Archive for September, 2007

Road Woes in the Land of Anything Goes

Rap Plea

This sign, hung way up high at Napoleon and Tchoupitoulas, reflects the feelings of lots of residents. I have found the only way to escape the low, angry thumping that rattles the whole car is to get behind the thump-mobile in your immediate vicinity. I remember remarking about the absence of this prevalent aspect of living in New Orleans right after the storm. It was so quiet. The return of the thump-mobiles marked the return of a passive sense of intimidation which is alive and well throughout the city today. Maybe I don’t ‘understand’ it. All I know is that it’s just freakin’ annoying. However, if I get behind them, my blood stops boiling immediately.

register to vote today

Today is the last day to register to vote if you are interested in voting in the primaries. You can do it at City Hall. The voting office is at City Hall, 1300 Perdido Street, #1W23 and they are open from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm.

K-ville premiere

Yes, we watched it. And, frankly, I thought it was pretty good. But keep in mind I don’t usually watch prime-time TV. I also have to remember that what passes for reality here in New Orleans would be considered usually far too bizarre for acceptance by a larger TV audience. What we accept daily would be erased, fixed, rejected or otherwise considered out of bounds nearly anywhere else by mainstream society in the US. It’s one of the main reasons we live here.

My 21-year-old son has come up with a drinking game to go along with the show. Basically, the viewer has to take a drihk when:

1) Someone utters a New Orleans idiom (” Where y’at?” “Yeah, you right,” etc) — one drink tonight for using “neutral ground.”

2) When a car chase goes impossibly from one area to another much faster than really possible (such as tonight’s chase from the FQ to Algiers in like 40 seconds).

3) Whenever Katrina or “the storm” is mentioned.

4) Whenever devastated neighborhoods are shown

5) Whenever gunfire erupts (multiple shots from the same gun don’t count).

6) Whenever Louisiana food is presented or mentioned.

The Who Dats ?

Who are these Who Dats?

As in:

Who Dat playing quarterback? It’s not Drew Brees.

Who Dat playing defense? Looks like absolutely no one.

Who Dat breaking long touchdown runs, leaving 10 players in your wake? David Beckham he ain’t.

Who Dat breaking a city’s heart almost as fast as the Katrina gut punch? Dem Saint’s dat’s who.

The spirit, the fire, the energy to win football games in the NFL has not been apparent from the start of the regular season. The boys seem flat and uninterested. No sneaking up on the league this year. The passion that the team displayed last year is what took all of us, these brave souls fighting for a city’s life, on the ride of a lifetime. It’s foolish of us, any of us, fans, media, or the team itself, to EXPECT the Who Dat’s to play the same way. I covered sports for a long time before I came home. I’ve seen it before. Not anywhere to the degree of last season, but I’ve been around teams that had a special season, a breakout year. The next season, every team was coming after them, to knock them back down or to just get the publicity of beating a “better” team. Playing sports is about emotion. A average team that has something to prove can and usually does beat a superior team that isn’t into the game emotionally.

So what does it all mean Howard Cosell? Hell I don’t know, it’s just football. But I do know that a whole bunch of Who Dat’s are close to crying in Who-ville.

IRS / Road Home Bullshit

So the T-P just published this article today saying people will probably have to pay income taxes on their road home payouts– if they claimed a casualty loss in their 2005 taxes.

So let me get this straight; someone claims $60,000 in casualty loss on their 2005 taxes. this negates their $30,000 yearly income for 2005 and 2006, so they pay no taxes for those years, saving them roughly $8,000. In 2007, road home gives them $60,000 to cover the loss. Now they owe income taxes on the $60,000 plus their income. $60,000 + $30,000 = $90,000. Income tax on $90,000 is roughly $18,000.

Now, I understand that a roadhome payment from the government does pretty much negate your casualty losses. And maybe it’s not fair for someone to escape paying income tax for two years and then get a huge payment from the government. However, in this scenario, not only are they paying back the $8,000 they avoided paying in 2005-2006, but they’re penalized an extra $10,000. How the fuck is that fair? Not to mention the fact that they probably already spent their road home payout thinking it was tax free. This just doesn’t make sense.

Bayou Boys

Get ready for a much larger Cajun influence in the Orleans Parish shopping experience, now that Rouse’s is taking over Save-A-Center/A&P in this area. Think Langenstein’s gone to Da Swamp.

Back before Katrina, Rouse’s was among the largest clients for our specialty food business. They’ve had those stores on the Northshore for quite a while — but this will be the first experience for this Thibodaux-based chain in places like the French Quarter and Uptown. I’m not sure if the biggest surprise will be for the consumer or for the store operator. But, assuming the stores in Orleans Parish are done in the same pattern as the others, you can look for a lot more in-store butcher work on things like prepared Cajun-spiced meats and other bayou delights.

Every time TBK and I would head to Thibodaux, Houma, Mandeville or Covington (which was at least once a week), we’d always load up on boudin, green-onion sausage and Natchitoches meat pies to bring back home. Not that these items aren’t already available at Save-A-Center, but the variety and quality were always better at Rouse’s. There has also been one out in Metairie near Transcontinental — but it’s gonna be a totally new ballgame in Orleans Parish.

LGD Crime Forum

There was a forum on crime in the Lower Garden District last night at the Kingsley House on Felicity Street. I would have posted information about this event before it had occurred but I really didn’t know anything about it – everyone in attendance seemed to have heard about it through word-of-mouth.

Eddie Jordan was there, letting us know that he was trying his best to make convictions (I think it was Winston Churchill that once said “Sometimes it is not enough to do your best; you must do what is required.”), along with an ATF rep, Stacy Head, and some Police representatives, among others. In some ways the agenda-less forum was kind of like the town hall meeting described here by, but in some ways maybe it was good? I don’t know. Starting a community dialogue can’t really hurt the matter. A lot of attempted murders and robberies have occurred in my neighborhood recently and I’m not comfortable walking to my car at night by myself anymore. I am frustrated that there is no police blotter to speak of except for a crime map that the NOPD updates once a month. How are people supposed to know what is going on if crime stats aren’t made public in a timely manner?

I think the resolution to the situation would be more police in more squad cars with more equipment and higher salaries than what they currently have. But since that probably won’t happen anytime soon, maybe private security like what the Garden District has could be option to consider, depending on costs and the willingness of the community to pay for it.

In any case, I am now on the email list for events such as this in the neighborhood and in the future I will try to provide info on such events before they happen, not after.

Cripple Creek Theatre Co.

“In the shadow of an advancing front, a burial detail conducts its duties as a chaplain prepares to pray over the dead. However, the sad rituals are interrupted as a groan is heard from the newly dug graves and the fallen soldiers rise to their feet. Incensed at their plight, the men plead not to be buried in the saturated ground but instead ask to rejoin the living. As word of the insurrection spreads, the establishment seeks to suppress it.”

Well that sounds right up my alley – I love zombies. Fact is I like going to the theatre. So why don’t I go much? Well, like everyone it’s up against other options like sitting in 45Tchop drinking beer and playing Golden Tee. Sometimes it seems like a hassle what with the whole not being able to wear the same clothes I worked on the shanty in all day. And partly because usually the actual content of the play doesn’t interest me. The theatre to me is like Celine Dion, she has a wonderful voice and is obviously very talented, but that doesn’t mean I like her or her music. And lastly, which is what might keep me from going to the theatre this weekend and seeing a play I really want to see: no one to go with. I don’t mind going to the movies alone, don’t mind drinking alone, don’t mind having sex alone (or a close approximation), but I don’t like eating dinner alone and I don’t like going to cultural events alone. After all, part of the appreciation of a cultural event like the theatre, or the opera, etc, is the discussion and exchange of ideas afterward. Eh, what do I know anyway?!

None of that matters. Fact is, everyone who’s even remotely interested should go see “Bury the Dead” at the Cripple Creek Theatre Co. It’s only showing for three weeks starting this Thursday and there are only three showing each week (Thurs, Fri, and Sat) so don’t fumble around and miss it. Looks like tickets are only $10 but I assume you still have to shower and put on some fresh skivvies. You can buy tickets and find out all the information you could ever want on their website.

Maybe I’ll see some of you there. And if anyone goes Thurs or Fri post a review in the comments!


What an ass!!

The big swing

People have always referred to depression as a pendulum or a roller coaster but I never liked those analogies. The reason I don’t like them is because it implies no effort where I’ve found the effort to pull out of depression pretty significant. I look at depression this way: We’re all standing on a sheet of ice over a deep, deep lake. everything that happens during the day (maybe even just thoughts) have two options in that they can either add to or subtract from the amount of weight you’re being subjected to. If you picture that bus that turned left on a red light across three lanes of traffic when I was on my way to work this morning is now sort of orbiting me now. Everything is like that to me. Things that bother me more orbit closer and more quickly, then slower as it goes out and bothers me less. But it also goes up, way above my head. Once the weight of all that gets to be too much, the ice cracks and you fall through (not pretty, I assure you). The thickness of the ice seems to be dictated by how patient you are. A few years ago I made a sincere effort to be more peaceful – sort of , as a person in general. It went really well. The ice under my feet seemed solid and strong. The things orbiting me just tended to drift further and further out eventually flying off. Nothing orbited very close at all. Those times are behind me now, my ice is thin and constantly moaning under the strain of things that bother me more than they should. Rejection, disappointment, frustration, self-doubt, jealousy, fear, uncertainty….so many thing swirling around blurring by very close, right in front of my face. It can be paralyzing because you know if you reach out, it’s like putting your fingers in a fan.

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