Friday, February 29, 2008

Damn It!

The new Star Trek movie is now slated to come out in May 2009. Before the writers' strike, it was slated for Christmas 2008.

THEN:

NOW:

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Hello, Clio. Helloooo, Nossiter.

I'm really glad the NY Times has Adam Nossiter and other reporters here. However, Nossiter's articles aggravate me almost everytime. Two years ago, he managed to go to a Mardi Gras parade on St. Charles Avenue and not see black people. Huh? Where was he standing?

Now, more fun from Nossiter.

To wit:
He quotes our new governor uncritically as follows:

“I’ve talked to C.E.O.’s in New York, even the president of the United States,” Mr. Jindal said in an interview, and when “you ask them for more investment, more help on the coast and other areas, their first reaction always is: ‘Well, who do you need to know? Who do I have to hire? Is this money going to end up in somebody’s pocket?’ ”

Wait. Bribe-paying CEOs and the President are examples of /experts on moral probity? Mr. Jindal actually takes this? And Nossiter reports it without question?

Next, he talks about the Baton Rouge branch of WCNO's favorite restaurant, Ruth's Chris:

Meanwhile, the mood is feverish but still merry at Ruth’s Chris. A recent night found it packed with lobbyists and legislators. With the Capitol five miles away, its popularity will be threatened when the new rules go into effect on March 30. But the lavish springtime banquets held by lobbyists, where tables groan with choice Louisiana seafood, do not appear to be immediately endangered.
He fails to mention that Ruth's Chris abandoned our state, and the phrase "choice Louisiana seafood" implies that Ruth's Chris is somehow a Louisiana institution and that they serve "choice" food. Wrong. The cowardice that taints that food will give you indigestion every time.

Finally, the general spirit of the article is that Jindal passed this legislation by fiat. He's the knight on the white horse, above the fray of the sinister and huddled masses. The fact is that the Legislature had to pass it, which means that there are other people in the state (and in state government) who want transparent government too. The article implies otherwise. Wrong again.

On a positive note, I congratulate Governor Jindal for a good first step toward transparent government. I hope that he and all other government officials live up to this.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Love Me Some Spongebob Taking On Casablanca, The Godfather, etc.

Missing a Pay-Per-View Opportunity, Perhaps

So some people are upset that their prenatal sex tests were wrong. In other words, they thought they were getting a girl, and they got a boy. Or vice versa. And they are PISSED.

C'mon, people! Follow the logic of your own way of looking at the world!!!

This isn't a problem; it's an opportunity. You can do a weekly reality show (pay per view?): Throw the wrong-sexed babies off a cliff! Imagine the ratings, the sponsorships, the profits!

What would the show be called?
"Oops."
"Fix My Baby's Junk."
Whatever.

Retro and forward-looking at the same time.

I'll switch to serious mode now. People who are that interested in control are going to have trouble as parents.

It's not the Catholic in me that shudders at this. It's the poet in me.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

World Class Verification

From Chris Rose's column today, which includes his take on the email responses to his other column about NBA All-Star Weekend in New Orleans as "dancing at the center of the universe.":

Here's a similar entreaty from an e-mail I got from a reader named Ken McCarthy:
"Normally, I'd say a writer who writes like this needs to dial it back a bit, but as an ex-New Yorker who lived ten years in San Francisco and has seen the other great cities of the world, I'd say what you wrote is downright clinical in its accuracy.

"I moved here after the levee failures and I have to say this is not only one of the world's greatest cities, it's one of the greatest cities that ever was. It belongs right up there with Athens in its Golden Age (which I'm sure had its own petty government thieves, pointless violence and inept public works projects).

"I really pity the people who can't see what a wonder New Orleans is. They're not only missing the world's greatest party, they're also missing a place of rare nobility, decency and courage."


I've enjoyed Rose more lately than I was for awhile. (I noticed the entire Rose family together today at the end of the Mardi Gras Half-Marathon. Maybe his personal life is normalizing a little.)

Okay, I know Mr. McCarthy is in no position to compare New Orleans to Athens in its Golden Age. And I know we can be better in so many ways. And I know there are other great cities.

But there really is something special going on here right now.

I Did It

In celebration of my half-*ssed training effort, I ran the Mardi Gras Half Marathon today. I ran the whole way and posted a better time than I thought I might.

Our city looked completely AWESOME today. Poydras. Bourbon Street. Royal Street. St. Charles Avenue. Audubon Park. It was beautiful. I'm sure the second half of the race into Mid-City was just as beautiful.

The Superdome looks amazing when you are approaching the end of a 13-mile run. The beer tasted amazing too, but not as amazing as beer tasted at the playoff win over the Eagles.

Congrats to Arnie Fielkow, Sandy Shilstone, and the rest of the committee that ensured the race followed this absolutely beautiful route. (I didn't realize that the Mardi Gras Marathon was almost part of Family Gras this year.)

UPDATE: The race website is way cool. By yesterday evening, they had complete results posted. I finished 1132nd out of 2839 (sounds good), but 99th out of 169 runners in my division (I guess that would be the 40-something slow guy division--sounds not so good).

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Eye Candy

1. Always an exciting day for me each year: the first day I walk into the grocery store and see Heavenly Hash on display. (This pic is from Winn Dixie this evening.) I always try to hold out until Easter. I often succeed.


2. The movie of Speed Racer is coming out in May, and . . . um . . . I'm more excited about it than Clio IV, who is four years old. (He's becoming a fan via the DVD collection I bought "for him.")

Monday, February 18, 2008

Congratulations to Kosovo. Now, Where Do We Sign Up?

From the NY Times:
It brings to a climax a showdown between the West, which argues that Serbia’s brutal subjugation of Kosovo’s ethnic Albanian majority cost it any right to rule the territory, and the Serbian government and its allies in the Kremlin. They counter that Kosovo’s independence is a reckless breach of international law that will spur other secessionist movements across the world.
Hmmmm . . .

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Oddest Sign I Saw in California

I met someone for breakfast a few days ago in San Clemente, California, a beautiful beach town best known for its link with Richard Nixon.

We (i.e. myself and the person I met, not Richard Nixon) met at Antoine's Cafe. As we talked, I noticed this carefully designed chalkboard sign hanging from the register. Again, this was San Clemente, California.

Honestly, I didn't know that Antoine's of New Orleans was THAT well known.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Could we not use the term "civil war"?

Especially given that an African-American candidate is involved, it doesn't sit well with me when people say that if the superdelegates for the Democratic Party turn the election away from the popular choice and toward the other candidate--presumably Clinton--it will cause a "civil war" in the Party and at the convention.

Such carelessness does two things:

1. It plays into the hands of Republicans by invoking a term that has a very particular history that hinges on race. The Republicans would love that.

2. It cheapens the phrase generally. Ask somebody in Lebanon or Yugoslavia about civil war. They ought to be horrified that we would compare a pansy tea party like a political convention in the U.S. to what they've been through.

3. I don't know why I use the subject "we" in the title. I'm not even a registered Democrat.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Post from the West

Posting from Los Angeles, California.

1. World Class New Orleans got hit by the worst natural/human catastrophe in American history just 30 months ago, and yet we still didn't make this Forbes list of Most Miserable Cities. Sometimes, a sign of progress is the list we DON'T make. (That list doesn't even take into account how miserable it must be to live without inexpensive world class neighborhood joints like Liuzza's and Mandina's.)

2. Re: the Uptown New Orleans Chinese Spy Scandal. You never know what's going on in the house up the street. What I do know is that this comment at nola.com made me absolutely spit out my Coke:

A friend of mine connected to the case reported to me that they think the man may have also put pee-pee in some coke as some sort of chinese prank.

Now THAT is funny.

3. I'm with Randy Newman. I love L.A.

UPDATE: Forgot to mention that last night, two rows ahead of me on my half-empty Southwest flight from Las Vegas to Burbank, was Flavor Flav. I really like Southwest, but I didn't realize it was the airline of choice for large-clock-wearing rap-a-delic guys.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

More Rushing Around

A brief respite in World Class New Orleans after a day in northern Alabama.

Now I'm off to the Westest Coast Bestest Coast to do my job, dine with bloggers, and engage in a Serious Political Discussion with Angels and Saints and Bears at totally World Class Tadich Grill. I will be researching party platforms vigorously in order to be able to discuss Clinton and Obama. (Note to Hennessey: I was not baiting you with that last video post. It just made me laugh. Also, Election is one of my Top 10 fave films.)

Finally, a belated Mardi Gras Day greeting from Mario, Luigi, and Wario:

Friday, February 08, 2008

Rushing Around

I am rushing around preparing for a trip to Alabama then to Cali.

Random things in a rush:

1. I tried to get in to the ObamaFest yesterday. I arrived at 7:45 a.m. and encountered a line that stretched from Freret, down McAlister, around the corner onto Willow and reaching toward Calhoun. Wow. Here's a pic:

2. As for the subtance of the speech, I'm not as impressed as Oyster is. I don't hear anything new there.

3. Gotta go.

4. But not before posting this thing about Clinton, Flick, and Obama that made me laugh.


Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Happy Carnival!

Not much time, but here's Berto just a little while ago at 7 a.m., hitting the streets with the Jefferson City Buzzards.
If you're in NOLA, enjoy the day!

If you're not, do the best you can, under the circumstances. We're thinking about ya!
UPDATE: I talked to Berto. He is safely home after a great march with the Buzzards. The Clios were at Sixth and St. Charles and had a great time too.


Sunday, February 03, 2008

Thoth Sunday


6:45 a.m.: They're LATE! By this time in most years, the city has placed barricades on the streets that lead into Magazine. They're not here yet. I enjoy when the barricades show up (usually they're flat on the ground, then somebody puts them up shortly before the parade). The appearance of the barricades makes me feel like I live someplace where something's gonna happen.

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Thank You, Sheryl Crow

Sure, the visuals are pretty much what somebody not-from-here thinks south Louisiana is like every day.

But I don't care. The song is bouncy, and the visuals include:

1. Be Nice or Leave
2. A nasty refrigerator all taped up.
3. A guy with an old-school UNO shirt on.

And Sheryl Crow is one of those people--yes, I admit it, Bono, Drew Brees, and Gwen Stefani are others--who, for me, if they do it, it's cool. I'm a sucker that way.

Super Bowl Ads Are Popular--in the U.K.???

I periodically check out the Independent, a newspaper in the U.K. I have a sort of sentimental tie to it because it started publishing when I was a student at Edinburgh University in the fall of 1986.


I stumbled onto this surprise: one of their most popular stories today is a poll on the best Super Bowl ad ever.


It includes a really nice collection of YouTube clips.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Such a Night

I spent about 5 hours on Napoleon watching parades.

I did fatherly things.

I sipped 15-year-old scotch with other bloggers.

I got a cool decorated skate wheel from Soviet Bloc of the Big Easy Roller Girls.

I shook hands with Harry Shearer and told him "Thanks for sticking with our city."

I gave a beer to the Dirty Coast guy.

I got a cool Rubik's Cube necklace from a Bearded Oyster and gave her a beer.

I found out my cousin is in Muses when she bombed me with beads.

I got completely bombarded by my friend Traci on Float 24 in Muses (a float that made FEMA look good for the first time ever).

A cool night.