Archive for April, 2008

Meetup Groups

Parents Unite! It sounds like I am rallying for a protest or something, I am not. When we moved here, Just after Katrina there were little to no services/groups for parents let alone anything really for kids. Hell there weren’t even schools yet, so anyway I was a little discouraged and after the baby came I was lonely. It happens to the best of us but NOLA is a big city I knew people were moving back (and still are) and I knew there had to be something out there. After much searching I have found a few playgroups that have been so helpful and fun for me. They have given me and the baby an opportunity to get out and meet new people. I have learned that the alone feeling is not just a depressed NOLA thing it is sort of a feeling you get after having a baby no matter what. There are new people joining our playgroup all the time. So if you are out there and you are a parent who is looking to get out and meet other parents and let the kids socialize and have fun then you should check out these area groups. I know there are a lot of other groups out there; you could even start your own group with friends or neighbors you just have to set the dates, get out of the house and actually do something. There are meet up groups for the three big areas of the city. The New Orleans group is geared more toward city dwellers most of the events are centered in the city, The Metairie group is a bigger group and that holds most of its events in the Metairie area, the Westbank group is centered on that bank and does most of it’s events in that area. There are more parent/child meetups close by too as well as other meet ups on the website for all kinds of other interests as well, check it out and get out and socialize.

Huzzah!

I am so….so….embarrassed. Really. I haven’t posted here in, well, forever because 1) I didn’t have time to do so, since the restaurant has opened and 2) once I actually got the time, I was too lazy to try to figure out how to get into this new system. But, thanks to advice from Laureen and others, here we are.

Oh, and it was good to meet Rayna & Co. the other day. Thanks for coming to see us. And my old college buddy Chris from Nacogdoches and a nice lady from Fort Walton Beach who introduced herself today — and a host of other bloggers from various sites. It is good to feel connected again, at least in an Internetty kinda way. Lord knows I’m overly connected in other ways to far too many people anymore.

One thing that begs writing about has been the ongoing (and, as yet, unended) quest for a beer and wine license. The City of New Orleans, in its infinite wisdom and lust for new revenue, has finally (after four months and much assistance from the office of Councilwoman Stacy Head) granted us our beer and wine licenses. But we are still waiting on folks in Baton Rouge to follow through — and this “two week” process has taken a month so far. Perhaps I have committed the ultimate Louisiana faux pas and forgotten to slip a little inducement in a package of paperwork. Silly me.

But the City of New Orleans, though it has approved the new licenses, has not wanted to be simply forgotten and cast aside like an old shoe. I received a call two weeks ago from some minion at City Hall, informing me my Occupational License was being denied. “Why?” said I, stifling a laugh.

“You need your ABO (alcohol) licenses.”
“I have them on my wall.”
“You need your conditional use permit from the City Council ”
“I have it in my file drawer.”
“Then you shall have to come down to City Hall and see Mr. (No, I will not post his name – the target would be far too unmistakable and slow-moving to resist).

So off I go to City Hall to see Mr. X — who informs me of the same issues. I respond in the same manner. He says, “Well, then, it appears all you need is your final inspection,” which was scheduled for the next day.

Mr. X appears two days later and pays virtually no attention to virtually anything in my place. After his 45-second visit, he tells me to go to City Hall the next day and I can “leave with the license in-hand.” So (Dr. Pavlov is laughing somewhere), I indeed answer this bell and appear again in his office the next morning. He turns to a co-worker and informs her I need to fill out the “final paperwork” for my occupational license (which I filled out nearly a year ago). She says, “you got ABO license, baby?” I say, “Why, yes, baby, I do.” She says, “then you already got your occupational license. You all good to go.”

For some reason, I felt as victorious as Sitting Bull at Little Big Horn. No, I don’t know why. But I really and truly did — but all the while knowing this is all going to somehow come back and bite me in my little gumbo-making ass at some point.

But, for now (except for the possibly mythical state alcohol license), all our paperwork is in place and on the board and proudly disaplayed for all to see, photograph, ponder over, admire, wonder at and, yes, even spindle and fondle as desired.

…and it all expires in 33 days, at the end of May. I am serious as freaking cholesterol.

Ain’t never dull, I tell ya.

Worst Tourist Trap

I opened my homepage today and saw that Bourbon Street made MSN’s World’s Worst Tourist Traps to be honest I question whether or not it is one of the worst in the whole WORLD but hey who am I to question after all I have not been everywhere in the world maybe it is one of the worst. Feel free to check it out for yourself right here

McCain/Katrina petition, for your consideration

I’m not what you’d call a political activist, but this crossed my inbox a couple of minutes ago, and I thought it was worth passing on. I hope you’ll consider signing the petition, whether you live in New Orleans or not.

Right-wing pastor John Hagee says Katrina was New Orleans’ fault. John McCain sought out, and embraces, Hagee’s support. MoveOn members are trying to deliver a petition to McCain in New Orleans just a few hours from now: will you sign?

Here’s the background: McCain wants America to see him as a compassionate, mainstream politician. So he’s going to New Orleans today for a photo-op in the 9th Ward.

But he’s still trying to shore up his right-wing base—so this past Sunday, he again welcomed the support of right-wing evangelist John Hagee, who said "Hurricane Katrina was, in fact, the judgment of God against the city of New Orleans."1

MoveOn members in New Orleans have organized an emergency rally outside McCain’s event today. With the media looking on, they’ll try to deliver our petition asking him to stop pandering to right-wing bigots like Hagee. They’ll announce an up-to-the-minute number of signatures, and we’ll have a real impact if we can say that hundreds of thousands have signed in only a few hours. Clicking here will add your name:

http://pol.moveon.org/mccain_pander/o.pl?id=12500-5148471-J6FuvA&t=3

The petition reads: "John Hagee continues to blame the people of New Orleans for the catastrophe of Katrina. Senator McCain: If you reject intolerance and bigotry, reject Hagee’s political support and stop courting hate-mongers like him."

This is not a gaffe or a "gotcha." Hagee has a history of bigoted comments and he stood by his New Orleans remarks just days ago.2 And McCain’s strategy is intentional—he’s been working hard to court far-right leaders like Jerry Falwell and John Hagee, despite their hateful views.3 Even when he was pressed about Hagee’s hateful views, McCain said he was "glad to have his endorsement."4

Hagee’s words matter. Katrina was a terrible reminder of the consequences of bigotry and exclusion. People without resources, without political power, literally sank beneath the waves while our government did nothing.

John McCain is relying for political support on a man who preaches bigotry and exclusion, who spreads the kind of hate that allowed Katrina to become a man-made tragedy. While the media is focused on his New Orleans visit, we need to call him on it.

The more folks who sign the petition in the next few hours, the greater our impact. Clicking here will add your name right now:

http://pol.moveon.org/mccain_pander/o.pl?id=12500-5148471-J6FuvA&t=4

We need to let Senator McCain know that he can’t use New Orleans for a photo-op while still courting the political support of hate-mongers like Hagee. New Orleans deserves better and America does, too.

Thank you very much for all you do.

–Eli, Justin, Lenore, Patrick S., Anna, and the MoveOn.org Political Action Team, Thursday, April 24th, 2008

Sources:

1. "Will MSNBC devote as much coverage to McCain’s embrace of Hagee’s support as it did to Obama’s rejection of Farrakhan?" Media Matters, February 28th, 2008
http://mediamatters.org/items/200802280018

2. "Hagee Says Hurricane Katrina Struck New Orleans ‘Because it was ‘Planning a Sinful Homosexual Rally,’" Think Progress, April 23, 2008
http://thinkprogress.org/2008/04/23/hagee-katrina-mccain/

"Will MSNBC devote as much coverage to McCain’s embrace of Hagee’s support as it did to Obama’s rejection of Farrakhan?" Media Matters, February 28th, 2008
http://mediamatters.org/items/200802280018

3. "Hagee: McCain ‘sought my endorsement,’" ThinkProgress, March 20th, 2008
http://www.moveon.org/r?r=3603&id=12500-5148471-J6FuvA&t=5

"McCain Gets Into Bed with the Religious Right," People For the American Way, February 28th, 2008
http://www.pfaw.org/pfaw/general/default.aspx?oid=25053

"McCain Woos the Right, Makes Peace With Falwell," ABC News, March 26th, 2006
http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/story?id=1779141&page=1

4. "McCain Flip-Flops In 30 Seconds: Hagee Endorsement A ‘Mistake,’ But ‘I’m Glad To Have’ It," ThinkProgress, April 21st, 2008
http://thinkprogress.org/2008/04/21/hagee-flip-flop/

bacteria, scavengers, wordsmiths – transfigurers, restorers . . .*

Volunteering Overload

Today a student at the Law Library came up to me to report that there was a tampon in the toilet of one of the women’s bathrooms that ‘didn’t go down’. Evidently, this problem was just so frightening that she wanted me to ‘call someone’. This was too much problem for budding attorney. I marched into the stall, stomped my foot on the lever, and the tampon was gone.

I felt particularly non-plussed by this after spending my morning listening to the acting chair of the new NCDC committee, Nelson Savoie, tell me how he’d like to hold the election for Chair in executive session just prior to the actual meeting on May 5th.

“Maybe we could all meet like, a half hour before the scheduled public meeting.”, he said. Mind you, the complete membership of this committee has yet to be ratified through the city council. I was just appointed as the representative for Dist. B and we are still waiting for some appointees to go through the process. This is exactly why we had to reform the committee. I broke out into immediate hives at this blatant attempt to skirt public/democratic processes. You’re supposed to, at the very least, start by placing a motion to have an election before the membership. Then you must nominate people.  We still have to write the functioning rules for our committee and those must go through the City Council as well.  Jesus Murphy. 

Then, I started running his New Business agenda items for the next meeting through Velocityhall.com, an online permit tracking system. It seems some of these items on the agenda have already been issued permits. I emailed him about this possible oversight in due process and am waiting to hear back from him. If you’ve been nominated to the NCDC for your district, please be sure to get your paperwork done! Ima need your help!

Getting this committee up and running is going to be a brute force kinda thing. If only I could just as easily move the current acting chair of the NCDC committee along the same route as the tampon.

(The above notepad was given to me by a friend this week, here’s the designer if you’re interested: Mary Phillips Designs)

*A.R. Ammons excerpt from the poem: Garbage

The Bonnet Carré Spillway’s moment to shine

Those who don’t live in the Mississippi River Basin might not know that the river is currently at or above flood stage along its lower route. To ease the pressure on the river levees–which, for the ten millionth time, were not the levees that failed during Katrina–the now-attentive Army Corps of Engineers has opened the gates to the Bonnet Carré Spillway, injecting Lake Pontchartrain with some of the Mississippi’s silty goodness.

I didn’t think much of it when the floodgates swung open a couple of weeks ago (although some people clearly think about it a lot). But then I drove over the spillway en route to Baton Rouge yesterday, and…well, it’s kinda cool. Water is rushing through little inlets and bayous, and a couple hundred yards into the lake, there’s all this mist–presumably where the warm-ish river water reaches the colder depths of the lake. I didn’t get so obsessed that I pulled over to take pics or anything, but, yeah, it was nifty. See it if you can.

YES, THERE IS VIDEO!
Unfortunately Metblogs makes it impossible to embed, so you’ll have to follow the link.

First cockfighting, now piss-peeking: IS NOTHING SACRED?

Oh, Louisiana legislature….

You may look more or less the same in your two-button blazers and your unattractive chambers, but you’ve changed.

You’ve changed, man.

You always said you were gonna buck the trend. Sure, you caved in on some stuff — important stuff like integration and public smoking. That kinda thing. That was totally okay. But you’ve stuck to your guns on other matters, proud of our state’s traditions and eager to force them on your children and their children’s children.

But now? Now y’all have legislated yourselves right outta kickbacks, fer chrissakes! You’ve taken away cockfighting, and you’ve tried your damnedest to pull up our sagging pants. You are essentially dismantling the crazy quilt of Louisiana’s cultural history and turning it into a double wedding ring of tasteful ecru damask and remnants of rose-colored satin. Where is your fabled sense of whimsy? Where, dammit?!

Then last week came the cruelest blow:

Louisiana legislators have approved a resolution calling for “privacy dividers” to be installed at urinals men’s public bathrooms.

The resolution does not have the force of law. It will now be up to state health officials to amend Louisiana’s plumbing code to require the privacy partitions.

The resolution was sponsored by Democratic state Rep. Mickey Guillory of Eunice. The reason, according to the resolution, is that “sexual offenders, sexually violent predators, and child predators can easily violate the privacy of others using urinals….”

more at WAFB

[ YES, THERE IS VIDEO! ]

Speaking on behalf of gay men and their bi-curious half-brethren everywhere: hasn’t Louisiana suffered enough? Must you add insult to injury?

I don’t even know who you are anymore.

Not that MB is, like, an event calendar or anything…

…but there’s an event that ought to be on your calendar this weekend:

dr15ecard.jpg

Seriously, all your friends will be there–and a few enemies, too. So much drama!

The Princess and the Frog (but which is which?)

Bad news: Our housemate made a complete ass of himself at French Quarter Fest.

Good news: The high point of his ass-foolery was dancing onstage. With Chris freakin’ Owens.

Best news ever: It was totally captured on video.

I’m not ordinarily a jealous man, but Chris Owens? Damn….

NORA Announces Irish Channel Property Package

3124 Chippewa St.

Stacy Head’s office, the Irish Channel and NORA have collaborated to put roughly 13 properties out for bid for redevelopment. Here are the RFP Docs.

If you have any questions about the process for submitting a proposal, Ommeed Sathe of NORA at 504-658-4400 or Carla Gendusa in Stacy Head’s office 658-1020.

You can submit a proposal to do ALL 13 properties or a subset of the properties. The cost of the properties vary from about $10K to $25K — so they are a DEAL!!! The best projects will be scored and selected by NORA and ICNA together.

Contact NORA
A few more photos of these properties from NORA

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