Sunday, September 30, 2012

Dashing Dreams

I'm not a joiner by nature, but when I saw this ad on New Orleans' Craigslist's Artist Community, I did give it some thought:
Hello.

I have been desiring to start some kind of cult-like organisation of people for a while now and wanted to send out some feelers.

A network of people who generally subscribe to a certain loose set of peaceful morals, goals and mindset, but are not indoctrinated into them. Also do some weird things around the place, like displays of bizarre public art.

I will seek to make this organisation a cross between the Jedi Order/Buddhism/The Occupy Movement/Anonymous/Fight Club and Bane's army in the Dark Knight Rises, only without the destruction and death. Should this idea pick up off the ground I will seek to move into more concrete facets of business for this organisation (such as some kind of cool uniform and masks).

This is only an idea at the moment, but send me an email if you are interested and we can possibly start a Facebook page or summat. You will not be obliged to do any more than this.
No destruction? No obligation to do anything more than maybe "Like" a Facebook page?! What kind of cult is that? But, wait, there is the promise of future uniforms and masks!

Ah, but it all sounds like the airy-fairy mental conjurings of  some transplanted hipster from the Pacific Northwest with a medium-rare education and no organizational skills.

You want a cult? You gotta be ready for crucifixion, buddy. In other words, go out and live it. There will always be people with less of a mind than yours who will come along and ooh and ah at what you do and who will want to be like you and will want to follow you.

Until then, clarify and concretize your mission statement, punk. Or pray for some new-age Saint Paul to come along and do it for you.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Padding the Numbers

In my ceaseless efforts to reach out to more and more potential readers of this humble blog, I have occasionally turned to the Google for help in determining what it is that people want to read about. For this reason, I have decided to mention some of the things about which you, dear reader, are dying to know more.
  1. The Ryder Cup. Why? What for? There really is no rhyme or reason for the tastes of the multitude. I myself have never given a thought to the fact that jockeys wear cups while hustling those thoroughbreds around a track and toward a photo-finishline. But it makes sense. I mean, it makes sense that they would wear cups. You people wanting to know more about those cups is kind of icky, though. But there you have it: the Ryder Cup!
  2. Miley Cyrus. Eeeewwww....
  3. Looper. Now this one I know something about. Looper is a movie that I hear was recently filmed in New Orleans. I say I hear it was filmed in New Orelans because in my wanderings over the last few months, I have never turned a corner and found myself being escorted "off set" of this film, meaning "out of my own neighborhood." It stars Bruce Willis (who really ought to be buying property here by now like Brad Pitt did) and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, sporting a pair of new and loopy eyebrows, hence the moniker of the movie. Oh, and just because they say the movie was filmed in New Orleans, that doesn't mean they filmed it here. It could have been filmed anywhere in South Louisiana. People not indigenous to the city are often unaware of that fact. Now you know. You're welcome.
  4. Hotel Transylvania. Another movie. These people have never said their movie was made in New Orleans. I'll give them credit for that. It seems to have been made on a tabletop.
  5. The Fox News Suicide Video. Why am I not surpised? This is just sad and offensive and degrading. You people are sick.
That's the list, current as of yesterday. But there is one more trend-setter I would like to mention. And that is the young lady whose name—and face, shall we say—have always given this little corner of the Blogosphere, nay, the whole of the Internets, a lift.

Ladies and Gentlemen, and all you twisted little kids who came here looking for Hotel Transylvania, I give you Miss Carmen Electra!


The mere hint of her beauty has never failed to draw attention and readers to Bigezbear. And for that, Miss Electra, I am eternally grateful.

Next time you're in town, sweetheart, we'll do lunch.

Yeah, yeah, I'll pay.

Where? Oh, hell, no! I was thinking more like Angeli on Decatur or Fiorella's. You'll like the food there, I guarONtee.

It'll fill you up.

And you'll thank me when we're done ;-)

Thursday, September 27, 2012

On Being Prepared
So You'll Never Have to Remember
What You're Liable to Forget

Early yesterday morning, I received an email from Walgreen's telling me a prescription was ready for pickup. Since we had to be home throughout the afternoon to let in some contractors who are intent on repairing the damage done to our apartment by Hurricane Isaac (that water blister on the wall), we headed out this morning to do what we needed to do.

First stop was for me to drop off a CD of photographs to Richard Mayer at the Shadowbox Theatre. I left them in his mailbox. I hope it was his mailbox... It was on his building, but, thinking about it, the address on the box may have been for the people who live upstairs. I can only hope one of those people is not named Richard, as well.

But, hey, it's not my problem.

Next, we swing by the bank so I could collect some green from the ATM.

Then, Walgreen's. Imagine my surprise when the druggist (the druggist himself was waiting on customers at the counter) told me the prescription wasn't ready. They had had to order a new supply. It should be in by tomorrow. Could I check back then?

But you people sent me an email, I thought to mself. How careless and inefficient can a company be?

I decided then and there I'll wait for them to phone me whenever it does show up. I'm not about to make another trek tomorrow, "just in case."

Humph!

Bobby wanted spray paint to redo the statues in the garden, so we headed up to Mary's Ace Hardware. That's right, Mary's. This is the Quarter, people. It's called Mary's. This stop should have been easy pickings, but I decided to ask the service people which kind of spary paint would be best for garden statues made of concrete. As they fretted and struggled to try to figure out which paint was right, I turned to Bob and whispered, "This is going to take forever. Let's get out of here."

We did.

Now Bobby wanted to get some seafood for his lunch. We headed off to Cajun Seafood, a little joint run by some Koreans on Claiborne Avenue. I pulled into the parking lot and settled next to a beige Jeep.

Beige?

As Bob was getting out of the car, he turned back to me and said, "That Jeep has false eyelashes on its headlights."

I looked around and saw that the Jeep did indeed have false eyelashes. A great whopping pair of curled steel eyelashes reared themselves up over the two headlights on its front.

I quietly cursed myself. This was meant to be a short utilitarian trip, so, for once, I had decided to leave my cellphone at home. I had nothing at hand to capture the sight of this drag-queen military vehicle.

Still, I got out of the car and walked around to get a good look at those lashes. I stood there for a few moments, willing myself to remember this sight for as long as I live. Carol Channing eyes, the turnsignal lights just below, looking for all the world like rouged cheeks, and the bumper flashing a brilliant smile to reach the balcony.

A Jeep, I tell you! Well, this ain't your grandpappy's army anymore.

It's all a memory photo now, of course, that Jeep with the flamboyant makeup. The memory will have to do. And it will.

Once home, I collected my cellphone and took a look at it's face. I had a voicemail message witing for me.

It was a robo-call from Walgreen's advising me my prescription was on back order and that they would call me when it was finally ready.

Those bastards.

But I guess if I hadn't wasted the amount of time I'd wasted at the pharmacy, I would have missed that diva Jeep.

And that would have been a shame.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The Gold Pirate Earring


Okay, so it doesn't make me look like you might find me out on the high seas, brandishing a cutlass while swinging from the yardarm; but I'm a more subtle kind of guy than that.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Nothing Much to Say

My mind's been in a jumble since the last hurricane blew through town. Not unlike those of a lot of other people I've heard from. Too many thoughts rattling around in there and bumping into memories and lists of things to do that I never seem to get around to doing.

Personally, I've had times when I've felt lonely, fragile, at the mercy of outside forces. Then I feel fine. Then I sink back down into the mire.

My only Me time seems to be in the early mornings before Bobby wakes up with his daily agenda of things he wants to do, which translates into things that he wants me to do for him.

I look at this blog each day and long to leave some message behind, but I cannot think of anything to say.

This will pass. I know it will. However, it takes time. More time than I remember it taking when I was younger. Wounds are slower to heal these days. Even the psychic ones.

On the other hand, I did get my gold pirate earring.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

A Party for Miss Muriel

I spent a part of this afternoon at a friend's home on Bayou St. John. My friend had thrown a party for his mother who was celebrating her ninety-fifth birthday. And celebrating it she surely was.

Miss Muriel is still, as they say, sharp as a tack and able to throw back a whiskey sour with nary a ladylike gasp. She sat out on the lanai like a dowager, accepting well-wishes from the guests and assessing her presents with the precision of a pawnbroker.

I sat out in the shade, watching the partygoers wander through the wide back yard that sloped down to the bayou. They were all so old. Few young people were around except for the occasional great-grandchild.

It wasn't until about an hour later that I suddenly realized most of these people belonged to what is euphemistically described as my own age group.

I am far too young to be this old.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Too Much or Too Soon?

I've been struggling to come up with another essay to post here.

Every morning, I face the screen and try to think of something to say. I have so much I want to let out, but it's all a jumbled mass—or mess—inside my brain right now.

Thoughts and ideas are clamoring, jostling each other, and raising their hands for attention, but there are too many for me to distinguish one from all the rest.

Maybe I can't speak because my inner ear is too busy listening?

Saturday, September 8, 2012

There Was a Crooked Man

And Jesus said:
There was a man went forth one day to pay a debt he owed. The debt was due that day. If he did not pay the debt before the onset of the Sabbath, his creditor would be forced to shut off all the water resources in the man's home, leaving him and those who lived with him bereft of those necessities.

Along the way, he happened upon a beggar kneeling at the side of the road. Moved by the beggar's plight, he gave to him his loose shekels and continued on his way.

When he had reached the place of his creditor, he told the steward who worked for this man that he was short the debt by the number of coins he had given to the beggar. Moved that he had given alms to the poor, the steward replaced the missing amount from his own purse, and the man was able to return to his home, gladdened in the knowledge that his good deed had prompted another in return.

He then gathered all his friends together and told them this story. They admired his uprightness greatly and said among themselves, "We will kill the neighbor's fatted calf while the neighbor is away. He will likely never miss it." They then did so, and they feasted through the night.
That is the basic story someone I know posted last night—where else?—on Facebook. It was soon showered with 58 "Likes" and 27 favorable comments.

The whole thing left me rattled with indignation. It offended me. What this man had done was a con job. It was thievery.

Here is the same story told another way, the way I see it:
There was this guy who was pretty lackadaisical about paying his debts because he wasn't predisposed to accept responsibility. He had let his Sewerage and Water Board bill go unpaid for so long that the agency had sent him word that if a certain amount of his bill were not paid by close of business on a given day, his services would be shut off.

At the last minute, the man gathered just enough of the amount due by collecting funds from his partner and the other tenants of the house they all shared and set off to pay the bill.

On the way, he was accosted by a New Orleans beggar and absentmindedly gave the beggar all his loose change. Which was a part of the debt to the Sewerage and Water Board!

When he subsequently came up short in his payment, he told his sad story to the clerk at the agency's office and conned her into making up the difference on his bill from her own pocket, an act that could lead to her immediate termination should it ever become known.
The story attempts to shed a rosy hue on a picture of the joys and good karma of selfless charity.

Except, of course, it isn't selfless, and it isn't charity. It's an act of self-aggrandizement, of infantilism run wild. It's a middle-aged man saying, "I have no need for personal responsibility. I will always find someone to cover my debts, correct my mistakes, wipe my butt, and prop me up."

And he's right.

Me, I just think that if you're going to strap on the Jesus wig and beard, at least keep in mind that other parable of His, the one that ends with, "Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's..." I'm sure you know it. If you don't, look it up.

A little work is good for you.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Trepidations

I'm submersing myself into my next play as if I were lowering my body into a warm bayou on a summer night.

Nice, huh?

I wrote that yesterday when I was feeling like a shiny, new primed pump about tackling a problematic script I'd been invited to direct. This afternoon, I realize it's a tougher script than I'd expected it to be, poetic, melodramatic, stagy, and peopled with what nowadays would be considered a huge cast of "large" characters. Now I'm feeling more like that famous feline up on a rooftop in high summer, wondering how did I get stranded up here, and how am I going to get off and down and far away from these hot corrugated sheets of tin?

I'm weird, you see. Whenever I start looking into a new play, I have preconceptions about how it's going to turn out, what the characters are like, who might I cast. A crazy notion, I guess, these preconceived ideas. But then these plays turn the tables on me. They meander into unexpected places I had not expected them to drive me. They never play fair. They cheat.

I had a lot of fun when I was directing plays for To Do Productions. Donnie Jay, the producer, would come to me when one show would be up and running, and say, "Let's do this new one the month after next." And we would. No time to think, to reconsider, to get so scared that I could wet myself.

Since he died, and his company with him, I've had to deal with having time on my hands between productions, time to doubt, to try to figure out ways to say no, to try to get out.

But then a day always comes when the time is up, and it's too late to run. It's high noon, and I find myself pinning that badge I'd wanted to pass on to someone else back onto my chest.

It's scary putting yourself on the line over and over again, knowing that for some people you'll never be good enough—or worse, that you'll never be good enough for yourself.

Oh, well. "Try again. Fail again. Fail better."

Or run away from home.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Taking a Pass on Decadence

All you Googlers out there, don't come looking here for any pictures of this year's Southern Decadence. I sat this one out. Never left the homestead. Stayed inside.

In fact, the last day I went out (not night, mind you, but day) was Friday. I found the music too loud and the crowds too tense and entirely too intent on having a Good Time with a capital G and T. I decided then and there that after I win the lottery (and after using some of the money to build myself a concrete home outside the city of New Orleans—but not too far—and my own personal theatre) I would open a French Quarter bar, with only show-tunes on the jukebox and a single television set for the occasional TCM feature and the annual Oscar-Emmy-Tony Awards broadcast.

My idea of a good time (lowercase g and t) has mellowed considerably. Constricted, even.

I am officially and irrevocably an old man now. A pawpaw. A codger. An old coot. A wizened wizard.

Who pooted?

Damn. I gotta get me an old hound to start blaming for that.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Desiderata

I want...
  • ...a new tattoo. No, two new tattoos. What I really want is three. I know what I want one of them to be, but not the others. Well, one of the others. But not all three. Not yet.
  • ...a gold pirate earring.
  • ...to stop creaking when I get up from a chair and start to walk. Probably not gonna happen again in this lifetime. But I want it.
  • ...to eat everything in sight and lose weight instead of getting fatter than I already am. What's so wrong with that?
  • ...me and all the people I love to start aging backwards physically and beautifully and not just mentally. The rest can all go desiccate.
  •  ...to be able to travel through time and space.
  • ...the nerve to say "No" to people when they ask me to do something I don't want to do. 
  • ...whatever I want and when I want it.
  • ...to clear out all the clutter in my head and start to focus on one thing at a time again.
  • ...my father back so I can make up to him for being the jerk I was when I was a teenager.
  • ...my mom to be here to hold me again when I need to be held by her and nobody else.
  • ...to love without needing to be loved in return.
  • ...simplicity.
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