get to spend more time together in the future.

Fight on, brother. We are rooting for you.


*Brian was my best man, and he and his wife paid for and hired a brass band which turned out to be the highlight of the entire weekend. Who does that?

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

The Good News

Frommer's and Zagat's are releasing books on New Orleans again. One of our great friends works for the company that produces one of these books, and we were able to acquire a few for our family and friends from out of town for our wedding in June of 2005. I see our copy on our bookshelf and still get choked up.

Seriously

When was the last time the Smurfs were on TV (aside from Robot Chicken)? And they are going to make a movie? Why? Who's clamoring for this? (FWIW, for some reason I actually spent money and time to see the Jetsons movie at the Esplanade whenever that came out. That may have been the turning point in my movie watching life.)

From an email from TiVo:

SOMETHING BORROWED, SOMETHING BLUE… Have you heard? Hollywood is bringing the adventures of "The Smurfs" to life in a feature film that will introduce the lil' blue cartoon creatures to a new generation of fans! It will be a hybrid live-action and animated film. Hmmm… who will be Gargamel?

Who gives a crap? Nevertheless, I bet it's better than Beowulf. That was just awful.

The Audition

One of the best skits ever, from Mr. Show with Bob and David.



Seriously, can I use it?

Friday, June 27, 2008

Channeling Dr. Morris

Mr. Coulter of Flat Rock had this to say about New Orleans and Iowa:

To The Editor: Has anyone thought about this?

We’ve got a situation in Iowa comparable to New Orleans and the results of Katrina.

But ... why haven’t we heard about the zero looting in Iowa?

Where are all the Hollywood celebrities holding telethons asking for help?

Why isn’t the federal government relocating people to free hotels in Chicago or Omaha, and supplying trailers?

Why haven’t we heard from Sean Penn, Al Sharpton, or the Dixie Chicks? Where are the beer looters? The TV looters ?

When will we hear Iowa Gov. Culver declare he wants to rebuild a “vanilla” Iowa, as oppossed to a “chocolate” New Orleans?

And finally, how come in two weeks you’ll never hear about the Iowa flooding again?

Hmmm.

Jim Coulter

Flat Rock


I wrote this to the editor. Ashley would have done much better.
Dear Blue Ridge Now,

Jim Coulter claims parrots the comments of Rush Limbaugh when he claims that there was no looting in Iowa. Being from New Orleans, however, I am not happy about what has happened in Iowa. It is sad, it is tragic, and it was inevitable. I do not wish these sorts of things to happen to anyone. About the only thing the two incidents have in common is that they were the result of natural disasters, they involved water, and the Army Corps of Engineers massively failed the American people.

Many property owners in Illinois and Iowa and Louisiana unwisely trusted that the ACoE would protect them and did not continue to purchase flood insurance. The flood waters inundated homes and land 400 feet above sea level anyway. Many of these property owners can count on getting exactly nothing from their insurance companies.

I cannot defend the actions of those New Orleanians who looted; it was horrible to watch and made me ashamed of my hometown. However, there were many more decent and forthright citizens who were stranded at their homes, trapped in their attics by rushing, rising waters and who lost their lives. They were rich and poor, white and black, old and young. And they were Americans..

The governor of Iowa asked the federal government to pay 90% of the costs that the state of Iowa has accrued during this time. When the governor of Louisiana asked for the same thing, she was denied repeatedly. No matter what you think about Louisiana and New Orleans,it is still part of America.

43% of Americans live in land protected by levees. It is this that should concern Americans. Comparing the scope of natural disasters is fruitless; the cost is beside the point. What has happened in both Iowa and Louisiana could happen to you. It doesn't have to be a massive disaster, but at the end of the day it happened to fellow Americans, no matter the color of their skin.

Fool me once, shame on me. Fool me twice, shame on you. Unfortunately, this is going to happen again. To believe it is the fault of "someone else" or that Iowa is different than New Orleans simply misses the point. The infrastructure in this country is falling apart, and Americans are the ones in harm's way.

Sincerely,

LatinTeacher

UPDATE: Apparently the letter from Mr. Coulter is some kind of email that is making the rounds. And morons are posting it to their blogs or sending it in to newspapers. I am not going to let it pass, though.
UPDATE2: I was asked to cut my letter down and resubmit it for publication. I have shortened this and may or may not post the new outrage. And it's probably still too long. It's hard to defend yourself from idiots.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The Power of Idealism (What's right with America)

Over 1300 Students are coming to NOLA to rebuild over the 4th of July weekend.

Thank you all.

Does this count as Americans helping Americans?

UPDATE: New Orleanians are going to help Midwesterners. Weird, that people help other people. I guess not everyone in New Orleans is a looter, rapist, or murderer like some a-holes think. (I am looking at you, big dog and lagniappe's owner (who doesn't have a job, apparently. I wonder if the government is helping him in some way.)

Pretty Much As Designed

The federally built levees that have failed (7) performed "pretty much as designed."

Governors of states effected by the recent flooding have asked for the federal government to cover 90 percent of costs related to this failure due to stress on local and state governments.

How does this compare to what happened in New Orleans and Louisiana?

Monday, June 23, 2008

Yellow Tail

Start drinking it. And thanks, America.

-------
*A website for PR releases seems too easy...

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Let's just see

According to this article, FEMA has signed a contract to help restore playgrounds that were trailer parks that were once playgrounds. NORD needs to stick it to them and make this happen.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Dennis Hastert

Where are you now, sir? What have you to say about the disaster that has befallen your state and the people whose property was damaged/destroyed by flooding?

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Pride

Local pride is something that nearly everyone I know takes part in. It's important that the people who live in an area value that area. When I visit Columbus, OH, to see my father-in-law, we almost always go on a "Chamber of Commerce" tour. He takes great pains to tell me all the great things that Columbus has going for it and show me the important buildings and businesses in town. I may not like Columbus like he does, but it has its place.

My mother-in-law lives out in the country, and she is happy to live there and talk about all the things that make it fun and unique.

When I used to go to Boston every other weekend to visit my wife-to-be, I wanted to see what it was that made Boston special. And when I moved here to Easton, I tried to find out what made this place tick.

And when people come to New Orleans with me now, I try to show them the things that make it a great place to me. The food, the music, the cheap drinks, the streetcar, my old apartment on Prytania. Even people who live in Metairie don't always appreciate or understand New Orleans. Or maybe they just have pride in Metairie, which is what this post is all about.

Knowing where you live, and loving it, is important to people innately. I have to believe that because so few people actually leave the place where they are from. And in these 50 United States, with so many different origins and settlers and advantages, it's hard not to find something about your individual community that makes it great. Unfortunately, not everyone is going to find the same things interesting, relevant, or important.

New Orleans, for example, is noted for its excesses and being a sort of adult Disneyland. That's how we've marketed it to the world. While this may be an untrue statement, perception can be very powerful. Some of the unintended consequences of such a perception is that people miss the real importance or value of a place. There are a lot of different places in the world and none of their mottoes is "We're glad to be second."*

What's the point of all this?

I guess the point is that New Orleanians feel misunderstood - their city was ravaged by nature and abandoned by local, state, and federal governments, and basically forgotten, ignored, or not cared for by the rest of the country. That hurts. Because, as a New Orleanian, the place I lived and worked and played for 30 years is important to me. And it has customs and traditions that other people can't quite grasp or understand, but they matter to us. That's what makes us New Orleans.

And here we are watching the flooding in Iowa and trying to compare their suffering to ours. While I have never been to Iowa, I know that it is important to the rest of the country. They are the breadbasket where wheat and corn that feed the world are grown. They have history and customs and traditions that I won't understand.

And there is suffering in our country tonight. We should not try and compare the suffering, but we should try and make right what others have done wrong, and we should learn from each others' mistakes. It is this opportunity and lesson that we are missing. I don't want to continue to argue, disagree, and get angry at people who don't get it. That is THE point. We should be proud to be from the same great country where people can simply agree to disagree.

*David Sedaris wrote something to this effect in his book Me Talk Pretty One Day.