Thursday, February 26, 2009


I lied; there will only be one Mardi Gras Installment.

The time has come for me to move on from the blog. It's been fun, but I need to concentrate on other writing projects. Thank you for reading. Peace.

Mardi Gras Chronicle Installment One: Muses

Pre-Mardi Gras Weekend (Sat, Sun, Mon, Fat Tues), there were a handful of parades I attended. Krewe de Vieux in the French Quarter on Saturday, February 7, in throwback style with lots of costumed paraders on foot, smaller floats, and raunchy satire ("Stimulus Package," "Stocks and Bondage"), celebrated by me and Betsy and Ellis, as we indulged in our own shout-out to the past (passing around a flask of Taaka vodka and orange juice, sick, wandering the quarter feeling like we were stumbling around the set of a play); a couple laid-back uptown day parades on Sunday, February 15, lots of little kids and middle-aged ladies; Wednesday, February 18, my first uptown night parade, quiet but foreboding with the chilly breeze and sound of drums in the darkness; and finally, the highlight, Thursday, February 19's Muses! I left work early because we had no business and walked briskly from Prytania and Robert down to St. Charles and Jackson Ave.

From Jackson Ave. to Lee Circle, nine streets are named after each of the nine Greek Muses. My dad taught me an acryonym to remember them by: CUTECTEMP. Calliope, Urania, Terpsichore, Erato, Clio, Thalia, Euterpe, Melpomene, and Polymnia. In New Orleans, they're pronounced in goofy local versions, like CL10, Terp-si-chore, Call-i-ope, and Mel-po-mene. Muses the parade has an almost all-female crew, some of the most aesthetically-pleasing floats, extravagant throws, and eclectic array of entertainment. The Pussy-Footers, the Bearded Oysters, and the Camel-Toe Steppers were among the alternatives to high school dance teams. I really want to be a Camel-Toe Stepper, but apparently they are very elite and exclusive. Apparently they think they have better camel-toe than anybody else. Betsy and Jude were in the 9th Ward Marching Band; Betsy held the mallet to Jude's gong. Jude hit the gong once a fifteen minute song-cycle. Elvises on motor-scooters soliciting kisses on the cheek cracked me up. People on stilts, little boys on unicycles, and random walkers with butterfly wings made up the inter-float entertainment. The Hot Eight Brass Band and Johnny Sketch and the Dirty Notes performed, the former on foot, the latter on a float. Antoinette K-Doe rode in a giant red sparkly shoe, with her Ernie K-Doe doll; and she died the night before Mardi Gras Day, to spend an eternity in the Elysian Fields of Carnival. The Muses throws are girly and fantastic; they throw sparkly spangled life-size high-heeled shoes, necklaces with mini shoes, martini glasses, and lip-gloss. We were all reduced to little kids, whining for throws and getting pouty and competitive (Mel caught two shoes! That's so unfair! And she indiscriminately gave one away, meaning, she didn't give to me.) Muses is definitely one of my favorite parades, certainly one of the most dazzling and creative.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Thursday, February 19, 2009

On Wanting All the Music

Somebody please school me in how to download Bit Torrents!

I want all the music. Maybe I won't even listen to all of it. There will be duds but I will know they are duds. For the record, I'll have all the records. In an age when you can have it all, why suffer from anxiety about missing spaces in your Itunes library?

It's a masculine trait, really, the need to know all the stuff, boast the repertoire, whip out the goods, in case you were doubting. So as a female, maybe I feel the need even more, to compensate for my fickle, errant ways. Which aren't necessarily gendered, it's just that we are better at turning them into charming. Whimsical, and randomly-beckoned, I dream of Van Morrison but won't give Neil Young the time of day; Bjork is a goddess to me but I'd rather skip over Regina Specktor. The Band is my favorite four-some.

I like music the way I like people. Individuals who move me. I don't trust a "scene," and i don't like all the people at the party. This is why Pandora actually ruins music for me...

So who cares? I ain't no monkey but I know what i like. This music sounds like the way I want to be, and that doesn't.

The moral question for every woman or man: why encumber yourself with knowledge when you can more easily endear your freewheeling self? Is that choosing wisdom over knowledge, or the superficial over the real; or is it about knowing yourself, strengths and limitations? Being an artist over a scholar? So many dichotomies.

Well, this post sure went its own way...but I'm serious about them bit torrents...

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Aretha Out, Neil Young In

I've never understood the fascination with Neil Young. He can turn a man into a love-struck boy. When they hear his clear high pitch, they're lured as though by the pied piper, by promises of immortality and eternal boyhood that instead end up in a coke-hole. He even kind of looks like a child-molester, now that I think of it. And there's his last name. Its not just eternal boyhood these boys desire, but sexy eternal boyhood, like that of Legalas the Elf. Neil Young is not even sexy to women, I don't think, but he is to men.

I don't want to argue about the eminence of Neil Young. I know I'm a blogger and all, but this doesn't mean I know everything (I'm sorry to break it to you this way); a lot of the time, all I have is my opinion and the means to spin it. But since I have the floor here, let me say, replacing Aretha with Neil Young is like ravaging the garden of delight to clear space for a scare-crow. You can't argue with Aretha. All one has to do is say her (first) name, and everybody gets quiet. She's the embodiment of strong, reaching womanhood to Young's frail, lonesome ingenuousness.

Aretha reneged on her plan to perform this Jazz Fest because she's tired. Sometimes a matriarch has to hold her place and call the children to gather round.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Flossing in the Car

What's the verdict?

Laptops in the Sun

Since the beginning of college, I've pondered why they've never been able to design a setting on laptops that would enable you to see the screen outside on a sunny day. Why even ask such a question? Imagine your favorite grassy knoll, covered by people on their laptops beneath a hazy wireless orb. It would be an abomination. Technology really does make us want it all, even when it don't make sense.