Sunday, May 31, 2009

le Plume de ma Tante

Last night I went out and saw a play with a French title that reminds me of the title I gave to this post. It was called Chapeau Tombe Nan La Mer, and it's supposed to mean "My Hat Fell into the Sea", but I can't swear to that.

Chapeau is the fifth of a projected six-play cycle of works written by my friend Louie Crowder in response to Hurricane Katrina. He calls this aggregate, Disaster Number 1604.

Louie, of course, is not the only person here in New Orleans writing about the devastation wrought by the failures of our levee system in response to the storm. He's not even the only playwright dealing with the subject. John Biguenet, for one, is making a household name for himself across the country with his Rising Water trilogy, backed as he is by all the production resources and finances of the prestigious Southern Rep Theatre.

Louie's got no sustenance like that behind him, only a dogged determination, a gift for words, and a personal vision that is unique. Louie is a Vodou mystic.

I was lucky to have participated in the first three plays of the Disaster series, first as an actor in Cobalt Blue, then as the director of Calme au Blanc. I missed seeing the fourth play, but had been able to read it. I wasn't going to miss Chapeau Tombe Nan La Mer.

The play tells the story of a young man who wades out of the Gulf of Mexico with a trumpet in hand on the day Hurricane Gustav is expected to reach landfall. A National Guardsman discovers him and finds that he is someone who had vanished during the confusion of Katrina and has been presumed dead. That is what the available records state.

The young man's own story is different, though. He explains to the Guardsman that he had long desired to join with the sea and had finally done so on that long-ago Monday of August 29, 2005. As he says, he bowed to the sea, his hat fell in, and he followed it.

Now, back on land in New Orleans and reunited with the mother who had already mourned his loss, it appears that he may not have simply returned, but, in fact, been dispatched to carry out a transformative miracle.

Is he here to bring about the end of days?

And what does that charged phrase mean, the "end of days"? Oblivion? Or a transfiguration?

The mystic's answer will always be found in exaltation.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Friday, May 29, 2009

Why Is It I Do What It Is That I Do?

I've been in a dark, angry place for a while now. I might be ready to talk a little bit about it, but I'm not too sure. I mean, I don't want any rushing rivers to wash out my bridges - if you know what I mean.

It's been two months now since we finished up with our production of The Glass Menagerie. Since then, I've been deluding myself into thinking I'm on some kind of vacation, like as if I were in Tuscany or some other place like that, when, in actuality, I'm just fuckin' unemployed.

What I did was, I put all my poultry produce into one carry-all and dropped it.

In other words, if you work for somebody who is about to die - and then he does - you're up shit's creek.

Is that being mean or ugly or crass?

No, that's just me being me, talking about, dealing with, life and all the rest of it, like, you know, death. Hell, don't freak out about thinking about death. Death's as common as a birth or a bowel movement. Nothing much to worry about.

If you're lucky.

So what am I talking about?

Ah, yes, that is the question, and it really is the question: "to be or not ..."

For the last few days, I've been doing what unemployed peopled are supposed to do, which is to lay out a resume and get it all prepped and proper and looking good to send out to all those other people who have the wherewithal to redeem the failures of us common folk and restore us to the life we were always meant to live in this great city in this great state in this great country in this great hemisphere - upon this great planet.

Damn, I'm overwhelmed.

But not by much.

'Cause I did a little research ... And nothing much has changed since time began.

The sweetest thing about doing my resume and working up a press kit on the plays I'd had something to do with was that it filled me with joy.

It reminded me of what it was my brother Russell told me about a couple of years ago (when I got my tonsils yanked out) - that there was some kind of medicine the hospital people shot you up with that made it for sure that you forgot anything bad or unpleasant that might have happened to you after you went under. It's the same kind of stuff they give pregnant ladies popping babies so that they decide to have more as soon as this one's out of the pot.

What is it, anyway? Is it the same kind of stuff that's in cocaine and heroin that makes the user forget all the really bad shit and only remember the good?

'Cause when I was doing my resume and my press kit, all I could think of was, this is really cool rock'n'roll ... joy.

'Cause what it was that I was going through and thinking about was, it meant I didn't have to remember anymore about the double-dealing double-booking that the new management at the theatre had done that meant we had to rush the Menagerie audience the hell out of the theatre as soon as the curtain fell and that we had to strike the set before the actors could even get out of their costumes.

What I was thinking about meant I didn't have to remember returning to the theatre for our second week to find out that all our light cues had been erased from the console or that several of our set pieces had been drawn and quartered - or, as you say in English, destroyed.

It meant I didn't have to ever think again about the dog shit on the floor backstage or on the floor of the house, or about being lectured to concerning theatre etiquette by the same people who had blocked the theatre's fire exit with old, unused props and broken chairs.

No. It meant I was able to look back at my last three years with some pride, knowing that I had, with the assistance of some remarkably talented people, crafted something good, something out of the ordinary, something hopeful, something that would be remembered by some people I would never know who would keep these certain feelings we'd insinuated into them inside of them until the day they died.

Is this then, what it is I do, worthwhile?

As worthwhile as the sun rising over the Mississippi River on the left side of my bed each morning.

Yes, it is.

Gotta Have It!

I swear, every time I get ready to start cleaning out my newsreader, deleting all the shit I don't even look at anymore, something like this pops ups and just takes my breath away.

Hey, listen, I've already invested in two sets of Sham-Wows® and four Snuggies™; and it's true, I don't know how the hell I ever lived without them before somebody invented them and made them available to me over the television for a nominal fee.

Well, I've got my little orange debit card ready and scorching a dark ring in the palm of my left hand right now as I punch in that 800 number on my cell to place my order. I want one in each color. Thank God for disposable income I don't have to hang onto to put a kid through college or adopt a puppy or buy shoes for some barefoot urchin in a dirty village somewhere.

Don't you so think I would look swell in a Wearable Towel - or as someone put it, a Wow-el?

Monday, May 25, 2009

Is It Immutable?

I was wondering about something this Memorial Day: Does any war ever end? The reason for my curiosity had to do with a feeling, an itch I've been scratching, that we Americans may still be waging our own great tragedy, the Civil War, right down to the present day. But I'm not going to deal with that idea right now. It was something else I came across that brought me up short and precipitated this post.

I decided to do a little Google search on American wars and found that since July 4, 1675, every generation here has had its own war to deal with. My own lifespan has intersected with nine of those wars. I could conceivably see twelve or thirteen before my time is up. Others still living have seen more than that already.

I guess it's just the nature of things ... Nothing to get worked up about.

Right?

The Lesson for Today ...

... Comes from the current New York Magazine:
Spermine, a powerful anti-oxidant originally discovered in, yes, human sperm, is said to diminish wrinkles and smooth the skin. The substance is now being synthesized in laboratories and sold by a Norwegian company called (seriously) Bioforskning. Spermine facials (really) cost $250 at Townhouse Spa, where the substance is penetrated with ultrasound and infrared light (a more basic treatment can be found for $125 at the nearby Graceful Services). Also available at Townhouse for $175: snail-secretion facials.
Discuss among yourselves.

Memorial Day

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Shutter Lock

Hinges


Beauregard-Keyes House

On the Lack of Having Something to Write about

Without a play to be working on, I'm a bore. That is why I tend to seclude myself from people during times like this. I'm doing nothing, therefore, I do not exist. Pickup conversations I might have tend to go like this:

"Hey. 'S'up?"

"Nothin'."

"Got a show comin' up?'

"No, nothin'."

"Hmm ... see ya."

I guess I could write about local politics and all, but then I figure, hell, it's in the papers and on TV, and all the other bloggers around here are shooting their righteous wads over the ubiquitous corruption and the racial and social divisions, what can I add? More fretful frustration?

Maybe I could get enthusiastic about the books I'm reading, except I haven't picked them up off the little side table where I left them more than a week ago.

What I need is a kid, a baby. Yeah, some little cuddle-bug about ready to start crawling. I could really take up space writing about that little miracle, my kid. I'd call him "my own little 'crawfish'".
"You won't be reading this for a long time to come, but when you do, Li'l Crawfish, you're going to realize what a difference you made in my empty, selfish life.

"Today - this morning at 5:17 AM, to be exact - you turned thirteen-months old, and you know what? You know what? You wanna know what? Well, I'll tell you what. Today, with you turning thirteen months old, well, I just love you thirteen times more than I did thirteen short months ago when you ripped your mommy's precious flower to shreds while giving me the vision of the miracle of childbirth.

"You made me see myself in relation to the universe, and you know what? You know what? You wanna know what? Well, I'll tell you what. With you in my arms, I stand pretty tall in this wide, wide world.

"Li'l Crawfish, I love you. I love you, love you, love you thirteen times. And a month from now, I'll love you fourteen times. Then it'll be fifteen. And, well, you get the idea, don't you? Yes, you do, you do, cause you're the smartest, sharpest li'l crawfish in the ditch. You are. Yes, you are."
Yeah, a kid would give me something to write about. A photogenic kid. A photogenic kid with a happy, goofy smile and some kind of winning personality.

Anybody got one of those you don't need?

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Typical

New Orleans gets the Superbowl ... One year after the world has ended.

At least, this means we won't have any hurricanes again until then.

Right?

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Pardon Me

I haven't been myself for the past several days. You see, today, Tuesday, March 19th, has been creeping up on me. What's with today? you ask. Well, today was the day my Wise Young Doctor had selected as the day I was to undergo a stress test.

You know what a stress test is, don't you? That's when your doctor orders you to get up on a treadmill and walk, then run, faster and progressively faster, first on a level track, then gradually on a steeper incline, until you either
  • Fall off the treadmill,
  • Drop dead of a coronary, or
  • Scream at the technician, "That's it for this motherfucker. I'm getting off."
The reason your doctor puts you through this test is to open your eyes to the fact that you are nearer to death now than you have ever been before in your entire life. Therefore, it behooves you to listen to what the kind doctor will be telling you to do for however precious months or years you may have left to you in this, your pathetic, crumbling life.

I confess I had been concerned. I didn't want to go and do this thing and had considered canceling my appointment up until the moment I actually left the house to get into the car to drive uptown and take The Test.

I woke pretty early and took my shower. Messed my hair up enough to make it look as though it had all just fallen into place like that. I waited till the last minute to get dressed, though.

The nurse who had set up the appointment had told me to dress light and summery, to dress down since I would be doing some physical activity.

Normally, when I go to the doctor, I dress up, which means, since my retirement, long pants - usually jeans. Today, I could actually wear shorts without getting sideways looks from Bob. Bob suggested I wear a button-up shirt. I had already planned to wear a button-up shirt since I knew from having witnessed some of Bob's stress tests, that I would have electrodes pasted to my upper body.

Preparing to get dressed, I reached into my drawer and pulled out a pair of socks and began to explore the variety of boxer shorts I had left over from my working days. Now is the time I suppose I should mention that I haven't actually been wearing my boxers religiously in the last couple of years or so.

In fact, I had not been wearing them for so long that the pair I selected didn't quite fit me right. Sitting there in that dark drawer, unused for so long, they had shrunk. And tight boxers can do some real damage with one false move.

But what could I do? On the one hand, I thought to myself, So what? Commando is no big deal. On the other hand, I could hear my mother's voice hectoring me from the olden days, "Don't you dare be wearing dirty drawers. If something should happen to you, and you had to go to the hospital, and the nurses found dirty drawers on your butt, I'd die, and you'd be all alone without a mother for the rest of your long, lonely life. Is that what you want to do to me?"

Mom won out; the boxers went on. I managed to place my junk just so, and prayed it would stay in place throughout the drive and the treadmill procedure. It pretty much did.

I made it through the test and didn't call a halt to it or lose my grip and sail off the apparatus. I didn't experience a cardiac episode (I don't think I did). I kept a-going till the tech, or whatever he was, said I could stop.

Eventually, I'll get the result and my Wise Young Doctor and I will sit together and map out a blueprint for my future. I figure my arteries are pretty well calcified by now, and my heart runs a hundred-yard dash every time I get up out of the Barcalounger.

But, hell, I've been forty-eight-years-old for ten years now. There's bound to be some wear and tear.

Hey, Mr. Google Man

Why is it that lately when I write a new post for this little blog-thingy here, a strange piece of something or other shows up in the HTML code? It's this:
img src="data:image/png;base64,iVBOR
w0KGgoAAAANSUhEUgAAABYAAAAUCAYAAACJ
fM0wAAAABHNCSVQICAgIfAhkiAAAAAlwSFlzAAAK8AAAC
vABQqw0mAAAAB90RVh0U29mdHdhcmUATWFjcm9tZWR
pYSBGaXJld29ya3MgOLVo0ngAAAAWdEVYdENyZWF0aW
9uIFRpbWUAMDQvMDQvMDhrK9wWAAACMElEQVQ4ja3
SP2gTcRQH8O8vvUtIGmkqTY3SaMVFz6KDW2ywg4s4dG
gXp3SyVLIIthCKQxCCuoZaXaSO/ilKd4sSdXRL0EWtIRYa
SkXsJTH33utwSZM01xo0D353v+N+97l33/upQCAwFgwG
fehiFYtFUxsYGPCmUqmv3YQTicSwBgCapnXTBQB
oSinout5VVCnVDr/44BOZH0xs6KMThCfR3LRs+aT
ycjvbwfCmawvduZkn7EwN4TBfheY90fXN6uYuffdyGQR
u3apkmyDmzM2K8pYmBvC6kcLK+/KMEsWLCIQMSy
LULUIFhH0HsGNycNYnDuO6PRno9lQSsFVh+tDQSEY
6MHymzJKFQILgxkgYhALmBnMDLNsIf1sA8cG3VDYY
zhFAWWfRBjCAiIbIxYQE1ga17+2GSICKLQYznCtiATE
DK6BIrU5MUhgd0+NH+AIt+5jshdqgkpVwEwNkBgs9ly
E4XY3nnLMWNf13QEAG1uE2JVe9PUC5JCvCMPrVpif
Oor1YnW34/pw7NjvVbmZ+3ljcTaMq5EjbRFJ07Gw8Q
fTd9fg96rc3o7bMh4f9SytvDenLl7/ZADAl5cjWF7dwmy
60PaSeiPjo56lv2Ycnzi0Fp9AEgAu39x8+urtT9x5/GP
74a2++LlTuumo76kDd4W9ALj9qIDIiOfBhdO+jtB9O
279TFcuet77fD7Wn+sU7ajj1+kTSccb/wvaymloEKh0
Fg4HPZ2E87n86Udvs4FoWqwSHUAAAAASUVORK
5CYII=" style="position:absolute; visibility:hidden;
z-index: 2147483647; left: 266px;
top: 2px;" id="kosa-target-image" /
What does it mean? What does it do, if anything? I ask the second question because every time I find it, I delete it and nothing seems to happen.

Just wondering.

Should I be concerned? Or, like, paranoid?!

... By the way, it's back again ...

Monday, May 18, 2009

It's Alive! It's Alive! ... What? It's Not? Oh. Never Mind.

The Louisiana Senate has voted today to ban
... research designed to create animal-human hybrids, a practice that is apparently not occurring in the state but is cast by legislative critics as a potential violation of Louisiana's ethics and morals.
I love the way the author of the article, Bill Barrow, manages to put the words "Louisiana", "ethics", and "morals" together into one sentence.

Givin' 'Em Head

I'm sure you've all been following the saga of New Orleans Councilwoman Stacey Head in her battle for truth, justice, and the American way down here in the swomps.

Basically, what the Councilwoman has down has been to hoist herself up to the tip-top position of all-around lightning rod for all things racist in the city of New Orleans and its environs. ...

Wait. You know what? I'm at a loss.

I really wanted to write something funny about the emails the woman is releasing on her website, but I find I can't. The whole sorry tale is too pathetic to make fun of because all the bantam-weight egos involved in it are too self-serving and downright wicked to be tolerated in this unhinged city during this stressful time.

The behavior of the folks involved in all this blather cries out for something as basic as an old-fashioned spanking, which is probably something their mothers should have administered to them back when the time was right.

Girls, there is something bigger here than your crippling feuds and asinine middle-school snubs. Shut up and get to work, or go away.

Far, far away.

Update already - here is a part of what I wanted to say.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

On the Importance of Making a Good Impression

Okay, so things are looking decidedly different around here. Ever since I got that review, the one that praised the writing here but damned the template, I've been tinkering and reconstructing the look of this thing until I finally hit a wall and dropped flat on my ass like a brick.

First, I tried that classic template for a while. You know, the sandy-colored one that was kind of like a mirror image of what you're looking at now. I kind of liked it, but there were things I wanted to do with it but couldn't because I'd have to get down under the hood and grease my fingers up, and, contrary to what you may have assumed by assiduously following this blog over the years, I don't like to do that. No, I really don't. Besides, people spend years, even lifetimes, learning to do that kind of thing for a living, and I'll be damned if I'm going to undercut their livelihood in such a vicarious day and time as this in which we live.

I spent hours in solitude, scouring the Internets for some template I could relate to. I found one, too. But that one wouldn't even let me monkey around with the colors, for Chrissake. If I ever learn how, I might come back to it.

Instead, I stepped back, took time to consider what my critic had said, and mulled it all over. The point seemed to be that too moosh (as my old neighbor Miss Eloy would say) is just that, too much.

Frankly, I'm amazed that the answer to my predicament had hidden itself from me in a dark corner for so long. Anyone who's ever seen the kind of work I do would tell you I'm a wild-eyed, radical minimalist. Of course! Eureka! Duh ... light bulb on!

What you see here now is Blogger's own Minima template, further minimized. I hope you like it. If you don't, well, try to live with it for a few months. That's how long it's going to take before I try to update the son of a bitch again.

Now, please excuse me while I take a shower. I hear a distant cocktail being poured for me, even as we speak.

A Variegated Leaf

A New Plumeria

Friday, May 15, 2009

Oops, I Did It Again

Just got another email from my brother. He wrote:
I think I like the humor in what I read about myself in your BLOG ... whatever the hell that word means. I am not an RN, but an LPN, that's lesser. I hope I'm not the reason you left Crowley, yuk. I am not Security, but Safety/Environmental Services (Housekeeping). Any way it was funny to hear your true thoughts ... and I hope I did piss you off a little :-).

I read some more and quite liked it. You're a good writer. In fact ... a very good writer.
Aw, Russ, you know I love ya, man.

But ... Housekeeping?

Spontaneous Sculpture

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Oh! {Snap} Before I Forget

The night before last was the night of the Eleventh Annual Marquee Awards. The Marquee Awards are presented for excellence in theatre by a gentleman named Jay Stanley. Don't bother trying to find out anything about him or them online. There's hardly anything on the Internets about either one of them. I did phone him last night and asked him to furnish me with a history of his awards. He promised to get the information to me, but I haven't received it yet.

The award itself is a lovely metal plaque mounted on wood product engraved with the winner's name and the name of the show for which the winner has won. A humble charm of the Marquee Award is that usually at least one of the names (the winner's or the show's) is misspelled. I mention this, not as a criticism of Mr. Stanley, but for the fact that, to my mind, this error stands as an existential reminder that the act of winning the award - any award - needs to remain in its proper place in the worthwhile (or otherwise) accomplishments achieved during the span of one's lifetime. It's like the Ash Wednesday admonishment that one day you're going to die and rot in the dirt, and don't you ever forget it.

The Marquee Awards are not the most coveted of all the local theatre awards. They may, in fact, hold third or fourth place among the sycophants (or should I say, the acolytes) of the four awards given out in the city. But since they come from one man with a history of theatrical endeavors in his long life (and since he's recognized my work twice in two years), I have great respect for these awards as opposed to the other ones for which I wasn't even nominated.

Believe me, I thank God every morning for the great, forgiving heart He's blessed me with.

This year, I was especially fortunate, since I played a part in the issuance of four of the awards. First, Cammie West's work was recognized for her supporting role in a musical I directed. Then Jim Walpole was honored for his musical direction of Thrill Me: the Leopold and Loeb Story. Thrill Me was also selected as the best musical of 2008, giving Donnie Jay his overdue due as a producer; and I also picked up a Marquee for my direction of the show.

I confess I felt awkward being recognized for my work on a dark, chamber musical in a room full of Kander and Ebb veterans and Fosse fabricators, but, what can I say? None of them had come to see the show, so they couldn't really judge. Mr. Stanley had, and Monday night belonged to him.

Thank you, Jay. I treasure your regard.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Family

While sitting here, I just received an email form my brother. He wrote:
Are you there?

I have been having a buildup of clear mucous in my throat, and when I talk a lot or sing, I have to keep clearing my throat. Sometimes it's real hard to clear. What can I do to remedy this? I have to sing with the Men's Choir this afternoon, and I want to be at my best. I'm in the tenor section and we're doing the Ave Maria.

HELP!!!
My brother's a retired fire chief, a former EMT, a no-longer practicing RN, and he now works as a security manager (or something having to do with terrorism and hurricanes) in my hometown hospital. He thinks of me to ask about mucous. Ever wonder why I moved to New Orleans?

By the way, I told him to lip-sync.

A Hero for Our Times

I got to pass some time last night with a buddy of mine, let's call him Jim. Jim's not doing too well these days.

See, before Katrina, Jim used to be a school teacher here in town. Nowadays, he does construction work, building maintenance, all-around handyman jobs for wages paid under the table. I know, it's wrong to live like that, but that's how some people choose to make their way in the world. What can you do? Jim is not a lazy man, however. He works on at least three of these jobs at a time.

That's what's making it difficult for him to determine on which of these jobs he developed what he believes might be a hernia. Not that he would want to sue anyone over it. He just believes he might have been able to garner a little financial help in getting it taken care of. Not to pay a hospital bill to get it fixed, mind you, (hell, he could get that done at University Hospital right now if he wanted to) but to help him make it through the recovery time when he wouldn't be able to climb or lift.

So he's at a loss, but still pretty philosophical about it. What was getting him down last night was something else, something anyone of us could be facing following one of those unguarded moments when the bottom - literally - falls out of our lives.

Yesterday afternoon, long before I'd come upon him, Jim had gingerly dressed himself and left his home in the lower Quarter to head down to the Walgreen's store on the corner of Elysian Fields and Saint Claude. He was going there to buy himself a jockstrap or two. From Jim's house to that Walgreen's is not normally a bad walk, but it was hot, and he did have to watch how he put his left leg down with each step he took, so let's just say the walk was a little uncomfortable.

Finally, he arrived at the swooshing door that blew out a rush of cool air-conditioning to slap him in the face and wake him from his torpor. He made his way to the back of the store where such items are to be found only to find there were none.

With a sigh, he left and wondered where next to go. There was another Walgreen's on Decatur Street in the Quarter, a block past Jackson Square, and he set out for that one with a careful limp.

Finally, another swooshing door, another blast of cold, another lack of "support". This second Walgreen's had no jockstraps either. What to do?

Well, he was only a few blocks now from Second Skin Leather on Saint Philip Street. He'd try to backtrack that far.

Lo, and behold, once inside, there they were, dozens of jocks in all kinds of styles and fabrics. Typical elastic cotton. Leather, Rubber, Vinyl. Double back-strapped, single back-strapped - no back-straps, an engineering marvel, probably useless for Jim's needs, but something to keep in mind for the holidays. Sadly, Second Skin did not exhibit any in Jim's size. There were smalls, larges, extra larges, double-XL's, triple-XL's, even 4-XL's (something for me to keep in mind for the holidays), but no mediums. He asked the cashier if there were any others in the back and was told there were none.

"... But we'll be ordering more in September."

Jim figured he couldn't wait that long, so he decided to gird his loins, so to speak, and try to make it to Canal Street where he could surely find what he was looking for.

Canal Street has long since crumbled from its high perch as a capital of commercialism and is now a banal street of empty buildings perched alongside ritzier-than-ritzy hotels, McDonald's burger joints, a Radio Shack or two, and lots of athletic shoe retailers.

But you know what? Nobody sold jockstraps. Not even Saks Fifth Avenue in One Canal Place. Jim checked.

He finally had to admit defeat and succumb to a bout of despondency. He found a bench to rest his nut on and bewail his fate until he had regrouped enough energy to make his way back through the narrow Quarter streets to sit with friends at his neighborhood bar and quaff a few pitchers of beer. Perhaps not a wise choice of beverage for a man in his condition, but people are people. Whatcha gonna do?

That's where I found him and heard him roll out his tale as if he were some blind and bearded bard from a long-ago world creating a new myth. It's a myth that fills my soul with a particular existential terror. No common jockstraps (in medium) to be found within walking distance of - of all places - the French Quarter of New Orleans.

We live in a wasteland of despair.

But Jim goes on. I imagine him this morning, tentatively climbing another long ladder to reach the second-story eave of a home in the Bywater to slap a coat of paint onto it. Tomorrow, he might be cautiously carrying lumber from a nearby truck to another place in the Marigny where he will saw and later hammer it between two posts to make a wall.

All without a ball ...

Friday, May 8, 2009

Spitting My Coffee

Comments overheard recently that caused the bear to lose whatever dignity he had left:
On renewing an old acquaintance: "Sure, I remember you. Moose Pussy."

Describing some of the performers and attendees at a recent theatrical tribute to a deceased producer friend: "Competitive Mourners".

On the reaction of the New Orleans Theatre Community (sic) to the news that a once-local (pre-K) thirteen-year-old boy had been nominated for a Tony Award as Best Featured Actor in a Musical for Billy Elliott: "They're falling over themselves like a clutch of Nambla queens at a Cub Scout rally."
Sorry.

In Half Light

These past few weeks have been dull for me - not dull as in boring, but dull as in unpolished, unsaturated, lusterless. I'm living my life in half light while fighting to douse a fire of rage consuming my spirit.

Since I was a child, I've owned a visceral abhorrence to injustice (or unfairness) of any kind. It's such a strong component of my marrow that I've never learned to detach myself and move away. When confronted with it, I find myself rooted, spellbound, looking upon it, not able to shift my gaze while I seethe, my stomach roiling.

Lately, I've been wondering about the rise of mediocrity in the world. For years, I've noticed the bent toward less and poorer education in our country's schools. It always stood to reason, a population fixed in ignorance is easily led. Those few who have the wherewithal to receive a deeper education, sans any hint of a Socratic methodology, would rise to an elite status and herd the flocks of sheep.

I remember a few years ago, participating in a work-related conference about the future of the workplace in a brave, newly-imagined world rising above a fast-approaching horizon, hearing a city official declaim against encouraging students to strive for college admissions and declaring a need for more technical schools, since "everybody's gon' always need a plumber."

Today, the "plumber" speaks to the masses in the marketplace and in myriad town squares.

We have relegated generations of children to a lifetime of ignorance and banality.

My world is small and circumspect, but if one cannot see the world in a grain of sand, one has no sight; and what I see is that the second rate has throttled excellence and ground it into the mud where fewer and fewer can glimpse its luster.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Monday, May 4, 2009

In a Quandary

I just fielded a phone call from a manager of the agency I used to work for. She was wondering if I wanted to come back to work on a temporary, 90-day assignment, and I told her no.

Damn it, why do people always put me on the spot like that?

On the one hand, I'd be paid the same rate of pay I was receiving when I retired, which was a pretty (shiny!) penny, for answering questions over the telephone. In one month's time, I'd have enough money to produce a show. After three months, I'd have the seed investment for a whole (personal! my own!) production company.

And I told her no.

The thing is I'm not ready to start leaving the house on a daily basis, driving out to an office to sit at a computer and take phone calls. It's 2009. Why can't this be done at a location of my choice - like my home, for instance? The I T unit of this agency can set me up with a secure connection via my own internet provider. Furthermore, that kind of working arrangement is not any more open to abuse than toiling under the watchful gaze of a supervisor, since every key stroke is recorded. It would be fairly easy to determine if I was shirking.

I also don't want to be away from Bob for that length of time every day from Monday till Friday. I don't want to give up taking naps in the early afternoon. I don't want to relinquish the simple freedom of being able to walk out of my building and go anywhere I want to at the moment I want to do it. I feel as though I've earned the right to let a little selfishness enter into my life. I enjoy waking up around three in the morning, knowing I'm facing a day of limitless possibilities where anything can happen, and I can accomplish anything I set out to do.

So I told her no.

Some things just aren't worth the money. Am I wrong in thinking that?

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Early Morning Gardenia

A Combustion of Foliage

Everything Must Go

Bobby shot this on our way to Donnie Jay's Tribute last night. It was one of only two good exposures he got all evening. The other one was a picture of two guys kissing each other next to a giant drag queen. I won't be publishing that one. One of the two guys kissing was me.

And I don't take a good picture.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Tonight


A Tribute to Donald "Donnie Jay" James

Friday, May 1, 2009
8:00 PM

The Marigny Theatre
1030 Marigny Street

Your Master of Ceremonies: Vatican Lokey
Musical Director/Accompanist: Jim Walpole

Performers
(In Alphabetical Order)

Becky Allen
Leon Contavesprie
Lisa Davis
Cathy Fox
Rebecca Fox
Rikki Gee
Jason George
Marshall Harris
Eric Michael Liddick
Marcy Marcell
Lyla Hay Owen
Michael Sullivan
Tami Tarmack
Chris Wecklein

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...