Thursday, January 31, 2008


I read this today. I wonder what this means for Dunkin Donuts. Probably not much.

Hat tip to Varg at the chicory.

FWIW, when I moved to Easton four years ago, the nearest Starbucks was 40 miles away. Now there are at least 5 independent stores and one in a bookstore within ten or so miles of my house.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Who's a Cowboys fan?

This is so very wrong. But it sure vindicates my hatred of Cowboys fans.

Warning: Profanity ahead.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Making Travel Plans - 10-26

We've hired a contractor, and the kitchen remodel gets started tomorrow. Talk about adding stress to a pregnancy. However, the wife and I have done a nice job staying together on our purchases, agreeing on the appliances and most of the rest of the design plans.

But today, while we were packing the contents of our cupboards I heard on ESPN Radio that the Saints are playing the Chargers in London on October 26. The wife has been dying to go to England, so I asked if she wanted to go for this historic event. She said yes! And it's a Saints home game!!! The baby will not be joining us, however. He has to see his first Saints' game in the SuperDome.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Justify this

Let's say your state borders on the Gulf of Mexico. Let's say a large portion of your state was obliterated by a hurricane a few years ago - so much so that people's house aren't just gone, they are nowhere to be found. These people are living in formaldehyde riddled travel trailers, waiting for some money to help them rebuild both their homes and lives. If you are Mississippi, you take $600 million from the a grant earmarked for housing and spend it on a casino and a state-owned port. I follow the logic (sort of) that this will create jobs, but if there are no houses where do your workers live?

My take on this: Haley Barbour is a screaming jackass. And Yazoo City (where he's from) sucks.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

The Truth About New Orleans

Tim's got it. I can't explain to people any better than he. Mr. Clio thinks there should be a movie. I'll get on it.

Apply Now

According to this press release, if your company is an up and coming business in New Orleans and in need of new furniture, you should apply now. The deadline is February 8th. That gives anyone who lives in New Orleans a few days after Mardi Gras to get the train back on the track.

In other news, my wife has started reading my blog with some regularity. I didn't see that coming. I will try to post more positive stories about the interesting things that we do. Like Hypno-Birthing. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Getting It

Thank God there are some people out there who get it.

USA Today had a great article about some of the people who are helping New Orleans and can't leave. I sure wish more people would see it that way. Hell, I wish my wife would see it that way.

Just the other day, while listening to New Orleans music in the car as we were running errands, something became much clearer to me.

I knew all the songs (St. James Infirmary and Bourbon Street Parade I remember for sure) and was excited to hear them. I felt sure that these songs were particularly famous and that she should know them, too, especially after being with me for the last five plus years. These are songs that I know by heart not because I am a music nut, but because I am from New Orleans. They are part of the fabric that makes up New Orleans' culture. And it's a fabric that continues to be woven.

My wife is not a bad person. But this is one of the things that eludes her. The music, food, rhythm of speech, pace of life are all part of me because I am from there. And when I don't get my regular fix, I start to freak out. It's a drug to me - the heat, the laid back attitude, the 24 hour party, my friends and family, the food, the music and all the other things that I am leaving out.

I can buy the music and make the food. I can come for a visit during JazzFest or Christmas. I can talk to my friends or see pictures of what they are doing. I can decorate my house with fleur de lis and art purchased from Dr. Bob. Having these experiences and objects helps me remember, but I just can't ever feel the way I feel when I am home. And that makes all the difference to me.

And here's where she misses me - she doesn't have any point of reference for this. This is how I grew up. It's just not the same as everywhere else. I sense that one could move from Minneapolis, MN to Madison, WI to Evanston, IL to Columbus, OH and not notice much difference. I could be wrong, but that's the feeling I get. New Orleans is not at all like the rest of the world.

I guess the guys have it figured out when they say, "Everywhere else...It's just Tuesday."

I think everywhere else is just not New Orleans.

UPDATE: Placide, a buddy of mine who lives in the Ukraine now, made me feel better. Read the comment.
UPDATE 2: I guess we do have the Pennsylvania Polka up here. If you don't know the song, watch Groundhog Day once and you will.

A list of lists

As I get more and more senile, I have to keep more and more things written down. Then the lists govern my life. I have to finish the items on the list or I get freaked out. This is no way to live. However, the lists help me to remember things that I have forgotten or most certainly would forget, something that never would have happened 5 years ago.

With this in mind, I found a list of movies that I was keeping so I wouldn't forget what movies I had seen lately. Now I guess I need a list to remind of the lists that I am keeping, have, or want to create. How crazy would that make me?

In any case, here is a continuance of the list of movies that the wife and I have seen lately:
Crash (the one with Sandra Bullock) - loved
Tape (with Ethan Hawke and Uma Thurman) - I loved, wife not so much
I Heart Huckabees (Dustin Hoffman, Lily Tomlin, Jude Law) - odd, interesting
The Aristocrats - (all kinds of comedians) I liked (not loved), wife fell asleep

Now for the confession -
I have been watching Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles. I don't know why. If I had to defend myself after railing against Holllywood in my last post, I would say that the Terminator story has a lot of loose ends (and beginnings). Knight Rider, Alvin and the Chipmunks, and Speed Racer I don't think have the same kind of story line. I would also say that the sexual tension between the guy and the girl robot (Terminette?) is interesting. And she's pretty hot for a cyborg.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Did I mention far-fetched?

Hollywood is completely bankrupt of new and innovative ideas. To me, the last innovative film that I remember seeing was Star Wars. Not Episode 1. The original Star Wars back in the 70s where we stood outside the Lakeside Mall Theaters (RIP) in the sun in July for hours to see the movie. If I remember correctly, the parking garage wasn't even there yet. Since then, movies have been sequels or remakes (Alvin and the Chipmunks - was anyone even clamoring for this? I didn't think people much liked the cartoon; what about the Dukes of Hazard? Was that necessary? Didn't someone have a better idea than rehashing that storyline?) I thought things couldn't get much worse. Then I saw this:

Knight Industries Three Thousand? Can't you people in LA have an original thought? Either its a recreation of something we already saw, a sequel, or an adaptation from a foreign show changed for American sensibilities (Ugly Betty, anyone?). Why are we remaking a pretty bad 80s TV SHOW? At least Lost and Heroes are new ideas. How many CSIs are there? And why so many?

Now let me rant:
I refuse to go to the movies in general these days because I am almost always disappointed (I have heard great things about Juno, however). I think that the directors and producers are making sucky films on purpose just to see how low we will stoop. And they can justify their mediocre to poor movie-making because people still spend millions to see awful films.

I used to think I liked Tim Burton, but then he remade Planet of the Apes and pretty much ruined it. He did an ok job with Sweeney Todd, I thought, though there seemed to be much he left out. I never understand that. If people, like my wife, go to the movie not realizing its a musical, that's pretty much there fault. The music makes the play, and the music made the movie. Why leave it out?

So I have been watching independent films and art house films. And I am not going to cave in anymore to the big distributors or critical fawning anymore. I may have to sit through some awful B-grade movie, but at least its edgy, features interesting viewpoints or topics, and isn't marketed to the lowest common denominator. These movies tend to have beginnings, middles, and ends, and they are generally well developed. And when I give the directors, producers, and actors my money, it costs me a dollar or two opposed to 8.50. And when they suck, I didn't support the big guys.

Here are some movies that my wife and I have seen in the last few weeks that we would recommend to others:
Everything is Illuminated
Prozac Nation
Mozart and the Whale

Here are some that we weren't quite sure if we liked, but they were interesting.
Lonesome Jim

One of these days, I will start writing reviews of the movies. And we have found a friend and her husband who share a taste for similar movies. I can't wait to share what we've seen with them and listen to their experiences.

Now if I could just get the movies back to the movie store on time.

UPDATE: This was in today's local hometown paper. Seriously - Speed Race, Indiana Jones, and Rambo? Come on. Have a new thought.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Even in China

From, we get this story...

New Orleans may be US murder capital again
2008-01-03 19:27:53.0

(Xinhua)Updated: 2008-01-03 19:27
BEIJING -- The bloodiest city in the United States in 2007 may be New Orleans again, since the city recorded a total of 209 murders in the year.

The murder capital in the country in 2006, reeling from crime in its struggle to recover from Hurricane Katrina, got even worse in 2007 -- 48 more than in 2006 or a nearly 30 percent increase.

The FBI's rankings for 2007 will not be out until much later in the year, but according to media reports a real homicide rate may be 63.5 per 100,000 residents in New Orleans.
The other notoriously bloody cities include Gary, Ind., 48.3 and Detroit, 47.1.

"You'd hear the pow-pow-pow. You know, 'Okay, that's fireworks.' Then you hear, pop-pop-pop-pop. That's gunfire. To show you how sick it's gotten, my wife and I laid down in bed with our window open last night, saying, 'Okay, that's fireworks. Okay, that's gunfire,'" said Rev. Bill Terry of St. Anna's Episcopal Church.

Terry spent the year logging the names of New Orleans murder victims outside St. Anna's Episcopal Church.

He noticed a pattern among the 200-plus murder victims from 2007; one after another was shot.

New Orleans police acknowledge the high numbers and pledge to aggressively pursue killers. The killings are drug-related or retaliatory for the most part, the police add.

At least it's keeping the brand out there. Made in New Orleans.