Thursday, September 29, 2005

First Funny Story From Our Hurricane Adventure

When we got to my son's house here in Alvin after driving 14 hours from my brother's house in Arkansas, we kind of lost track of what my sister Bonnie's cocker spaniel was up to. After we got the cars unpacked, Bonnie shouted from the living room, "Cory! Come quick, I think Baxter has a mouse in his mouth!"

At this point, all of the women freaked out and took two steps backward while Cory went in for the extraction. Jamie quietly said, "I won't be able to sleep here again, ever."

As Cory got closer to Baxter, he grabbed from Baxter's mouth what Bonnie thought was a tail and pulled out...a tampon.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

A Brief Update

I just spoke to Wang Chi. He's back in Beaumont and cooking breakfast and being a good little boy scout. My dad is also still in Beaumont and has taken the screens off his windows so mom is picturing all the critters he's sharing the house with.

Regarding our trip in last night, have you ever driven in Houston traffic...at night...to a place you've never been before to drop your aunt off at her daughter's house...with three cars following you...trying to not get killed by people driving 90 miles an hour and at the same time not lose everyone? That's why I kissed my car. My legs were shaking when we got to my cousin's house in The Woodlands but we made it safely. That's what counts. Then, we had to drive another hour to my son's house here in Alvin.

By the way, the survivalists are right. I'll post more on this later but for now, take heed. If there is ever a disaster in your area (of the bombing, terrorist sort), just start running. Believe me, your car will be useless and you will be stuck in traffic about ten feet from your driveway. Our evacuation here was staggered and there is no way anyone would have gotten out alive if everyone had to (or tried to) leave at once .

On another note, I won't be checking in on all of your blogs while I'm staying at my son's because my son has dial-up and I don't want to tie up his phone so I'll only get online to do some posting.

Love to everyone and peace out.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Have You Ever Kissed Your Car

After 14 more hours in the car, we are finally back in Alvin, Texas with my son and daughter-in-law. Latest estimates on being allowed back into Beaumont is 3 - 4 weeks. When we got here, I kissed my car, bugs and all. We are going to try to get back into Beaumont this weekend to pick up some of my bills that need to be paid and clean out my refrigerator but we're still not sure if we can get back in.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Adventure of the Day

Today, my cousin went riding in the neighborhood here in Arkansas and us flatlanders aren't used to all the hills. My mom and other cousin had to go rescue him because he was at the bottom of the hill with a flat tire and didn't have the energy to walk back here. Hahahah!

We will be heading back to Houston tomorrow to stay with my son and his wife for a while. The latest estimates on having electricity restored in Beaumont range from 2 weeks to 6 weeks. When I first heard 2 weeks, I thought, "No, way!!" Now, since I've heard estimates of 6 weeks, I'm praying for 2 weeks.

I just spoke to my dad again and he said that just a couple of little pieces of siding on the back of my house are peeled back. I pictured the whole back side of my house being bare. So, that was good news.

I'll try to update again later. To quote the girlfriend in Shaun of the Dead, "Bye, bye, bye, bye, bye!"

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Re: House Damage

On my previous post, I was in a hurry. It's my sister Bonnie's house that has no shingles and no carport, I am missing some back siding, my mom's fence fell down and part of her patio roof is gone. I neglected to give the status of my sister Terry's house. My dad, the rebel, who has gone back to Beaumont against the president's wishes, says that Terry's house has a tree limb on it but no other damage. So, we're in good shape. I'll post more tomorrow.

Thanks for all your good wishes. Hopefully, we'll be home soon.

House Update

My sister's house has no shingles, my house is missing some siding on the back and my mom's house is okay except for some missing fence. Seems like we fared very well indeed. Gotta go. Will try to post more later.

Thanks First United Methodists

Since we've been here, people from my brother's church, First United Methodist Church in Bentonville, Arkansas, and their neighbors and soccer friends have brought us food for every meal. I will be sure to 'pay it forward.' Thanks, everyone!

Saturday, September 24, 2005

We Made It, How About You?

We left Beaumont at 3:30 a.m. yesterday morning and made it to Bella Vista, Arkansas (Northwest corner of Arkansas) at 7:30 p.m. Thank God for the Texas Department of Public Transportation which was giving free gas so we were able to gas up on the way out (we had used most of our gas in gridlock the day before and had to drive home after 7 hours of traveling 20 miles because we couldn't get anywhere). Thank God we turned back though because from what I hear, a lot of those people had to be transported to Houston or points north on buses because they were still stuck on the road the next day (yesterday).

I drove one of the cars (mine) the whole way and I never want to get in a car again. We made it safely though and were only in gridlock a few times. The problem now is how will we get home (more gridlock? gas?), when will we go home and what will we go home to?

My dad stayed in Silsbee with some of my sister's in-laws and we haven't heard from him, yet. My sister-in-law's mother just called from Jasper and two trees have hit their house (one hit while they were on the phone). I don't know if they crashed through it or what. My sister, Terry and some of her other in-laws are in Nacogdoches and they should be getting hit right now but we haven't heard from her, yet, either. I also have family in Lafayette that we haven't heard from, yet.

So far, the news doesn't look nearly as bad as it could have been. We're still watching. Thanks for your concern everyone and I'll keep you posted. I swear I have some funny stories out of all of this but my notes are in the car (just like a true reporter).

Peace out and I'll check back in later.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

F**k Me Running

I'm back at my dad's with my mom, my son, my daughter-in-law, my two aunts, my sister, four dogs and two of my cousins. After spending 6 hours on the road to drive 50 miles, some guy impersonating an officer was turning people back 10 miles before our turn north. We drove from 12:30 p.m. until 6:30 p.m. and it would have been another hour before we would have made the turn north anyway. There was no way I could have driven another 5 hours to stay God knows where. After we would have made the north turn, we would have been 50 miles further west than we intended to be but the DPS wouldn't let us turn right when we first tried to get out of Beaumont.

So, we turned around and headed back toward Beaumont where a real policeman in Sour Lake (10 miles from Beaumont) told us they weren't letting people back in Beaumont. I had a panic attack, Jamie (my daughter-in-law) called the DPS and she said we could indeed go back to Beaumont and there are places where the Texas Department of Public Safety will give us gas since we've used up half a tank of gas to go virtually nowhere.

Tomorrow morning (3:00 a.m.) we shall try again. Dammit!

One Last Post

One last post before I leave. We're going to BellaVista Arkansas to stay with my brother. The closest hotel rooms were in Oklahoma City so what the hell. Hasta La Vista, Baby!

(Trying to) Get the Hell Out of Dodge

My son and his wife left Alvin to come to Beaumont to escape from Hurricane Rita at 8:00 p.m. tonight thinking they would miss most of the Galveston traffic trying to evacuate. I just spoke to him (3:00 a.m.) and they haven't even made it to Baytown which is thirty minutes from their house. When they do finally make it to Baytown, it's another hour drive to get here to Beaumont.

The latest on the storm says it has taken the northerly turn earlier then expected and Galveston is now the target. So, tomorrow, we might be evacuating from Beaumont with the rest of the family which will be bad since we've already been up all night.

So, if you don't hear from me until Sunday, don't be shocked. We'll probably be with relatives in Lafayette.

(By the way, since I started blogging in October of last year, I haven't missed a single day of posting something even if it was just a cartoon. I sure hate to break my streak. Stupid storm.)

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Alligator on the Streets of New Orleans


I have been getting e-mails (and a lot of hits on my stat counter) saying that this is a picture of an alligator on the streets of New Orleans.

First of all, it's a crocodile and secondly, it was found in Pointe-Noire, Republic of the Congo on the night of July 5, 2003.

I posted about this back in August with more pictures and the whole story about the Pointe-Noire crocodile.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Weird Fortune - Part Two


As you will recall, last week I got a very unusual fortune in a fortune cookie. It said 'Something unusual will happen at work next week.' At the time, I assumed the guy flipping his car over right outside our building was the weirdness even if it was a week early. However, I was mistaken.

This week has been quite unusual because of the hurricane threat to the Gulf Coast including my little corner of Southeast Texas. Some of the more excitable types at work have been losing their shit since Monday before the storm even hit the Florida Keys. Those same women are now losing their shit, not only for themselves, but also for those of us who refuse to lose our shit until the last possible moment.

I make this promise to you. If I ever get that fortune in a cookie again, I'm burning that bastard.

Love in An Elevator


This morning as I was waiting alone for the elevator to take me up to paradise, I mean work, the first few bars of Barry White's I'm Gonna Love You Just a Little More Baby began to play over the speakers in the elevator lobby. You know the groove...boomba boomba booooom, ba boo-oo-oom.

It was so out of place and so, somehow, inappropriate. What a naughty way to start the day. I got on the elevator and did a little secret dirty dancing all by myself.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Another Big Ugly Ass Animal

I haven't posted a big ugly ass animal in a long time. This is one of the ugliest fish known to man, the Alligator Gar. According to this site and this site, it was caught at Sam Rayburn Lake here in Texas by Keith Riehn and Robin Parks (8'2", 244.5 lbs certified, 44.75" girth).




Sunday, September 18, 2005

National Guard Spooked by New Orleans Spirits

This link was sent to me by Wang Chi. It's a report from a San Francisco television station about National Guard troops having ghostly encounters while helping out in New Orleans.

Asian Translator Needed

As I was pulling this t-shirt our of my closet to wear this morning, it occurred to me that I've always wondered what the oriental characters on it mean. For all I know, it says, 'Fuck you and the horse you rode in on.'

Some Asian people did point and laugh at me one time when I had this shirt on but I was at Astroworld and I was soaking wet from some ride which was created for the sole purpose of getting people soaking wet. I was going to ask the Asian people what my shirt said but I was afraid they didn't speak English and I didn't want to start a whole international incident right there in the Wild West section of Astroworld.



If you know what my shirt says, please share with the class.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

We've Got Crabs!


Cousin Chris' Tiki Porch



Aunt Hazel's got crabs.

All grandpa's children got crabs (Left: Terry, Aunt Gladys, Aunt Hazel, Bonnie. Right: Maria, Zina, mom)

Now that's a crab.

Now that's a claw.

Tear the meat out the sucka!

Cousin Chris the cook


Cousin Kara

Crabs!

My cousin Zina (who is a frequent commenter on this blog) is in town from Dallas so we're going down to Port Arthur today for some boiled crabs and fried shrimp. A good old Cajun feast and fun for everyone.

Sorry, I had to rub it in. I'll take pictures.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

More Weirdness


Yesterday, I got the following fortune in my fortune cookie with my shrimp fried rice:

Something unusual will happen at work next week.

Pretty specific don't you think? I told the girls I was having lunch with that I was going to make a big copy of the fortune and put it up in my office so everyone would be on alert for any unusualness next week.

On my way back to my desk, I stopped at the copier to copy the fortune and the lights went out. I let out an, "Oh, my God! I was just copying this weird fortune and the lights went out." Then, the lights came back on. Then, the lights went out again, this time for good.

Everyone kind of wandered around the office like lemmings for a while and eventually settled into wait-for-the-lights mode. When I started to hear sirens, I looked out of my fifth floor window and noticed a civilian directing traffic at Calder and 10th Street. "Odd," thought I. I couldn't see an accident or anything. Suddenly, it occurred to me that the accident must be further west on Calder on the other side of the building.

When I went to the other side of the building, I saw a small SUV flipped over on it's roof. It had run into a utility pole and had completely snapped the pole in half. The speed limit on Calder is 30 m.p.h. and the place where the accident occured is in the middle of a short block between two traffic lights. We can't imagine how the guy got up enough speed to not only break a utility pole but to also flip over.

The driver was evidently wearing his seatbelt because he was conscious (we could see him moving his arms as they put him into the ambulance) and he didn't look banged up at all. The newspaper today didn't have any details on the accident but, hopefully, the guy is okay.

Granted, the fortune cookie was a week early but that was weird. Weird, I tell you.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Abita Beer Helps New Orleans


This post is proof that you should always visit the blogs of your commenters. While checking out Al's blog I found this cool way to contribute to the restoration of New Orleans.

This is a quote from the Abita Beer website:

Abita Beer's “Fleur-de-lis Restoration Ale”
We began crafting this new beer from the moment we saw our brewery had been miraculously spared any major damage from Hurricane Katrina. We are proud to be a Louisiana company and feel blessed that we are still able to produce our product and keep our employees working.




Here is where you can buy some cool stuff to support the restoration.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

That Bitch is Crazy

I was just watching the news and was surprised at some video I saw. Earlier in the day, I heard that there had been some trouble at a high school in Houston between students from New Orleans who had evacuated there and the Houston area students.

When I heard the story today, I assumed it was guy students. But, no. The video showed two groups of totally insane and out of control girl students still screaming at each other long after the initial fracas had been subdued. This explains why the school was shut down at noon, the police were called and five students were arrested.

I know teachers, both men and women (some of whom are little bitty women) who will step in and break up a guy fight alone with nothing more than a big mouth and a bad temper. Those same teachers, however, wouldn't dream of breaking up a girl fight without backup of at least one other teacher and, preferably, the school security guard.

They say that, as a rule, guys don't really want to fight. They're just showing off for the girls or just showing off in general. The girls, on the other hand, fight dirty and, quite literally, are out for blood. Teachers should get combat pay.

Friday Night Standup - Several Weeks Late (I've Been a Bit Distracted)

  • If you ever see me getting beaten by the police, put down the video camera and come help me.--Bobcat Goldthwait
  • Maybe there is no actual place called hell. Maybe hell is just having to listen to our grandparents breathe through their noses when they're eating sandwiches.--Jim Carrey
  • Thou shall not kill. Thou shall not commit adultery. Don't eat pork. I'm sorry, what was that last one?? Don't eat pork. God has spoken. Is that the word of God or is that pigs trying to outsmart everybody?--Jon Stewart
  • I have six locks on my door all in a row. When I go out, I lock every other one. I figure no matter how long somebody stands there picking the locks, they are always locking three.--Elayne Boosler
  • I'm half-Italian and half-Polish. So I'm always putting a hit out on myself.--Judy Tenuta
  • Ever wonder if illiterate people get the full effect of alphabet soup?--John Mendoza
  • Relationships are hard. It's like a full-time job, and we should treat it like one. If your boyfriend or girlfriend wants to leave you, they should give you two weeks' notice. There should be severance pay, and before they leave you, they should have to find you a temp.--Bob Ettinger
  • I don't know what's wrong with my television set. I was getting C-Span and the Home Shopping Network on the same station. I actually bought a congressman.--Bruce Baum
  • I had a linguistics professor who said that it's man's ability to use language that makes him the dominant species on the planet. That may be. But I think there's one other thing that separates us from animals. We aren't afraid of vacuum cleaners.--Jeff Stilson
  • Did you ever walk in a room and forget why you walked in? I think that's how dogs spend their lives.--Sue Murphy
  • The statistics on sanity are that one out of every four Americans is suffering from some form of mental illness. Think of your three best friends. If they are okay, then it's you.--Rita Mae Brown
  • Now they show you how detergents take out bloodstains, a pretty violent image there. I think if you've got a T-shirt with a bloodstain all over it, maybe laundry isn't your biggest problem. Maybe you should get rid of the body before you do the wash.--Jerry Seinfeld
  • I ask people why they have deer heads on their walls. They always say because it's such a beautiful animal. There you go. I think my mother is attractive, but I have photographs of her.--Ellen DeGeneres
  • USA Today has come out with a new survey: Apparently three out of four people make up 75 percent of the population.--David Letterman
  • If God doesn't destroy Hollywood Boulevard, he owes Sodom and Gomorrah an apology.--Jay Leno
  • A lady came up to me on the street and pointed at my suede jacket. 'You know a cow was murdered for that jacket?' she sneered. I replied in a psychotic tone, 'I didn't know there were any witnesses. Now I'll have to kill you too.'--Jake Johansen
  • I always wanted to be somebody, but I should have been more specific.--Lily Tomlin
  • The Swiss have an interesting army. Five hundred years without a war. Pretty impressive. Also pretty lucky for them. Ever see that little Swiss Army knife they have to fight with? Not much of a weapon there. Corkscrews. Bottle openers. 'Come on, buddy, let's go. You get past me, the guy in back of me, he's got a spoon. Back off. I've got the toe clippers right here.' --Jerry Seinfeld
  • Why does Sea World have a seafood restaurant? I'm halfway through my fishburger and I realize, Oh my God....I could be eating a slow learner.--Lynda Montgomery
  • Sometimes I think war is God's way of teaching us geography. --Paul Rodriguez
  • And always remember the last words of my grandfather, who said, 'A truck!' --Emo Phillips
  • My mother always told me I wouldn't amount to anything because I procrastinate. I said 'Just wait.' --Judy Tenuta

Houston Astroworld Closing

My son who recently moved to Houston called last night to tell me that it had just been announced on the local news that Astroworld is closing.

For as long as I can remember, there have been rumors about Disney or Six Flags opening a theme park somewhere here in Southeast Texas (good weather, interstate highway access, plenty of land). Someone needs to put a bug in someone's ear.

For what it's worth, here's my bug.

Chief Justice Sean Penn?

Last night, on the CBS Evening News, the reporters were all impressed that Chief Justice nominee John Roberts spoke without notes at his confirmation hearing.

I didn't understand their fascination with this simple act of memorizing a few notes for possibly the most important day of a person's professional life. Any actor can do that. Does that mean we should consider Sean Penn or Bruce Willis for a post on the Supreme Court (other credentials notwithstanding)?

Monday, September 12, 2005

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Asshole of the Year Nomination



I don't think it's too early to start making nominations for Asshole of the Year. So, here's my worthy candidate.

We've all been in a parking lot driving around looking for a parking space. On occasion, as soon as you pass up a parked car in a parking space, the owner of the car walks up to the car to leave. If someone is behind you in the parking lot, it's tempting to make that person back up so you can have the parking space, especially if you've been driving around the lot for a while. It's tempting but normal people just keep driving and curse the luck.

One evening several months ago at Crockett Street, I was driving around looking for a parking space. Keep in mind I was a woman, at night, driving around looking for a parking spot. I had driven around about four times when I saw someone walking to their car. I sat and waited and, sure enough, they got into a car in a space right beside me so I backed up and waited for them to leave.

As I was sitting there, I noticed a guy in a big black pickup truck which HAD ALREADY TURNED THE CORNER at the end of the parking lot turn around and look at me and begin to back up. I thought, "Oh, no he isn't." But, oh, yes, he was. He backed up the whole half length of the parking lot and hit the front of my car.

You might ask, "Why didn't you back up so he wouldn't hit you?" I didn't back up because I knew the asshole saw me and I thought he was just going to back up and see if he could make me back up and give him the space. I couldn't believe that a man would force a woman to back up in a dark parking lot to give him a parking space especially after he had already driven so far past the space.

There were a few people in the parking lot so I felt safe getting out of my car to confront the son-of-a-bitch. When I got out of my car, he actually looked at me and said, "I thought you were going to back up." Asshole Point Number 1: He definitely saw me. Then, he said, "That's a new truck." Asshole Point Number 2: Who gives a fuck?! YOU HIT ME!

I looked at him and said, "New truck?! This is a new car!!! YOU hit ME!" He backed off and said, "Do you want my insurance?" (No, asshole, I want your mamma's crabcake recipe.) I glared at him with my best Don't-Fuck-With-Me-Stare (of which some of you are familiar) and he meekly walked back to his truck and got his insurance information. I followed him to his truck and noticed there was a woman in the front seat of the truck. She wouldn't even look at me. I would love to know what happened to that date. I wanted so bad to say something to her about the prick she was with but I knew that if she was married or dating this asswipe, she had enough problems.

He asked for my insurance information and I, basically, told him to kiss my ass because I wasn't about to let him pin this on me by saying I had hit him since all of the witnesses had scattered to the four winds. He, once again, backed off and his insurance company took care of everything and my car was repaired within two days.

If you've encountered an asshole this year that can top this one, you have my deepest sympathies.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Beaumont, Texas: The Next New Orleans?

My blogging friend Mark Hancock has some excellent thoughts on how Beaumont could step up and live up to its potential. I love Beaumont and I love New Orleans so, please don't think that for one minute, I think Beaumont could hold a candle to New Orleans. However, Beaumont could use a swift kick in the ass and Mark has some wonderful ideas.

Picture of my Dad

Check out this link for a picture of my dad as Jingles The Clown on Mark Hancock's photojournalism blog.


Mark M. Hancock / © The Beaumont Enterprise

Red "Jingles the Clown" Ransonette (right) presents a balloon puppy to Val Runte of Nederland (left) during the Senior Celebration and Consumer Expo at the Beaumont Civic Center in Beaumont on September 1, 2005.

Friday, September 09, 2005

New Orleans Audobon Zoo and Aquarium Update

This is the latest on the zoo and aquarium in New Orleans.

Perhaps it was the zucchini...

Change of Plans

Some of my friends just took me to Franki's for a belated birthday dinner and after a couple of glasses of Bellagio Chianti and a mouthwatering Ribeye Marsala, I have decided to skip the Metallica tribute band with apologies to Michael and Bobby and Tara and Davie and anyone else I told that I would be there. (I don't think some of them know about this blog but the apology stands.)

Instead I am washing my face, putting on my P.J.'s, opening a bottle of Bulgarian wine Radi gave me for my birthday and catching up the blogs on my sidebar that I have been sorely neglecting. I've never blogged on wine and steroids before, you may (or may not) be in for a treat. Probably, not.

On another note, I just opened my mail and MasterCard is worried about me because I haven't been using my credit card. Isn't that just the sweetest thing? Glad to know someone out there is watching out for me even if it's just an impersonal mega-corporation who wants some of my meager earnings. I promise to do better next month, Auntie MasterCard.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Love That Prednisone

As expected, the Prednisone that I'm taking for my shoulder that I somehow injured at my birthday party, has given me a nice invincible steroid high. This isn't good considering that I am now considering going to a Metallica tribute band concert at Antone's Friday night and on a gambling excursion for my sister's birthday Saturday. Gambling on steroids. That can't be a good idea.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Charlie A'Court

I just got back from Courville's (yes, Zina, there is a Courville's in Beaumont). Zina is my cousin and our mothers were Courvilles. It was sure strange to see that name up in lights. The Courville's of which I speak is a Beaumont restaurant which has live music about once a month for $10 - $30 (depending on the act) including dinner. From what I hear, the acts are always top notch. They should really advertise more.

Tonight's entertainer was Charlie A'Court. He is a blues man out of Nova Scotia Canada. Imagine if you will, Gary Busey channeling an old black blues man (and a little Joe Cocker) with a Jose Feliciano vibe. This guy had an amazing voice and his guitar playing was nothing short of magical.

Opening for Charlie was Wang Chi's favorite soon-to-be-famous local band 9 Station Drive playing an acoustic set. I really enjoyed them also.

I'm going to bed now (after watching my DVR of Rock Star INXS to see who got kicked off tonight) so I will fix up this post with links and pictures and stuff tomorrow. I'm sure Wang Chi will have his review up shortly.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

A Couple of Birthday Pics

THE CAKE

THE GROUP (Well, about half of the group.)

Monday, September 05, 2005

Updates on Zoo, Aquarium and French Quarter

A generator has apparently stopped working at the aquarium. Here's the link.

Here is a link regarding the zoo.

Here is another link regarding the zoo.

Don't forget to check in on Wang Chi's blog. He has some fabulous links and stories about the amazing people who live in the French Quarter.

(I called the doctor this morning and he called in a prescription for my shoulder which my lovely son picked up for me before they headed back to Houston. I should feel better shortly and, if my past steroid consumption is any indication, I will be quite prolific for the next few days.

Until then though, brilliance might come from pain but I'm too much of a pussy to find out. Talk to you tomorrow.)

Sunday, September 04, 2005

The Big Birthday Party

My birthday party was great. I'll post pictures soon.

At some point during the night I hurt my right shoulder again like I hurt it several months ago so I'm not in a festive blogging mood. I don't even know how I hurt it but I have a feeling it has something to do with bags of garbage and/or bags of ice and/or moving the furniture when I was decorating for the party. It's not that I didn't have plenty of help, it's just that I don't think to ask for help before I do things. I just do them. Stupid shoulder.

Hopefully, the doctor will prescribe me some of those groovy steroids he prescribed last time but everything is closed doctor-wise until Tuesday. Oh well, as we know after the events of the last week, it could definitely be worse. Here's to looking forward to a nice steroid high by about Wednesday night.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Out of Pocket


Today is the day I'm throwing myself a surprise 50th birthday party for my birthday which is Monday. I'll be busy all day and the only way I'll get anything done is if I don't sit down at this computer AT ALL. So, take care of each other (and your neighbor) and I'll talk to you tomorrow.

Friday, September 02, 2005

New Orleans Audobon Zoo and Aquarium

I'm still getting a lot of hits from searches for information on the zoo and aquarium. Neither of those facilities flooded but the last I heard, there was concern about getting fuel for the generators at the aquarium. I realize that this isn't a priority right now but, I'm sure , the ASPCA and other zoo groups are working on those problems.

Here are links to two posts I did a day or so ago which contain links to sites where you should be able to get the most recent and most accurate information (rather than my idle guessing) on the zoo and aquarium.

For Your Next Trip to New Orleans


The next time you go to New Orleans, and you will go back, you might need this. I found it on this site.

THE NEW ORLEANS DICTIONARY
  • ALLIGATOR PEAR - Avocado.
  • ANYWAYS - And, then; and, so.
  • AWRITE - While "Where Y'at" is usually thought of as the common greeting inNew Orleans, "awrite" is much more universal. A man may say "Where Y'at" to a friend he passes by on the street, but he'll say "awrite" to a stranger. It is the South, after all; one doesn't merely brush past someone else when walking down Carondelet St. without saying hello. We don't want to be impolite, yet we don't usually waste time on strangers, so "awrite" is a fair compromise. Usage: One man walking down the street comes upon another man going the other way. The first man says "a write; the second responds "awrite."
  • AWRITE, HAWT - A variation on the standard greeting, but using an endearment usually reserved for a friend, usually female.
  • AX - Ask. Usage: "Dey axed for you down by da VFW Hall last night ad Madeline's cousin's daughta's weddin'."
  • BANQUETTE - The sidewalk. Pronounced "BANK it".
  • BERL - To cook by surrounding something in hot, bubbling liquid; the preferred method for cooking shellfish. For example, many a New Orleans student learned in World History that a great defense of a castle under attack in the middle ages was to dump "berlin' erl" on the attackers.
  • BOO - A term of endearment......Believed to be Cajun in origin.
  • BRA - A universal name for a male, usually one with whom you are not acquainted. Usually used in this manner: "Awrite, bra" The greeting "Say, bra" is usually heard from white guys who think they're talking like a black guy.
  • BY MY HOUSE, BY YOUR HOUSE, etc. - Analogous to the French terms "chez moi"; "chez toi"; etc. Usage: "He slept by my house last night." "At" is never used in this sense.
  • CAP - A universal name for a male, usually one with whom you are not acquainted. Women generally do not use this term. See also PODNA and BRA.
  • CATLICK - As in Roman Catholic, the predominant religion in New Orleans.
  • CEMENT - A standard English word, but with a special pronunciation. Yats say "SEE ment"
  • CHARMER - The quintessential female Yat. Pronounced "CHAW muh"
  • DA - The.
  • DAT - That.
  • DAWLIN' - A universal form of address. Women use it universally to both sexes, men use it toward women. See also HAWT.
  • DEM - Them.
  • DESE, DOSE - These, those.
  • DIS - This.
  • DRESSED - When ordering a po boy, "dressed" indicates lettuce, tomatoes, pickles and MYNEZ on it. (See NUTTINONIT)
  • EARL - 1. A vegetable product used for cooking, sautéing, making roux, etc. 2. A petroleum product used to lubricate the engine of your car. 3. Your Uncle Earl. (Most New Orleanians have an Uncle Earl.)
  • ELLESHYEW - Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge. Occasionally preceded by the term, "Go ta hell..."
  • ERSTERS - Oysters.
  • ESPLANADE - Walkway
  • FAUBOURG - A suburb or outlying neighborhood, as in Faubourg Marigny. A neighborhood is considered outlying in relation to the original neighborhood, the French Quarter. Metairie would never be a Faubourg, because it wasn't part of the city in the first place.
  • FLYIN' HORSES - Accented on the first syllable. A merry go round, sometimes specifically describing the merry go round in City Park, but also used in general.
  • FOR - a preposition used by New Orleanians instead of "at" or "by" when referring to time. E.g., "Da parade's for 7:00, but we betta get dere for 6 if we wanna find pawkin'." This one tends to be particularly confusing to non-natives.
  • F'SURE! - 1. A statement of agreement. 2. An excellent (but out of print) book by Yat artist Bunny Matthews, featuring cartoons with actual dialogue heard on the streets of our metropolis.
  • F'TRUE - When phrased as a question, it means "Is that so?" or "Ya kiddin'!!" When phrased as a statement, it's an affirmation, a shortened version of "Nuh uh, I ain't lyin' ta ya ..."
  • GAWD - A supernatural deity, worshipped by most New Orleanians.
  • GRIPPE - The flu.
  • GRIS GRIS - Pronounced GREE GREE;. Noun, A (voodoo) spell. Can be applied for nefarious purposes ("to put a gris gris on someone"), or as a force to ward off evil, like wearing a gris gris bag (the folks at the Voodoo Shop on Dumaine will make one to order for about $20).
  • HAWT - A term of endearment. Heart.
  • HOUSE COAT 'N CURLAS - The preferred dress for charmers while shopping at Schwegmann's.
  • I'LL TAKE ME A... - May I have a...
  • KAY BEE - The drugstore, as in (K&B, Katz and Besthoff). The ampersand always is silent.
  • LAGNIAPPE - Pronounced LAN yap. A little something extra. Also, the name of the entertainment pull out section of the Friday edition of The New Orleans Times Picayune.
  • LOCKA - Where you hang your clothes, analogous to the English word "closet". Example: "Mom MAH! Where my shoes at?" "Looka in ya locka!" See LOOKA.
  • LOOKA - The imperative case of the verb "to look". Usually accompanied by a pointing gesture. Often used as a single exclamation: Looka!"
  • LOOKIT DA T.V. - To watch T.V.
  • MAKE GROCERIES, MAKIN' GROCERIES - To do grocery shopping.
  • MARRAINE - Your godmother.
  • MIRLITON - A vegetable pear or chayote squash, which grows wild in Louisiana and in backyards throughout New Orleans. Pronounced MEL lee tawn, and wonderful when stuffed with shrimp and ham dressing.
  • MISTA - As in "Throw me somethin' mista". Never used in any other context; "bra" or "cap" is used regularly.
  • MYNEZ - Mayonnaise.
  • NEUTRAL GROUND - The grassy or cement strip in the middle of the road. The terms "median" and/or "island" are NEVER used in New Orleans. Use of one of those foreign terms instead of "neutral ground' is a dead giveaway that you ain't from around here, or anywhere close. If you're lucky, you live on a street with a neutral ground big enough to play football on.
  • NEW ORLEENS - The way silly tourists pronounce "New Orleans". Natives do not do this. Exception song lyrics, as in "Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans", for example, and when omitting the "New", as in "Orleans Parish", which is always pronounced or LEENS. Confusing, isn't it? More on this below.
  • NUTTINONIT - A po-boy that is not dressed, which only contains the main ingredient.
  • OR WHAT - Pronounced "r WUT," and placed at the end of a question: "You gonna finish eatin' dat , 'r what?"
  • OVA DA RIVER - Across the river.
  • OVA BY - A general replacement for the prepositions "at" and "to", particularly when referring to someone's home, or a destination in general. "Where ya goin'?" "Ova by ma mamma's."
  • PARISH - A Louisiana state administrative district, analogous to the American "county". When used by Yats in the phrase "da parish", it generally means St. Bernard Parish specifically, which is suburban to New Orleans.
  • PARRAINE - Your godfather.
  • PASS BY - To stop at a place, for a visit or to accomplish something. "Ya gonna be home later? I'll pass by ya house." It doesn't mean just to drive by in our car and keep going ...
  • PO BOY - The quintessential New Orleans lunch, a sandwich on good, crispy New Orleans French bread. This definition doesn't begin to describe what a po boy is all about, so if you really don't know you need to get one soon.
  • PODNA - A universal form of address for a male. Frequently used in the emphatic statement, "I tell you what, podna ..."
  • 'SCUSE ME PAWDON ME - Polite expression when trying to get by somebody or moving through a crowd, spoken as one word.
  • SHOOT DA CHUTE - A playground slide.
  • STOOP - Usually expressed as "da stoop". The front steps to your house, particularly if it's a shotgun duplex. What ya go out and sit on to chat wit 'ya neighbas (an' ta keep an eye on 'em).
  • SUCK DA HEAD, SQUEEZE DA TALE - 1. The technique for eating crawfish. If you've never done this, have someone demonstrate. 2. A song by the Radiators.
  • SUG - A term of endearment used primarily by Yat females. Pronounced SHOOG; with a soft "oo"; as in "book".
  • TURLET - A device for the sanitary disposal of human waste and for nasty food ya snuck away from da table as a child (like ma mamma's roast beef...yuck).
  • UPTOWN SIDE, DOWNTOWN SIDE, LAKESIDE, RIVERSIDE - The four cardinal points of the New Orleanian compass. "North, south, east, west" do not work in New Orleans.
  • VALISE - Suitcase.
  • VEDGE A TIBBLE - Neither animal nor mineral. What ya mamma used to make ya eat before ya could leave the table when ya were a kid. The word has four syllables.
  • WHERE YA STAY (AT)? - Where do you live?
  • WHERE Y'AT? - The greeting. The proper response is, "Awrite."
  • WRENCH - To clean something under running water. "Aw baby, ya hands 'r filthy! Go wrench 'em off in da zink." See ZINK.
  • YA - You, your.
  • YA MAMMA - Your mother. Used in a variety of ways, usually endearing. Also usable as an insult, specifically as a simple retort when one is insulted first; simply say, "Ya mamma." Be prepared to defend yourself physically at this point.
  • YAMAMMA'N'DEM - A collective term for your immediate family, as in "Hey dawlin', how's yamamma'n'dem?" Spoken as one word.
  • YEAH YOU RITE - A sign of definite agreement. The accent is on the first word, and it's spoken as one word.
  • ZATARAIN'S - A local manufacturer of spices, seasonings, pickled products and condiments. In context, it's used by some as a generic term for either crab boil or Creole mustard.


Sleepybomb Goes Off

My friend Sleepybomb over at the Wreckroom has some thoughts worth reading over at his blog. He's pissed off and so am I. Even before the levee broke, shouldn't there have been more security (and food and water) sent to the city as soon as the most crime-ridden area of the city (and one of the worst in the country - I love New Orleans, but it's true) became totally uninhabitable? With more National Guard downtown and throughout the city protecting the good people and property of New Orleans, the police could have been rescuing people.

Sure, hindsight is 20/20 and it's easy for me to sit here in my undamaged, air-conditioned house and over analyze what happened. But, think of your town. Imagine the worst neighborhood which is barely controlled in the best of times where good people live day in and day out in fear of their lives. Imagine this neighborhood being totally decimated sending all of the low-life thugs out into your city to have free reign. Kind of makes you want to do something about the crime problems of your less fortunate neighbors right now before it's too late doesn't it? Escape from New York is no longer just a movie folks. It can really happen. We're seeing it happen in New Orleans right now.

Some background on Sleepybomb: he and his family (famous Dixieland Jazz musicians) are originally from New Orleans. He lives in Reno right now and was in the process of buying a home in Metairie and moving back to New Orleans. That house is probably gone but, more importantly, he is in anguish over New Orleans and his family who is still there and feeling somewhat guilty about being high and dry in Reno.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Most Recent Gas Prices

A Little Physics Problem

Why is it taking so long for help to get to New Orleans? I understand why the water is still there. I understand the bowl-effect and all that. But, good grief. It's water, not plutonium.

Monster!


Two of my co-workers turned me on to this energy drink today. It has guarana and taurine and the caffeine equivalent of three cups of coffee. I get a buzz off of one Excedrin so you can imagine how I feel right now. It reminds me of when I was on steroids for my shoulder a few months ago.

I have a wonderful false sense of well-being which I am thoroughly enjoying. I really don't think I'm actually this happy.

The lawyer that works most closely with the two women who told me about this drink walked up when they were trying to talk me into trying one. (The last time anyone worked this hard to get me to try something was when Jimmy Thibodeaux tried to get me smoke weed in seventh grade.) The lawyer begged me not to try it.

"Every time they drink those damn things they scare me. The other day I thought they were going to chew my face off for some innocent comment I made."  Sounds like just what I need.


Link to Beaumont Enterprise Interview

Someone at the Beaumont Enterprise found my blog and called to interview me. This is a link to the article. My bit is at the end (A Matter of Soul). It's a great article about four Beaumonters who have strong emotional, if not biological, ties to New Orleans. Believe me, there are a lot more than four of us here in Southeast Texas.