Sunday, June 28, 2009

'Kay, These Were Meant to Mean Something ...

... But they had to sit waiting for so long, it's just right that I let them loose. Everything's caught up. All up to date. No more ideas hiding, no more photos waiting ... it is done.

It's Late - Let's Dump This Shit

These are photos I've been holding on to ...

Let 'em go now ...

Table Mat, Flat

Table Mat with Cherry Tomatoes, Salted

My World Keeps Getting Smaller and Smaller

A linen table mat.

A single shutter.

Two Plumeria blossoms.

A Public Service Announcement

I don't often comment on news stories here on my blog. I know a lot of people do that, but I don't often feel adequate to add my own two-cents (senses?) to what should already be plain in the original piece.

I also think it's cheeky to create a post just to direct my reader to a news story I have found interesting for one reason or another. I got it off a newsreader. I'm pretty sure you can find a story of interest on your own.

All of which is a long way of saying, "Hey, there's this article I came across you really ought to read. You can find it up there under my banner in the line of links running across this page."

Hint: If it has to do with "News", you ought to be able to figure out which link I'm referring to. And since today is the 40th anniversary of something of note that happened that had nothing to do with Michael Jackson (I could be wrong), you should be able to discern what news article I think you might find interesting.

If not, then maybe this can help with that:

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Nearly 40 Years

Bobby's cousin Beverly visited with us today. It was a rare visit. Beverly lives across the Lake, and people who live across the Lake don't care that much for New Orleans. To them, it's a "sooty" place.

But Bobby had promised something to her son, and so she came to collect it and to sit a while and chat. They had a lovely conversation, refurbishing the past and conjuring up the ancestors they had known and shared.

When it was time for her to leave, I walked her to her car while still she chatted.

Out on the sidewalk, she turned to me and asked, "How long have you and Bobby been together?"

I had to stop and make a quick count.

"Thirty-three years," I said.

"My gosh," she said, "people don't stay married that long."

I skipped a step, but soon caught up with her as we kept walking to her car. Still she chatted.

Once we had reached her destination, she stopped and looked at me and said, "Bobby has become so frail. Thank you for taking care of him."

"What else would I do?" I said.

She grabbed me in a fierce hug that took my breath away. Then she was gone.

Back across the Lake.

I Don't Have to Go Through the Rest of My Life Without Ever Having Been Asked

Just got this email. I admit, I'm tempted:
Hi Dear,

Is my pleasure writing you this mail.

How are you today? I hope you are swimming in good health.

My name is DR NATASHA SMITH from America, a single young girl, I presently working in London UK as a medical doctor.

And to be friendly with you, I want you to be my friend and husband. In future we can stay together here in London. If you are interesting of coming, I will appreciate if you can write me back so that we will know more about each other.

Expecting to hear from you soonest.

With Lovely minded.

Dr Natasha Smith
Hey, she's offering me a place in London. Nobody else ever did that. I know that, while she claims to be from America, she writes in a Ukrainian accent, but I find that endearing.

I'll keep you up to date as things progress.

Frankie Laine in the Window

Flea Market, Saturday Morning


It's Saturday

Is Michael Jackson still dead? Shouldn't he have risen by now? I mean, he deserves a resurrection, doesn't he? His sacrificial death has wiped the planet clean of all conflicts, repressions, wars, and recessions. We all know this. It's on the news. It's the only news that's on the news.

But it's been two days. Can we get up off our knees now? They're beginning to smart.

Now, if only our heads would do the same.

Thursday, June 25, 2009


Before Katrina, a good portion of the French Market was given over to fruit and vegetable stands. This was a godsend for Quarter rats since we could get up in the morning, walk a few yards and pick out what we'd like to eat for that day, all without trekking to a supermarket. Like most catastrophes, the storm turned out to be a real money-maker for some, a golden opportunity for the city to rebuild, restore, and re-price the rentals of the open-air market stalls available for vendors. Not many of them have returned, and what few are there now are basically boutique. You can buy pralines and fudge, lemonade and snow-cones, but there is only one fruit and vegetable vendor in place so far. Here are some of what he has to sell:

Cause and Effect

The human body is a miracle.

That's what they tell us, those spirit-lifters among us, those chosen few who have answered the call to lead the rest of us through the wilderness of our mundane lives to a new and expanded consciousness, to a place of personal empowerment, surrounded by enablers encouraging our better selves, where Oprah tucks us in each night and reads us a bedtime story - something of her own choosing - something uplifting.

Fuck 'em.

The human body is a mess.

Get past the skin and take a look at what's inside, I guarantee you're gonna puke.

I know what you're thinking. This isn't like me. Wanna bet? This is the real me, bucko. This is me, Claritin-clear. And let's not lay this at the door of "withdrawal syndrome". All right, it's been four days since I started to quit smoking. It hasn't been difficult - strange, but not difficult. Remember the phantom limbs I mentioned a few days ago?

Well, I've also experienced some spontaneous altered states. You heard me right, altered states. Like I'll be in the middle of doing something, and my mind just slows down to a crawl, my attention becomes fixed on the middle distance, and everything around me just melts away. It's really lovely. Everyone should enjoy this oneness with the universe, but not while driving a car.

It's obvious that we live in a world of cause and effect. Do this, and that will result. The problem is we don't always know what the "that" is going to be. I chose money over cigarettes, purely a matter of economics. I did not count on impromptu contemplation. Neither did I count on some of the other changes my body is gifting me with.

Now, I'll grant you, there is a pleasure to be derived from waking to a new morning, stumbling into the bathroom, flipping on the light, and being confronted in the mirror by a newly-fresh-looking face, glowing in rosy-bronze shades of health, eyes bright and focused, hair glistening with a fresh natural sheen. But why must that be accompanied by a powerful return of one's old sense of smell?

Do you have any idea what the fabled French Quarter smells like on a summer's day with the temperatures topping 100 degrees? Of what people smell like on a summer's day with the temperatures topping 100 degrees? What about the two garbage cans in the alleyway up front? Hell, what about my bathroom at 4:30 in the morning? Oh, my fucking god. I'm gagging just thinking.

And taste. I'm still tasting a nasty salad I had last night. It won't go away. A salad, lettuce, artichokes, and black olives. What can be wrong with that? Well, it was awful. Everything tasted like what it was. I mean, look, I decided to keep cigarettes out of my mouth. What else will I have to keep out?

Oh. Excuse me. I feel a lightness coming on ...

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

For All the Lovely People in Texas Who Keep Stumbling onto Me Here by Googling "Pride of Barbados"


Early this morning, I opened the door to walk outside a bit and caught a glimpse of this demolition kid washing himself at the pond. I don't know why he was washing himself at the pond. He couldn't have dirtied himself by having already started to tear down more of the building by that time of the morning. He had to have just gotten here. But he was very clearly washing his hands. I saw him doing it, and I can't help but wonder why.

I wonder, too, about the baseball caps, one inside the other. I mean, like, really, why? Does he have a hot date for later and this way he keeps one clean? Is he covering for a co-worker friend, figuring his boss will think he's both? Is it just the "new fashion"? What's the point?

Does being old mean I have to be left behind in the dark?

Of course, I could have simply asked him, but he'd have probably only said, "¿Qué?"

Monday, June 22, 2009

Tobacco Leaf - I Mean, Banana! Banana Leaf

This Is the Last Thing I'm Going to Say about That

I wasn't planning on saying any more about what I talked about yesterday in the post I wrote called Turning a Page, but several people actually figured out what I was talking about, so I thought I owed you guys a little more explanation and a little heads-up about how this second day went.

The fact is that, yes, I am in the process of making the decision whether to consider the possibility of maybe not putting the flame of a lit Zippo to the tip of a cigarette held between my left index and middle fingers before, in turn, debating the merits of putting that lit cigarette in between my lips - and sucking, sucking long and deep to receive the rewards Daddy Tobacco promises to pour into me.

It is also true that I am only entering into this course of action for monetary reasons. My health is not at issue. It really isn't. In fact, my wise young doctor Wise is getting pretty pissed that all the tests he keeps subjecting me to have not produced evidence of undue atrophy and decay within my aging organs. Nope, we're looking strictly at the bottom line here, dollars and cents and maybe common sense, too.

And I am here to tell you, the "second day without" hasn't been so bad.

Okay, maybe I cuffed Bobby once or twice today with a backhand to the side of his head, and though that isn't a common occurrence, neither is it necessarily unwarranted. I also may have noticed my hands behaving like phantom limbs, reaching out for cigarettes that weren't where they would have been forty-eight hours ago. And, all right, a couple of times today, my eyes might have glazed over with a milky discharge. But, other than that, I have to say, doing without that ole devil weed hasn't been so bad.

Of course, I never inhaled to begin with.

Sunday, June 21, 2009


It's been nearly a year since the fire of August 13th last year, and reconstruction has begun this week. Those light spots you see at the top of the upper window used to be the fourth floor where a wildly-angled garret apartment once sat. I expect they will rebuild it. This is the Vieux Carre, and you are not allowed to change a building from its earliest-known design without great effort and fortitude.

And maybe money?

I didn't say that.

The kids doing the work are moving fast. It can't be easy. The temperatures are averaging in the high nineties so you know what the heat index must feel like. They're a rollicking crew, however, and they seem to be enjoying themselves, ripping out ruined walls and tossing debris.

Below is a shot of one of the ground floor apartments. There was no fire down here, just water damage. Oddly, to the right of this room is the bedroom. I slipped in and took a look at it. It's nearly pristine.

Soon, we'll be bustling once again; "plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose".

Turning a Page

I've been crunching the numbers, and I find that if I cut one thing out of my life, one insignificant thing, that's all, and cut it out now, by the end of the year, I could have nearly $5000.00 in seed money to start mounting my own plays. Oh, not plays that I would write. I don't mean that. I have nothing to say that would take up an act or as much as a full evening's worth of lines and action. I'm a pithy person. No, I'm talking about vaulting onto the producer's throne. It isn't something I look forward to doing, but it seems the only way available to me to keep my momentum going.

So, yeah, I'm gonna quit. That.

Gonna try.

But what'll I do with my hands?

Friday, June 19, 2009

Phone Lines

Kerlerec Street at North Rampart

Etoile Polaire No. 1, Masonic Lodge, formally constituted on December 27, 1798. Reconstruction following Hurricane Katrina. You can learn a bit of the local history here, and you can view a pre-K photo of the Lodge at this site.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Monday Goes into Tuesday This Much

Tuesdays suck in the French Quarter. So do Thursdays. You see, Tuesdays and Thursdays are set aside for street cleaning in the Vieux Carre, which means you cannot park on certain streets between the hours of 8:00 AM and noon. This does not necessarily mean that the street-cleaning people will come along to dust the asphalt, but it does mean the tow-truck drivers will. So, at some time of the day or night on every Monday, we make sure that the car is not parked on any street perpendicular to the Mississippi River, and each Wednesday, we move the car - if need be - from any parking space parallel to the River.

It seems confusing when I explain it this way, but after your car has been towed a couple of times, it becomes clearer.

Yesterday, Bobby decided he would move the car, since he wanted to go to Walgreen's to find out why the pharmacist had slapped two of the same labels on two different medicines he takes.

I thought that was probably a good idea, so I let him go.

This morning, when he finally got out of bed, he mentioned to me that it would be nice if I stopped off at the Asian grocery on North Rampart Street to pick him up some Shrimp with Lobster Sauce when I went out to move the car back to its usual parking space by noon. I figured, okay, I had wanted some stuff from Walgreen's myself yesterday and didn't get it from him, so I might as well take the opportunity to get out of the house and pick up some Anbesol (don't ask) before I got him the Lobster Sauce. I quickly showered and remembered to grab my camera on my way out the door.

The reason for the camera was that orders at this grocery take forever to be filled. This way, I could amuse myself while waiting.

It turns out I didn't have to wait long before whipping it out and starting to shoot. As I reached the corner of Barracks Street at Decatur, I spied a friend of mine who works at Harrah's Casino. He was waiting for just the right bus to come along and whisk him away to work.

The reason he is standing almost directly under a sign that reads, "Gnome", means absolutely nothing as far as he is concerned. As you can see from his stance and his height in relation to the bicycle next to him, he is in no way gnomic.

The fact this his name is Carmine and that he hails from New Jersey holds no terror for me either.

After chatting with Carmine for a few moments, I continued on my way to the car.

Then there, in the middle of the 500 block of Barracks, I noticed this utility thing seeping out and down a concrete wall. I thought it would make an interesting picture, so I snapped it. The rest of my walk to the car was uneventful, even though I did snap another picture of a hibiscus, but since I've posted so many of those, I figured another one would be redundant.

(I sometimes wonder about those visual artists who do the same image time after time for years on end. Me, I don't do Blue Dogs. Me, I ain't rich neither. But, me, mais, I get bored.)

The trip to Walgreen's was uneventful if I discount the appearance of a certain person at the check-out counter whom I did not want to run into. No names, of course, but some of my friends would associate him with a certain dog that shits indoors in public places.

I just lurked in the aisles for a few extra moments before paying for my items and heading off to the Rampart Grocery for Bobby's Shrimp with Lobster Sauce.

Once there and inside, I was confronted with a mass of starving people ahead of me. I waited my turn before placing my order. The Korean lady was apologetic as she explained that it might take maybe fifteen minutes, but I was ready for that since I'd brought the camera with me. I would simply walk outdoors and take some shots around the neighborhood.

Luck was on my side. I'd beat the Grey Ghost before he could obliterate one of the last remaining Banksy's: this image of the Morton Salt girl on the corner of the Drop-In Center.

A little further down the street was this house with an interesting set of steps leading up to an interesting front door, all cracked paint and security bars.

While standing there, I happened to glance up to see the corner of the street itself (North Rampart and Kerlerec) with all its utility poles and cables strung across our old historic city, and I decided to try to get an image of all of that. This is what I came up with.

It soon became apparent to me that I was taking a lot of time taking a lot of pictures while that poor little Korean woman was making the Shrimp with Lobster Sauce. It must be done and waiting by now, I thought to myself, so I rushed back into the grocery.

Well, "fifteen minutes" must have meant "forty-five" in the local patois of the little village the little lady was from because she hadn't even started on Bobby's lunch by then.

But, hey, I had my camera, so I went back out. I wound up taking lots of pictures that will probably end up here over the next few days. They have a way of doing that lately, don't they?

What can I say?

'S how I roll.

Big Shot

Rampart Grocery - Lunchtime, 12:22:58 PM

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Picture Frame on Brick - Strobe-Lit

Making Do

Are all the pictures beginning to get to you yet? I really wonder about that because I'm writing so little these days. That's because there doesn't seem to be too much for me to write about. My little world is shrinking.

With no project on hand to entice me out of the house, I'm spending more and more time just sitting around hovering over Bob. We've finally reached the tipping point where I'm driving him as crazy as he has sometimes driven me.

We'll be sitting around, not doing much of anything, and I'll ask, "How're you feeling?"


"How's your stomach?"


"No pains, no nausea?"

"No, I'm fine."


"I'm here and not on the throne, aren't I?"

"Just asking."

"Well, watch TV. It's the Law and Order you recorded last week."

"Hmm. You're feeling okay then?"


"You're looking pale. You sure you're alright?"

"Goddammit, I'm fine! If I start feeling sick, I'll tell you."

"I'm just looking after you."

"Well, don't."

"You want me to get you some Ensure from the drug store? You should really try to put on a little more weight."

"I don't want any Ensure. I'm fine."

"How about some ice cream? I could go out and get you some."

"For crying out loud, go, go and get some ice cream. Leave me the fuck alone and get the hell out."

Works every time.

Patio: Doormats and Flagstone

Friday, June 12, 2009

Dumbest Headline of the Day

From, natch,
New Orleans TV Viewers Better Prepared for Digital Switch than Most
I mean, four years ago, most of us lost what sets we had and wound up replacing them with models probably already digitally-ready, right?

There was this flood, you see.

Maybe they forgot ...

Last Evening's Ladies-of-the-Night

We Interrupt This Program ...

... To bring you this announcement:
Someone from Istanbul has just found his way to this blog by Googling the words: " porno film".
Been holding out on us, Dave?

Trippy Diptych

Dirty Vodka Martini

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