Wednesday, December 30, 2009


After my last post, the Saints have gone on a 2 game losing streak. I did not intend to offend any of the following - God, Allah, Yahweh, Brian Bordelon, voodoo queens, witches, vampires, people who believe in jinxes, or any other person or being who connects with higher powers. I am sorry for this post, and I hope my apologies are accepted. I just want the Saints to finish strong and do us proud in the playoffs. Who dat!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Catching the Fever

Not swine flu.  The Saints. (amazing story about New Orleans AND the Saints)

Other than that, things are great.  More once this amazing season ends.  WHO DAT!

Friday, October 02, 2009

We're really moving

Sure the house is smaller.  But there are three acres of land.  And it's 15 minutes from work, 10 minutes from Princeton, NJ, and 15 minutes from the train to NYC.  Also, it's just down the street from the Delaware and Raritan Canal State park and tons of hiking trails. 

We sold our house in a couple of weeks, but then the buyer backed out.  In less than two weeks, we sold it again.  This time for sale price.  Staging helped, but really we think the price was the main reason. 

All I know is damn.  Jersey is expensive.

I still have to fix a few things here before we can officially sell it (broken windows replaced, sidewalk fixed, new gutter on the garage, etc.)  But we are pretty much all done here.  It looks like we will be in the new place by Thanksgiving.  That's not all that far off.  Time to start packing!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Predictions Come True

It didn't take a genius to see this coming. 

I know Cerasoli's quitting was a big disappointment.  The way that he was running the IG's office reminded me of Carl Hanratty played by Tom Hanks in Catch Me If You Can.  He was willing to work in the most deplorable and degrading conditions because he viewed his job as important.  Others, I fear, will be positioning themselves for other not-so-altruistic reasons. 

Already there seems to be a gnashing of teeth and conflict of personality.  I wonder if they have phones yet. 

I don't have time to pay attention, but are any of the proposed IGs connected to the Jeffersons?

Monday, September 07, 2009

Wish I had known...

About this race.  I am not sure I can run uphill for 300 feet, but I would have been willing to try.  There was no press on this at all.  I just happened to be in town crossing the Crescent City Connection around 6:45 and saw a ton of people running.  Since I am running part of a marathon as a relay team next week, this would have been a nice way to train while I was around.  Thanks,

Saturday, August 29, 2009


It was 4 years ago today.  There are so many other things going on in the world that it's hard to keep this in the front of our collective minds.  But New Orleans is still suffering and reeling from the blow struck by Katrina and the failure of our federal levees. 

Thursday, August 20, 2009

For Sale

Our house is for sale.  I worked tirelessly this summer to get everything just right, and its time.  I have been commuting for 6 years, and it's just too hard with 2 dogs and a toddler.  And the prices in New Jersey have come down substantially from where they were 2 years ago.  So we have our house listed and have had 4 showings in 10 days.  Another showing is scheduled for Saturday.  I hope someone comes in and just has to have it, like we did.  Wish us luck!

Monday, August 17, 2009

What am I going to do now?

Jason David waived.

Well, there's been talk that this wasn't his system. Blah blah blah. The guy was just not good enough. Sure he made a couple of big plays in his time with the Saints, but he also gave up a lot of big plays, game deciding plays. Honestly, who cares if you return an interception for a TD in the first game of the season when your team gets waxed. I care that the opposing quarterbacks mouths watered when they saw his number on the field. "Oh, it's 42 (0r 29). Run deep. Either we'll score or he'll be so out of position that he will have to interfere."

I wish him luck somewhere else. Unless it's Atlanta.

UPDATE: Clay Smith says it well over at the Blog of New Orleans.

Monday, August 03, 2009


Two stories of good news, I think, for New Orleans.

Keep on keeping on.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Changing Focus

After my endless tirade against #42 for the Saints last year, I have realized that perhaps I was too harsh on the man.  Maybe it's time to move forward from 2008's suckfest.  So I am going to hope for the Saints to do their best, make the playoffs, and win a game or two in the postseason.  And I hope that #42 makes the team and does a great job this year.

#29*, on the other hand, sucks, even if he had a good day on the first day of practice. 

*Making interceptions in a touch game is much different than doing it in front of 70,000 fans.  And getting burned and costing your team at least 2, maybe 3, games is inexcusable.  I once had a girlfriend tell me, "You don't have to go for the interception every time."  That's some good advice.  Jason David had 5 interceptions last year.  Part of that is because the opposing quarterback was throwing half his passes at #42.  5 picks, 3 games lost.  I would give up the 5 picks.  11 and 5 would have been a helluva record last year.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Dear Trader Joe's

Easton, PA is a vibrant and welcoming community whose populace would be interested, I believe, in a Trader Joe's.  We have a great location downtown that was an old Perkins restaurant and has plenty of parking (and a huge parking deck next door!).  It would be the only real supermarket downtown!  You wouldn't be able to build your suburban type store, but after living and frequenting your store in Westfield, NJ, I know you can do it.  Won't you please consider this location?  If not Easton (my first choice!), there has to be somewhere else you can go in the Lehigh Valley...  (Mayor Sal Panto or Easton is very much pro-business, I think.)

Thanks for your consideration!


Saturday, June 13, 2009


Given the iffy economic situation, wouldn't it be good for the federal government to give a little money to each local public broadcasting station?  I mean, there is nothing more agonizing than watching people try to convince you that YOU are the reason we are on the air.  What if I don't have any money to send YOU?  Now I can't be entertained by your excellent programming AND I have to watch you beg. 

I'm just asking.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Dear China

First of all, I would personally like to thank you for your proactive stance on swine flu. It is wonderful to see a rising superpower taking on a potential pandemic by quarantining passengers who may have been exposed to this disease. If only all countries ruled their populace and visitors with such an iron fist!

Secondly, and more importantly, thank you for taking the Mayor of New Orleans, C. Ray Nagin. As far as I am concerned, you can keep him. He's probably doing the city of New Orleans more good being stuck in quarantine over there with you. At least he and his cronies can't continue to undermine the recovery of our fair city while he's away. His inability to be confrontational with local news reporters and others seeking information is needed here. As long as you have him, things can get done over here. Thank you for that.

I would like to add that you may need to dig a little deeper. He may have some other diseases or sociopathic issues that can only be discovered by deep anal probing. Since you guys already have him isolated, I feel this would and could be a great opportunity to remove whatever bug is up his ass. Please consider this sincere request.

Again, China, thank you for helping us out. Have you ever met George W. Bush? We would like him probed, too. I don't think he has any diseases unless you consider being an asshole a disease! (Haha!) But still, do you think you can pull this one off? Let me know.



PS - I just heard that you released Mr. Nagin from quarantine. I sure hope you got that probe in!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Dear City Of Easton Public Officials

I voted FOR the charter change.  I did.  And when I got my tax bill this year, I was pretty upset.  I know you need some money.  I get it.  Things are tough for everyone, not just the city of Easton.  But to raise my taxes from 1% to 1.75% is pretty unconscionable.  My house (and many other houses) in Easton is virtually unsellable because.  My beautiful wife and I have worked hard to improve our house by painting it, remodeling a kitchen designed in the 1890s, and relandscaping the yard.  Why would someone bother looking at our wonderful, historic home when they could go over the hill in to Forks and buy a brand new house with none of the maintenance and a LOWER tax rate.  Why aren't they paying more taxes?  Don't their kids go to the same schools?  Don't they use the same roads (mostly MY road)?  Don't they get water from the now newly privatized Easton Suburban Water Authority?  Why are their taxes lower yet they get to use all the things that I pay for? 

Despite this, I still will volunteer to help Easton prosper and look its best.  I will shop locally, I will eat food from the Farmer's Market, and I will frequent local restaurants.  I will pay to park my car on the street, I will attend Council Meetings, and I will buy tickets for the Home Tour.  I will pay to run in local races, go to local festivals, vote for what's best for Easton, and be a member of my neighborhood association.  Your response to these actions is to raise my taxes.  This is unconscionable.  Reduce the tax on people who CHOOSE to live in Easton.  Find a better way (sales tax?) to fund the city.  I am outraged by this, and I hope you make a change for the better.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

New Orleans is always on

Playing for Change has a few videos highlighting music and musicians from around the world.  In this clip, there are 3 musicians from New Orleans even though it was filmed just after Katrina.  What does that say about the importance and quality of music emanating from there?

I am pretty sure I will be buying the CD before the end of the week.

Walking the walk

I went to a meeting in New York City this week to learn about New Leaders for New Schools.  This organization is committed to improving scores in underperforming schools by training new principals.  They generally like to run charter schools, and I know there is quite a bit of criticism regarding charters in New Orleans. It seems that the goal of NLNS is to get 90% proficiency by 90% of the students - an admirable goal.  I am not sure that I subscribe to the assessing of students/schools/staff/districts by standardized testing. 
Passing a test is only one thing that students can take from an education.  There are many more goals that can't be assessed from a test - commitment to community, caring for one another, working hard for its own sake, etc.  Nevertheless, I went to an informational meeting to see if I was the right person to move to New Orleans, become a principal, and help begin healing 40 years of neglect of the education system.  I may not have the personality or background to become a principal, but there was no harm in checking it out.  I need to look closely at my own skills, determination, and commitment before moving forward.  They have some very special requirements for New Leaders for New Schools, and I plan on spending some time contemplating my next move.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Civil Defense

How cool is this?!  I always wondered what was going on under that mountain on West End...

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Don't be one

Someone showed me this today.  I particularly like the Santa Claus entry because it refers to David Vitter.  Not for viewing in the company of children.  But really funny.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

I don't really drink it

But yea! for Dixie Brewing.  No one wants a flood (or deserves one).  But if you make it through, you deserve to celebrate a little, no?  Thanks, Dixie, for getting the brand out there in the proper way.  And if you live in Fargo, thank your lucky stars. Floods suck.  We were rooting for you!

My post JazzFest update will be coming soon, but it's probably not going to be very complimentary.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

How many do overs do you get?

The day is finally here.  Easton, PA, Class of 1993 is playing Philipsburg, NJ Class of 1993 today at Lafayette College's Fisher Field.  The game ended in a tie on Thanksgiving morning in 1992, and these men are strapping on their helmets for one more chance at glory.  (My neighbor is playing TE for P'burg!)  I was hoping the game would be on ESPN, but it doesn't appear to be.  Gatorade is the sponsor so Peyton and Eli Manning will be here as honorary coaches.  The game is at 3 PM, and Easton is shutting down streets to host a block party. 

Here are episode 2 and 3 of the Replay Videos.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

If I were there - Part 2 - Choices

Looks like a great JazzFest day to me.  If I were going to stay in one spot, I would head over to the Gentilly Stage for the day - Joe Krown, Walter "Wolfman" Washington, and Russel Batiste, Jr. followed by Big Sam's Funky Nation and then Ivan Neville and Dumpstaphunk.  Then an afternoon with Galactic before Wilco.  Not a bad day.  In the past I may have moved on over to Acura to see James Taylor, but last time he was at the fest it was a little slow for me.

Depending on who I was with, we may want to move around and the agenda would be different - Imagination Movers on the Acura Stage, then into the paddock for Paul Sanchez and Ingrid Lucia on the Laginappe Stage, maybe even skipping Ingrid Lucia for Congo Square and the Rebirth Brass Band.  Then a quick zip over to the Blues Tent for John Mooney and Bluesiana.  I might end the day a little early or try and catch Erykah Badu at Congo Square or Don Vappie in the Jazz and Heritage Tent (especially after I saw his special). 

What would you go see?

Home Paul Sanchez & the Rolling Road Show

Friday, April 24, 2009

In search of a JazzFest Buddy.

Now that my friend Brian can no longer join me at JazzFest, I am in search of a buddy to go with me on Friday.  I have gone alone before, and I am sure that I will go alone again.  But it sure would be nice to know someone who was definitely going to be there on May 1.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

JazzFest Picks for Friday - 4/24

I think I would plant myself in front of the Acura stage to see Mem Shannon, David Egan, and Marc Broussard. 3:45 move to see Trombone Shorty & Orleans Ave at the Gentilly Stage).  And then scoot over to see Tab Benoit at the Blues Stage at 5:45.  I would love to catch the New Orleans Night Crawlers and Chris Smither, but you can't do it all.  And Congo Square has Wynton Marsalis at 4:40.  It's a big opening day. 

Here is a great song to put me in the mood for festing.  See you next weekend, New Orleans.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

To the Local School Board

If you are interested in how people can ruin the revitalization of a community, you should check this out.

I am writing this letter to Mr. Mahl, the School Director.

Mr. Mahl, sir, I do not understand why you are taking this stubborn approach to the improving Easton.  Do you really think that people would clamor to leave their homes to live tax free?  This is a short-sighted point of view, and, quite frankly, obstructionist. 

Here's where it falls apart for me - if someone lives in downtown Easton in a rehabilitated property, he or she likely has worked to improve the value of that property, thereby increasing its taxable value.  If someone has done that and chooses to move to a tax-free place to improve a second part of Easton and increase it's taxable value (maybe in a few years) why should they be punished. 

Mr. Mahl, if you really want to increase the tax base of Easton, you should work on lowering the 1.75% city tax.  No one will move here when they can move to Forks or Palmer and pay 1%.  You should want everyone that is interested to move to Easton.  Thanks to narrow thinking like this, I, personally, am thinking about moving out.  You can get tax money from someone else.

Monday, April 13, 2009

This is a problem.

Conversation has turned here to moving to New Orleans.  And I am a teacher (of Latin, in general, and history).  I thought to myself that perhaps there is an opportunity to work in New Orleans public schools.  I looked.  And here is what I found.  I guess there is not a need for teachers in NOLA.  Who knew?  Is this the best that one can do?  Am I even looking in the correct place?  Is this what tax money goes to?

So the search continues - on to the RSD LA website.  Does anyone know any schools that teach Latin?

Friday, March 27, 2009

Why I am A Nerd, Part One Million

Mostly, it's because I find this absolutely hilarious.  Because it is.  It's the story of Aeneas told on Facebook.  Thanks to these folks who pointed it out to me.

Got my ticket in my hand

After all my screaming and railing, it turns out I am a liar.  I am going to New Orleans for JazzFest.  2nd weekend (when Bon Jovi - AAARRGGHH! - is playing).  I have to figure out where Kermit is and how I am going to dress him for this year.  But, Mr. Quint Davis, stop getting acts that have nothing to do with New Orleans to play JazzFest.  50 bucks is a lot for a ticket, and I know I would rather pay slightly less and see local bands than have to pony up for some washed up act from New Jersey. 

BTW, Have you seen the crappy JazzFest gifts on FaceBook?  I think they sum it up pretty well. 

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Pukiness, the house, and the baby

So George is rapidly approaching his first birthday (2 weeks!) and plans are in place for a big blowout at the old villa (Good news!  You're invited!).  My mom is coming up from New Orleans, Kate's dad and stepmom are coming in from Columbus, and her mom is bringing all her friends from pretty near here.  Since the party is Easter weekend,  I was thinking about having a traditional Easter crawfish boil.  But I am pretty sure that I can't afford that.  Whenever you look for prices on the internet, they are a bit absurd and then I have to include shipping (200 bucks for 40 pounds? Does that seem right?).  So that's probably out.

Preparations are underway for that.  And we are sort of thinking about selling our house and moving, so I spent my entire spring break this year painting.  The front stairs, the entry hall, the cold-catcher hall, the trim, the upstairs hallway, and the face of the back stairwell. I still have to paint the top of the steps in the front, our bedroom, and the middle room of the attic.  We are in the process of hiring a landscaper to come make the yard presentable, I have to buy three new storm windows, and I have to find a new box newel for the front steps.  In fact, as I sit here right now, I am thinking that I should be painting.

Anyway, here's a video of him eating spaghetti for the first time.

The night after I made George eat this, he had his first taste of pizza.  Which he threw up.  All night.  And he hasn't really stopped throwing up since.  I think he may have some allergy to milk or dairy products or we may be overstuffing him.  I am not sure.  Today was his first non-vomity day since Friday.  I think he's ok because he seems happy as can be.  He even seems happy after he throws up.  But I sure do wish it would stop.  I don't think I am ever going to get the smell out of the car.  I hope this whole thing goes away before his birthday party.

Sirius Radio

I have been a subscriber to satellite radio for several years now because I really don't like commercials or pop music.  There are some good stations out there (e.g., WWOZ).  However, the antennae on the cars seem to crap out when the wind blows.  I think I destroyed my last radio because of antenna issue.  I almost destroyed my most recent one because of this.  I found a website that sells the specific antennae, but every single car antenna is out of stock.  What does that tell you about supply and demand?  Get it together Sirius and XM. 

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Replay Coolness

Easton, PA is rivals with the city of Phillipsburg, NJ which is just across the Delaware River. Every Thanksgiving morning, these two schools compete in their championship game. It doesn't matter the record or success or stage in the playoffs. All that matters is who wins this game. In 1993, Easton was 10-1 and was expected to dominate against a down P-burg. But the Stateliners of Phillipsburg would not be denied. They fought and scratched and clawed their way to a 7-7 tie. Now, 16 years later, Gatorade is sponsoring a rematch of that game. So far there has been a amazing webisode (and trailer) and a lot of press around here. The cool thing is that this game, which will is scheduled for some time in April, will be taking place at Lafayette College's Fisher Field - a mere three blocks from my house. (I run the track during the summer to stay in a little shape.)

I remember how much we disliked Holy Cross when I was in high school at Jesuit. That was nothing compared to this. More details to follow.

What the connection to New Orleans (besides little old me)? - Peyton and Eli Manning will be the coaches. Note to Peyton Manning, Eli Manning, Archie Manning, and Olivia Manning - you are invited to my house before or after the game for drinks and eats.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009


I used to work at a little swim club in Metairie.  The manager of the club was also a coach at St. Martin's.  He was originally from the Philadelphia area, and I don't ever remember asking how he ended up in South Louisiana.  But he had a great past - he was in the Navy and drove the VIPs from place to place.  He was a track and football star at Tennessee.  And he was drafted by the Miami Dolphins.  I don't think he ever played a down, but he said playing at Tennessee was incredible. 

Jabari Greer was also a track and football star at Tennesse.  And now he's a Saint.  Welcome, sir.  I hope you find New Orleans an accomodating place to ply your trade and that you make a difference for our football team.  You really can't do worse than the gentleman who is currently employed in your position.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Please, Please, Please let me get what I want.

this time.

Thank you, the Smiths.

Oh, and can we get rid of #42?

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Happy Birthday, Dad

I know you've been gone for 17 years now, but I think you would be proud of me.  I married a great girl, work at a great job, and have a great kid we named after you.  You would love him to pieces, and I know he would love you, too.  His temperament doesn't seem anything like mine (thank the heavens).  Mom thinks he's the best thing ever.  I talk about you to him all the time - I guess we would have named you Papa or Big George.  Ms. Toni is tickled pink, too.  She sends gifts every few months.  I think we all miss you more than we can say.  I hope I can be as good a dad to baby George as you were to me.  Thanks for being so patient with me when I didn't deserve it.  I believe it paid off even if it took a while.  And please keep looking out for us.  We could use all the help we can get.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Tough Decisions

Everywhere else in the country, it's just Tuesday.  And it sucks.  I really hate missing New Orleans during Mardi Gras - there's electricity in the air, and there's nothing as fun as seeing all your friends and family and meeting strangers on the street. 

And Mardi Gras sometimes forces people to make interesting and/or difficult decisions.  Several years ago when I was not paid well for my work, I had to make a decision that I am not proud of.  But it was a decision that had to be made - it was either have a great mardi gras or pay for my car insurance.  Mardi Gras won.  But I only had to drive 13 blocks to work, if I actually drove there. 

When I saw Brian one of the last times last year, I sheepishly mentioned this to him.  I never told anyone because I was embarassed that I didn't have the personal will power.  He laughed and told me that he, too, had neglected to pay his car insurance that year for the exact same reason.  He took the additional step of not getting a brake tag.  For seven years. 

Make good decisions today.  Have fun with your family.  And be safe.  Happy Mardi Gras!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Lost Post

Brian was a paramedic when I met him, and apparently paramedics don't always look kindly on the work that the New Orleans police do. I recently found a flash drive in a small case for something that Brian's wife sent me. I am a little nosy, so I stuck it in the computer and found this gem that I had never seen before. Here's Brian at his absolute pissiest in March of 2008

Well NOPD showed true colors again last week, and at one of my favorite old haunts, the Beachcorner Bar and Grill on Canal Boulevard.

The Beachcorner is located at the north end of Canal Boulvard, the second-to-last living thing on Canal before you get to the graves at the cemetery. I have spent many an hour and a dollar there. For one, they have some of the best bar food in the city, and that's a pretty bold claim.

My friend Greg and I went there this weekend, Saturday night (really Sunday morning) for a bite to eat after watching Bonerama at Mid City Rock and Bowl. We needed some sustenance, and the Corner was still open. So we ate some of those great hamburgers and cheese fries. Pepped us up for the last run to the house in the evening.

The only bad part of the bar is it is a cop hangout, especially for NOPD. The crew-cut white boys come in armed and dangerous, rowdy from a day of writing tickets and scaring the local citizenry, and want to eat and play pool or video poker. Once they are finished they go home to their house in Metarie, because they are mostly afraid to live in New Orleans. Too many blacks, they will tell you. Scared when the patrol car is no longer their ride, or the radio won't bring help immediately when threatened with a bum looking for a dollar at dusk near an intersection.

So the boys were in their usual form a couple of weekends ago, and some Regional Transit Authority (RTA) men were also enjoying a burger and some pool. These guys are the bus drivers, streetcar operators and such for the city. And most of the labor force for RTA is composed of African-Americans.

So apparently the RTA gentlement were about to leave, and some NOPD officer took umbrage at a passing look, or a word, or a brush against the shoulder. Rather than let it go, the officer pushed the issue, and somehow one RTA employee found himself being arrested while face-down outside on the curb as he was attempting to leave.

Officers quickly congregated to flesh out the story for the press and administration, making sure they were the heroes and had stopped a possibly robbery or shooting, which was hardly the case.

As NOLA attempts to recover, some of the sewer rats from before the storm are resurfacing, making their presence felt in all aspects of daily life. Apparently the NOPD rats found some driftwood early, and now they are back in form.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Random Observations

We have two dogs - Jack, a mutt, and Millie, a Westie.  Here are some of the things I have noticed about my dogs and some other things.

  1. Dogs love blue painters tape.
  2. George's favorite song is Kool and the Gang - "That's the way I like It"
  3. Shrimp boots don't work as well on ice as I thought they might.
  4. Friends who can paint cannot be underestimated or appreciated enough.
  5. Dogs can find blue painters tape anywhere.
  6. Babies don't have fingernails - because they have razor sharp talons from hell.
  7. Where on earth can you find AG13 batteries?  And what are the odds that they will come in pack of three?
  8. I am very bad at cleaning a house.  Unfortunately, the firm I work for doesn't fire it's employees; it simply retrains them.
  9. Blue painters tape causes nausea if consumed.
  10. Brown rice tastes much better if you cook it with chicken broth and a little chopped up onion.
  11. Kindergartners can feign interest in a Latin teacher with the best of them.  I taught them how to make abacus plural today.
  12. Painting the woodwork and trim in an old house that has as much as ours does is time consuming and takes a steady and patient hand.  Which I do not have.
  13. I am glad my wife is home from her week long trip.  Only two more of those to go.
  14. Three weeks in New Orleans over the summer sounds perfect to me.
  15. I think I like our new President.
  16. Blue painters tape does not digest very well.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Pancho's Mexican Buffet

Pancho's was one of my guilty Metairie pleasures.  We used to go after work at the swim club and see who could eat the most items (flautas were the way to go).*  When I was a child, we had several birthday parties there for me and my brother.  I am sure we were members of the frequent visitor club.  The tacos were great to me, and I loved the refried beans and rice.  How could you not love a place where you raise the Mexican flag to get another order of tacos or cheese enchiladas?

It was so incredibly cheap as well.  I remember lots of people doing the old "Dine and Dash."  Why?  It was 4 bucks. 

On my wife's first visit to New Orleans, we went to a Saints game and met my brother at Pancho's after.  I am surprised she stuck with me, but I truly miss it.  It was the kind of place that felt like home to me.

After Katrina, Pancho's closed but according to this livejournal blog (blessed day!) they are reopening!  Send her your pictures - you know you have them!   I know it will be frowned upon and people won't understand, but I am going there on my next trip home.  I still want to hit all my other favorite joints, but I also love reliving my youth and eating as much Mexican food as I can stuff into my 165 pounds. 

*For what it's worth, the most items I ever consumed at one sitting was 18.  I did not win.  The winner ate 23 items.

Friday, February 06, 2009

Why I Am Not Going, Part II

If I make it to New Orleans for the JazzFest, I will only pay to go so I can sprinkle my best friend's ashes there.   I will do other things the rest of the time and go out at night.  At least at night the money will go to the local clubs, local bars, and local musicians (or at least musicians who claim to be influenced by New Orleans music and culture).  Jon Bon Jovi makes about as much sense on the JazzFest schedule as Rick Springfield or Tommy Tutone. 

It seems that the goal is to get people to shell out 50 bucks for a ticket rather than give people an authentic New Orleans experience.  I don't know what the mission statement of the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Foundation is, but I am nearly certain it does not say anything about middle-aged 80s rock stars from New Jersey. 

JazzFest was one of the few events where the impact and vitality of locally grown music was center stage.  And the festival did this by making local bands, foods, and culture the most important aspect of the festival.  Now sponsors and aging pop stars are the center.  To me, this is making a mockery of the intent of the JazzFest.  For people like me who love New Orleans in all its forms,  I think this is a slap in the face.   JazzFest was all of the best of New Orleans in one place.  Now it's a showcase for overpriced corporate swill, rich corporately connected people, and sponsors. 

The JazzFest was built on the backs of the people it is now pushing out so that it can "showcase a music legend."  Give me a break.

If I do go, I will be the first in the gate to see the New Orleans connected bands and leave before I get pissed at the number of people that think Bon Jovi is a "rock god."

And when did New Orleans become a destination to see Bon Jovi? 

Question:  Why doesn't he play at the New Jersey Heritage Festival? 

Sorry I can't make it

Bon Jovi is now on the second weekend of JazzFest.  Shit.  Now I can't go.  Seriously, what does Bon Jovi have to do with Jazz, New Orleans, Louisiana, culture, or any other goddamned thing.  They aren't even southern, for chrissakes.  I will not be wasting my money a) trying to get down there or b) going to the JazzFest.  They won't miss my money, I am sure, but this is a clear indication that the audience they seeking is significantly different than in the past.  I am going to probably go to Bonaroo now.  They will have a New Orleans stage, and there is no pretense that it is something else.  And Bon Jovi won't be there.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Worst. News. Ever.

Cerasoli resigns. 

I knew he had a tough job, and stress takes its toll.  Good luck, Mr. Cerasoli.  Now who steps up and takes this job?  And will he be undercut more or less than Cerasoli was? 

Quincy, MA, is nice, but it's going to be cold...

Thursday, January 29, 2009


Thanks to the modern wonders of DVR and Tivos, I just watched LOST.  And they were communicating in LATIN! 

Just a little shout out to my language.  And one of my favorite shows.

Saturday, January 24, 2009


My friend Brian would have had a birthday recently. It's weird, but I miss him more as time passes. Time usually makes things easier.

I want to share a story.

A few years ago, before Katrina, Brian and Gene and I went over to the Evangeline bar in Mid-City. It used to be a dive bar but I think it's changed since the last time I was there. In the back they had two electronic dart boards. Brian and Gene and I were playing and drinking and there may have been one other person in the bar. It was cheap and good fun.

After we were tired of playing darts the proper way, we started throwing them on the run and from weird positions. There wasn't anyone else there so we thought it would be ok.

It turns out it wasn't ok. There was an old lady who either owned or managed the Evangeline. She very rudely asked us to quit.

"We're the only ones spending money in here," Brian spouted angrily.

"Let's just leave," Gene said.

"Yeah, c'mon," I agreed.

"You get outta here now!" the old lady shrieked.

"What? Are you gonna call the cops? They couldn't find this place," Brian raged.

"Let's go," Gene said.

"I'll call 'em right now," she screeched.

"Go ahead! Call the cops. I don't give a shit! I will tell them what kind of cheap-ass swill you serve," Brian argued.

"Ok, that's it. Time to go," said Gene.

"This place sucks!" Brian yelled in the direction of the old woman.

We started moving toward the door.

"You don't scare me! I'm calling the cops right now!" the old woman squealed.

"You stupid old bat. We will never come back here," Brian countered. "We were willing to spend our money here and this is how you treat your customers?"

Then it happened. Gene and I were forcing Brian towards the door. Brian didn't like being pushed, but he wasn't fighting too hard to stay, either.

There was a gumball machine against the wall. Was is the correct word. As we pushed Brian out, the yelling continued and then a fist violently connected with the glass globe that held the gumballs captive. And the fist made solid and sudden contact with the glass shattering it. Gumballs went everywhere as did expletives.

At this point, Brian moved quickly toward the door. When we got outside, Brian and I jumped in his truck with a brake tag which had expired at least seven years prior. We raced off in search of more beer and video poker and Golden Tee.

"I'll just walk," Gene said.

For some reason, I've never been back there. And I haven't bought any gum from a gumball machine either.

I miss you, B. Happy Birthday! I hope heaven has free Abita on tap, crawfish boiling in the pot, fish on the line, and free video golf. Tell Iver hello for me. I miss him, too.

2009 Saints

Looking at the preliminary schedule for 2009, I notice the Saints are playing both the Jets and Giants and both games are in New Orleans.  That's disappointing because I would love some sweet justice for that game after Katrina where I had to endure scorn and cruel comments at a "home" game in the Meadowlands.  Sure they passed a bucket around.  But who knows where that ended up.  It might have been some Giant fans beer money for all I know.

In any case, a substitute teacher here suggested I travel to sites closer or cheaper to watch the Saints.  I am afraid of Eagles fans though I am one once the Saints aren't in the playoffs.  I would not want to be at Lincoln Financial Field wearing a Saints jersey.  So that leaves me a few other options:

Miami - never been.  Warm weather.  Hope for a December game.
Tampa - drove through once on my way to Sarasota.  Same as Miami
Washington - Would not go and tickets are probably absurd since they are sold out for 20 years.
Atlanta - I don't want to give my money to Atlanta.
Carolina - might be fun as long as it's not winter.
Buffalo - been there.  The wings are good.  Not going from October on
St. Louis - never been, but I am not sure it would be worth going.   
Philly - never been to a game there, but I would be afraid for my life.

I would love to go to a game with some other Saints fans.  Does anyone know of the group that gets tickets and leads trips to other towns?

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Mark Your Calendars

Theresa Andersson will be on Conan O'Brian on Feb 4!  I like her.  I think she's beautiful and talented.  Watch this video from her kitchen.

Theresa Anderson - 'Na Na Na'

And thanks to Basin Street Records for letting me know about this.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Story Update

According to NBC 10 in Philadelphia, the kids who were named Hitler and Aryan Nation have been taken from their parents by the NJ Department of Youth and Family Services.  I think we ought to go back in time and revive the old Athenian tradition of ostracism.  Every year we would hold a vote and one person gets kicked off the island.  I have a couple of nominees....

I believe these people are entitled to their opinions and to name their kids whatever they want.  But they might need to get kicked off the island anyway. 

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

What does this mean for me?

Since apparently no one was injured, I can make fun of this.

There was an explosion at the Abita Brewery this morning!  How long will I have to wait to get the next seasonal brew?!

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Tuesday Thoughts

If Illinois can find a reason to get rid of Blageyovich for impropriety and ineffectualness, do we could use the same laws against Nagin? 

New Orleanians should be paying close attention to how this all pans out, I think.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Christmas Lights

I honestly don't know the answer to this, and I grew up a few blocks from Al Copeland's Gauche Christmas Extravaganza of Light and Electricity.

Choose the best answer.

When should you take the Christmas lights down from the outside of your house?

a) On January 6th since it is the official 12th day of Christmas and it's Mardi Gras.

b)  On January 7th - now it's the first night of Mardi Gras.

c)  You should keep them up all winter.  So March-ish.

d)  When you open your pool for the summer.

e)  Why take 'em down if you are just going to have to put them up again next year. 

Please vote.  Since we are having a frozen precipitation event (freezing rain sucks), I may have off tomorrow.   But I don't want to rush into anything if I don't have to.

Monday, January 05, 2009


With all the TVs and contraptions I have to record TV, I do not have access to tonight's Frontline about Herbert Gettridge and his attempt to bring his family home.  That's too bad because the review makes it sound like it's right up my ally.  Watch it if you can.

Friday, January 02, 2009

Making Resolutions

This year I didn't really make any particular resolutions.  I know that the every change starts with the first day, and the changing of the calendar makes it easy to remember.  But I don't do very good with resolutions.  That being said, I do have some things to work on.

My memory seems to be shot.  I am going to do more crosswords and more sudoku.  I don't know if it will help, but it certainly can't hurt.

I am going to try to go out with my wife for a nice dinner once a month.  We just need to find a reliable sitter.

I am going to try to buy other beer besides Abita.  I am not sure why I am going to do this, but I am.

I will try not to be so critical about the food I am served outside of NOLA.  It's just not fair to let amateurs on the field with professionals.

I am going to paint the inside of this house so we can sell it.  I don't think it needs much, but that sure can't hurt.  But we do we do about the dryer that wakes up the neighborhood?  Get a new one or repair the one we have?

What started off as a simple list of things I would like to do has sort of blossomed into resolutions.  Damnit.  Well, on we go.  Happy New Year!

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Thanks, Centenary

Centenary College, in Hackettstown, NJ, is just a few miles from our home in Easton.  The students there are getting ready to make their annual journey to help those who have been screwed by the federal government.  Thank you, Centenary College, for making a difference for those still affected.