Thursday, January 31, 2008
And, to a lesser extent, in my chest. This is what happens to you when you take care of somebody else who had the cold in the first place. Couples, beware. When your partner shows the first signs of sniffling, get out. Take that vacation you've been putting off. Go on, you know you want to. It's more fun alone, anyway, isn't it?
I didn't do that, though. I don't travel well.
In the meantime, I also don't have time to be sick. I still have rehearsals going on and a photo show to hang this afternoon (!).
I admit I'm a little embarrassed about the exhibit. The times I've done this before, I've framed and matted each photograph in a large frame. They looked really nice. This time, I let the show creep up on me, and instead of buying those frames over a period of time - which would have made it affordable - I'm here at the last minute too broke to be able to afford them. So I'm making do with simple little black frames. Hey, if the little black dress works for women, then this should work for me.
If anybody says anything, I'll just explain the reason for the minimalist, early-twentieth-century presentation is to better reveal the rampant chaos hidden in the photographs themselves. That should work. It sounds really New Yorkish, I think.
Wish me luck. Cause I still have to be there for the opening tomorrow night.
Wednesday, January 30, 2008
... will end his presidential bid today, a source close to the Edwards campaign confirmed, effectively narrowing the Democratic field to two contenders less than a week before the Super Tuesday round of primaries.
The former North Carolina senator is scheduled to speak in New Orleans this afternoon, an appearance billed as an anti-poverty speech that is now expected to serve as the platform for ending a White House run that has been five years in the making.
Edwards, 54, the party's vice presidential nominee in 2004, has failed to win any of the Democratic primaries so far, narrowly capturing second place in Iowa and finishing a distant third in South Carolina. However he has accumulated dozens of delegates in the process, and his backing could prove important to the remaining candidates. ...
Edwards' decision ends a candidacy that focused on issues of poverty and economic inequality, couched in language of the "two Americas." He launched his bid a year ago, also in New Orleans, where the slow rebuilding following Hurricane Katrina formed a fitting symbol for the issues around which he built his campaign.
In summoning the media back here today, he referred to poverty as "the great moral issue of our time."
When the [Berlin] wall fell, the Stasi fell with it. The new government, determined to bring to light the agency's totalitarian tactics, created a special commission to give victims access to their personal files. [Ulrike] Poppe and her husband were among the first people in Germany allowed into the archives. On January 3, 1992, she sat in front of a cart loaded with 40 binders dedicated to "Circle 2" — her codename, it turned out. In the 16 years since, the commission has turned up 20 more Circle 2 binders on her.Thank God, this could never happen here.
The pages amounted to a minute-by-minute account of Poppe's life, seen from an unimaginable array of angles. Video cameras were installed in the apartment across the street. Her friends' bedrooms were bugged and their conversations about her added to the file. Agents investigated the political leanings of her classmates from middle school and opened all of her mail. "They really tried to capture everything," she says. "Most of it was just junk."
But some of it wasn't. And some of it ... Poppe doesn't know. No one does. Because before it was disbanded, the Stasi shredded or ripped up about 5 percent of its files. That might not sound like much, but the agency had generated perhaps more paper than any other bureaucracy in history — possibly a billion pages of surveillance records, informant accounting, reports on espionage, analyses of foreign press, personnel records, and useless minutiae. There's a record for every time anyone drove across the border.
Yes, indeed, I have this shirt. I have this shirt for I am, truly, a NOLA HERO. Do not ask me why. It should be obvious.
When I slide that tensile fabric over my head and unfurl it down my torso, my taut flesh quivers at the solemnity of my vocation: NOLA HERO.
For those of you who've never met me, let me say, this portrait captures my likeness as no other. The tone, the sculpting, the muscle mass.
Of course, in reality the bulges aren't in the same places; but the artist exercised his license.
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
I got this one response, though, that's been sitting on my shoulder ever since I got it. My friend, Irene, wrote:
"I guess you haven't had any trouble figuring out what to do since retirement!! I would love to come. I just had chemo again today, so I don't know how I will be Friday. Please keep me posted, though. I only have one more chemo."
The thing is, I know Irene is undergoing chemotherapy for breast cancer. I've known since she found out about it. But I keep forgetting about it.
I keep forgetting about it because, well, because Irene let's me forget about it.
I've known Irene for more than thirty years. She was a fixture at the agency I went to work for in my callow youth. She was a veteran, a pro. She was one of the people there who took me under their wings and taught me what was what, and who protected me from the kind of crap that could wear me down and turn me into one of those bureaucrats you're used to running up against in the world of so-called "governmental service". And I never became one of those.
Irene laughed all the time. She still does. Being Jewish, she always saw herself as the butt of God's great cosmic practical joke. There was always a cartoon cloud hovering over her shimmery sun-blond hair. No matter. Her glasses had windshield wipers fastened atop their Groucho Marx nose and mustache.
I still lose control every time I remember the time she stood up at her desk in the middle of the common work area to announce, "Um, I think I have to get out of here. My water just broke." There she stood in a puddle as our office manager rushed over, shouting, "Somebody get her out of here before we get a complaint."
Her daughter was born later that afternoon. She was back in a few weeks.
I always expect her to be back in a few weeks even though she retired several years before I did, and I seldom see her face to face. In all that time, she's insisted on keeping me in her life with an occasional email updating me on this or that custard pie being lobbed at her face.
She'll be alright. She still has those glasses, and she still laughs all the time.
But sometimes ... I don't know...with all this crap we're all dealing with every day ... all the crime, the incompetence and criminality of our leadership [sic], the arrogance of power ...
In the midst of all this Post-K crap, there's my 'Rene coping with plain old cancer.
Sometimes, you've just got to stop, sit down a minute, think about it all, and appreciate that Old Bastard's punchline.
We'll none of us manage to dodge that final pie in the face.
You scored -7 (-52 being completely gay, 0 being bisexual, and 52 being completely straight)
For the most part, you are bisexual. You have a slight preference for the same gender, but either gender would suit you. If you are sexually inexperienced, it is possible that this will change after you do some experimenting.
|Link: The Sexuality Spectrum Test written by tall_man_54 on OkCupid Free Online Dating, home of the The Dating Persona Test|
View My Profile(tall_man_54)
Monday, January 28, 2008
All proceeds benefit the Desert Pride Community Center.
If, on the other hand, you find yourself in New Orleans at any time during the whole month of February, you'll be able to find me being represented by a whole show of photographs at Cutter's Bar down at 706 Franklin Ave. I might even be there personally for the opening this Friday night.
However, I am shy and wary of crowds, so if you don't see me, please don't take it personally. Stay a while. Have some drinks.
All art starts looking better after a few beers, especially mine.
Like this one, Dave?
Timm and Donnie wouldn't have appreciated it. Although, I do have to say you make me look pretty good in this one.
Then there was this:
You got my head looking way too big in this one. I don't blame you. You were using my camera, and it was new to you. And Donnie's eyes were closed.
But then there was this one:
I confess I messed this one up by going for that ole Cajun moue. But my head's still too big.
What about this one?
No way. This was the one where I spotted your boner.
Then there was this one:
I look all coy and mischievous. And I'm not like that at all. But, um, it's not too bad. No, not bad at all. Timm and Donnie still look good ... I even signed it.
Hey, we got two decent pictures out of 273 shots. That ain't bad.
You done good, Dave.
Sunday, January 27, 2008
This photograph was shot by my little friend Dave; but since I did so much Photoshopping to it, I signed my own name.
Don't gimme no lip, son.
Saturday, January 26, 2008
We both figured I'd write now and then about theater and other arts that I happened to stumble across. It seemed a perfect fit.
Then Loki got runned over on his bicycle in the CBD by an SUV driven by some CEO who plans on suing the little guy for the dent he left in his hood (that's hyperbole). To make a long story short, Loki has only one hand left right now with which to type.
So I've found myself stepping forward and peeping, "I can do it. I'll go on for you. And I'm comin' back a star. Get outta my way."
Man, I'm prophesyin' over there. I'm witnessin'.
I'm wonderin' which will put a hit out on me first, the local theater crowd or the Corporate/Political one.
Friday, January 25, 2008
I really love Japan, and I was hoping to experience those paper walls ...
But, ah, those Canadians and their beer, eh.
Thursday, January 24, 2008
The T-P, of all sources(!), has this to say tonight:
The Charity Hospital System has raised an alarm that Gov. Bobby Jindal's state government hiring freeze is impairing its effort to fill vacancies for more than 100 registered nurses and 200 other jobs in New Orleans to rebuild the public health care system after Hurricane Katrina.Haven't they been reading the papers, watching the news, or getting information the way an elected leader is supposed to?
A top Jindal administration official said she is waiting for the hospital system to provide evidence of its critical job needs before granting any exemptions to the freeze.
With patients waiting 120 days on average for primary care appointments and a patient load that has increased 24 percent in the past six months, the New Orleans Charity medical facility is pursuing an expansion plan that could come to a grinding halt if the hiring process is stymied, officials at the hospital said.
"We are in a limbo of sorts and absolutely not able to make any job offers at this time," said Cathi Fontenot, medical director of the Interim Louisiana State University Public Hospital in New Orleans.To check the growth of the state work force, Jindal signed an executive order Jan. 15, his second day in office, prohibiting state agencies from hiring employees unless granted an exemption from the governor's division of administration.
LSU System President John Lombardi, who oversees the system's universities and the state's Charity hospitals, met with Commissioner of Administration Angele Davis this week to discuss the impact on the hospitals and colleges.
Davis said she asked Lombardi's staff to get back to her as soon as possible with an explanation of the hospital's "critical needs." Once that is received, the division will address the concerns immediately, Davis said.
"I'm waiting on them; they're not waiting on me," Davis said.
How appropriate a response from a public servant.
Read the rest. It's scary. Me, I need a drink.
Now playing: Nina Simone - Pirate Jenny (Stereo)
Sunday was always black. Monday was blue.
But Tuesday was sand; Wednesday was mustard; Thursday, of course, was light goldenrod.
Friday jumped out at me in fire-engine red, then Saturday turned golden ochre.
Why were the majority of my days designer colors? Did I have that big a box of Crayola crayons growing up? Why so few Fauvist colors when those should be so natural to children? Was I just recessive? Advanced?
I don't think I want to know.
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
Monday, January 21, 2008
Sunday, January 20, 2008
They were filled for me with nothing but an enveloping sense of dread about the coming morning when I would have to leave my Saturday cocoon to begin all over again the readjustment to being around people I would not have chosen to associate with.
Now, of course, all that has changed. Sundays are no longer different to me than any other day of the week except in the way I see other people having to deal with them.
Life gets good after retirement.
Now, it's true, my left knee creaks and smarts when I go down the stairs. That's a holdover from the time that overweight blond cop knocked me down on North Rampart Street - long story, not getting into it here. It's true, too, that my lower back hurts for a good half hour after I get out of bed. I pee a lot more than I ever thought I would ever have to. And I pretty much need my daily fix of Metamucil.
Sex is different. I always kind of dug the older, more mature type. But that type is just plain old nowadays. And, I admit, it's time I start thinking about getting a caregiver instead of being one. And, on top of that, the kind of people who find me hot are not exactly the kind of people I'd want to touch with your ten-foot pole.
My monthly income has dropped drastically from my final years at work. But, oddly enough, I don't want for anything that money can buy. I will probably never starve to death.
I have surrounded myself by people I care about, in both the real and virtual worlds. (I know you've seen that old song and dance before, but it's true, it's true.) I nurse no anger or regrets, although I still get a little mad when I have to drive around the city. All the other New Orleans drivers down here are shitasses, I tell you.
Overall, I'm content; and, unlike yours, my Sundays are lovely now.
Oh, but I'm still pissed about those damn Ambies! You don't want to go there.
He's been nursing a cold all week. Those of you who know Bob, know what I mean when I say he's been "nursing a cold". I spent the week servituding him through all of his waking hours except for the time I spent at rehearsals. And he still resented that because, to him, it meant that I was "going out".
Let me tell you, rehearsing is not "going out". Not when your actors decide that now they want direction. Now they want motivation. Now they want assurances. All I wanted was to chill, for Chrissake.
Friday night, he decided he wanted Vick's salve on his chest. He asked me to do it for him. He pleaded with me. He demanded I do it.
I didn't do it. I didn't do it because I was getting ready to go to bed, and I didn't want to have to soap off that vaporising gunk from my hands so close to my being ready to call it a night. I regretted my decision the next morning when he started flinging the recriminations my way. I never do anything for him.
So I did something for him.
I grabbed the jar of Vick's salve, straddled his midsection, plunged my fingers into the scented, mucousy gel and proceeded to slather it all over his chest. I spread it around his neck, occasionally exerting a slight pressure there to let him know what I was capable of doing to him in his condition. I shoved little chunks of it up his nostrils. And then, for cruelty's sake, I rubbed a bit of it on his temples so his eyes would burn.
That was yesterday. Last night, I did it to him again before he went to bed.
This morning, he tells me he's feeling a lot better. He thinks he's finally licked his cold.
Me, I'm feeling a little congested.
Saturday, January 19, 2008
Friday, January 18, 2008
We ran Act One, and the work we did there was real and gritty. We started putting it all together. Explorations are coming to a close, and we are paring things down to essentials. The actors kicked ass. They're practically performance-ready.
This morning, I woke with a sinking feeling: Is this a one-act play?
We'll run Act Two tonight. I'll need to watch it closely.
"I haven't slept all night. When I close my eyes, I see a labtop in front of me."
"A labtop. A labtop."
"Yeah, a labtop. Then I start playing cards on it. I've been playing cards all night long. But my fever's gone."
(And I'm thinking, I'm not so sure ... )
Next week is your call, Dave.
See more cemetery photos from Firehorse, Jeff, and NOLA Cleophatra.
I'm still waiting on Kyklops. (Never mind, he's weighed in with this post.)
Dave's buddy, Bud, has posted one now.
D in Colorado has met the challenge, too.
Now Dave's friend, Bryan, has entered Da-a-ave's Weekly Photo Challenge. (I don't know why I'm giving him space here ... )
Thursday, January 17, 2008
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
A Swedish bomb squad called out to disarm a suspicious package on Wednesday did not find a ticking bomb. But they did find a vibrating sex toy.
A janitor alerted police after he found the package in a garage of an apartment building in Goteborg, the country's second-largest city, police spokesman Jan Strannegard said.
The package was humming and vibrating suspiciously, so police took no chances and sent out a team of explosives experts. After having cordoned off the area, they opened the package with bomb disposal equipment, only to find the battery-operated [sex] device inside.
"The package was vibrating when the janitor found it, but I think it had sort of died out by the time it was disarmed," Strannegard said.
Best Original Play:
Nighthawks - by Evan Guilford-Blake
Cobalt Blue - by Louie Crowder
Mandi Turner - Vera Cartwright, The Fat Man's Wife, and Rhonda, Nighthawks
Lisa Davis - Taffy, Love at the Lounge
Keith Launey - Dennis Merriwether, The Fat Man's Wife; Karl, And Tell Sad Stories of the Deaths of Queens; and Galen, Nighthawks
Frederick Mead - Candy Delaney, And Tell Sad Stories of the Deaths of Queens
Shannon Williams - William, Cobalt Blue
Best Supporting Actress:
Liz Mills - Half of All The Female Characters, Valhalla
Cammie West - The Other Half of All The Female Characters, Valhalla
Best Supporting Actor:
Tim Bellow - Mackie, Nighthawks
Chris Weaver - Henry Lee Stafford/Helmut/An Opera Singer, Valhalla
Best Ensemble Cast:
Hell, I give 'em all a Beary.
I'm feeling better already.
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
Monday, January 14, 2008
Sunday, January 13, 2008
He's contacted me to let me know he's added me to his contributors list, he's given me a username and password, and he expects me to get to work now. In his Contact's list, he calls me a Tattoed Ursine Thespian.
Is that what I'm to be reduced to? I thought I'd finally lived down all those years of hustling my ass as a thespo, for Chrissake. By God, I'm a regisseur now!
But, no, oh, no. It never goes away, does it?
Anyway, check out Humid City sometime.
Jeff is a friend of Dave's who wants to contribute to our Weekly Photo Challenge. But like a lot of us guys, he sort of "arrived" too soon -n'est-ce pas? Dave announced next Friday's challenge - Cemeteries - this past Friday. But Jeff has already posted his.
It's good. Take a look.
Saturday, January 12, 2008
What do you have to do to get evicted from Bourbon Street?
All of which means that when I arrived at the Temple for rehearsal, I was just in time to see the crowd gathering in front of Rosalie Alley.
I should backtrack.
Since after we took a break for Christmas and New Year's, we've been rehearsing Calme au Blanc in a Vodou Temple in the Bywater neighborhood. It's kind of all right for me. But it's a little unsettling for the actors. Not in any superstitious way. It's just that there's a lot of clutter, and they're scared to move in case they break something.
One night, Chris slipped on a part of the floor that was really slick, and a priestess called out that she would mess him up royally if he slid into one of her altars, Goddammit!
It's a kind of tight fit. Anyway, that's where we're working right now.
So ... where was I?
Oh, yes, arriving there just in time to see the crowd. They were surrounding the Head Priestess in her Vodou Whites as I approached in my car. (I don't walk there. It's too far, and I don't know what the hell might be hiding in the bushes. I mean, I saw an elephant on a bicycle last night as I was looking for a place to park. Not a fat person - an elephant!)
Next thing I know, they all walk into Rosalie Alley, heading toward the Temple. I hang around outside on the street, waiting for Louie to show up. Meanwhile, people start coming and going with walkie-talkies, looking all officious and important even though they're all, like, just children, for Chrissakes. But whatever it is they're doing, they're doing it as though it's important. So maybe it is. What do I know?
Louie shows up, and I explain that something's going on. He goes in to find out.
He comes back to me and says, "No big deal. It's a shoot for some magazine. W or something, if that means anything. They'll be done for seven. Then we have the place to ourselves."
I say, "W?" And I'm thinking, they'll be here till tomorrow morning. But I don't say that to Louie.
To make a long story short ... and believe me, I am. I'm not even mentioning the little cop working the detail who I have a long conversation with who thinks Rosalie Alley would be an ideal place to set up a little hide-away apartment - "you know what I mean?"
But I digress. The whole thing does run on schedule. A few minutes before seven, people start to leave. First, one and two, then a larger group. I step into the alley a little bit, and as I do, I spot a guy walking towards me who looks familiar. This isn't anyone I've ever met, but it's someone I've seen before. He spies me looking at him, and he looks right back at me.
As he approaches me, he says, "Hey."
And I say, "Evening, sir. It's a pleasure to meet you."
Then I think for a second, What the hell? And I say, "Sir, I wonder if I could take a picture of you?"
He says, "You can do whatever you want."
I whip out my new little teeny, tiny camera that I can carry with me anywhere I go, and the guy who's with him - his handler, I guess - says, "Would you like me to take the picture? Go ahead, stand next to him."
So I do. There's a flash, and the picture comes out looking fine.
I don't usually post pictures of myself. Mainly cause I always end up looking all like a fool. And in this case, it's no different. But in this case, I'm making an exception because, although that's me looking all like a fool, that's me standing next to Dr. John!