Thursday, July 21, 2011


Really in love with right now. It has become an obsession, finding just that right card for all the people in my life. (Because I am tech-tarded and need a tutor on how to make my very own).

Along the way, I've found quite a few very relevant to my own life at the moment. Thus, I hereby send them to the world in a virtual scented envelope:


If you were coming in the Fall,
I'd brush the Summer by
With half a smile, and half a spurn,
As Housewives do, a Fly.

If I could see you in a year,
I'd wind the months in balls—
And put them each in separate Drawers,
For fear the numbers fuse—

If only Centuries, delayed,
I'd count them on my Hand,
Subtracting, till my fingers dropped
Into Van Dieman's Land.

If certain, when this life was out—
That your's and mine, should be—
I'd toss it yonder, like a Rind,
And take Eternity—

But now, uncertain of the length
Of this, that is between,
It goads me, like the Goblin Bee—
That will not state—its sting.

-Emily Dickinson

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Endorphins (IV)

This past Sunday I ran the Spillway Classic Run, a three miler set in the swampy terrain around Norco.

This is basically what it looks like:

The mud factor this year was am 8.5 out of 10, which made for childish delights (my toes are squishy), to slight anxiety over injury (um, I don't have any grip on my shoes anymore and I almost lost one in that calf-high mudpit back there), to all out ecstacy (I placed in the top 30% without getting a single leech on me).

And boy do I know how to leechproof dress. Did I mention under that 13-year-old super Chi Omega t-shirt lies a supermodel?

At the very end, about 100 yards from the finish line I had the choice between waist high pool of water or bridge. I chose water, and I chose well.

I wish that my motivations to do this run had something to do with training for a marathon. Despite my belief that nothing is more irritating than hearing about training for a marathon, I have decided that I may very well run one. However, in order not to be a hypocrite I plan on posting a single sentence one day saying "I ran a marathon." The barren strength of this statement should be enough. Besides, if I ever did really run a marathon I probably wouldn't have the energy to type much more than that. Or even breathe, for that matter.

Instead my motivations went something like this, in order of thought process:

1. Very toned men running
2. Very toned men covered with mud while running
3. Very toned men covered with mud washing themselves off under a fireman's hose.
4. Me drinking beer while watching this happen.

So, in short maybe running is giving me an outlet for my libido while providing it with more food.

Also, they use this as the starting gun.

While I've always liked running, this is one of the first times in my life where I have started infiltrating the dark terrain of the runners' racing world. It is a strange place, full of odd lingo regarding pacing, chaffing, and swallowing gel out of plastic packages. The upside is that in New Orleans there are very few serious runners, and usually they're too far ahead of the pack to intimidate the rest of us.

Like this guy. Definitely not intimidated.

The day's lesson was learned. To go undercover I really need to start wearing more sexy sporty clothing, or at least remember when you put your arm behind you while someone is taking your picture, it makes your arm look really really short.

Seriously, arms like an alligator's, but I finished that damn race smiling.


This morning I stepped in the parking garage elevator with a small girl wearing a flowered dress and a Jackie Kennedy bouffant. This evening we stepped in the elevator at the same time again. She looked at me, me at her, and without a word she pushed the button for my floor.

This evening I went for a walk past the house of the man who may or may not have been attempting suicide a couple of days ago. A shaven and sober version of him is on the porch strumming a steel guitar. "Hey lady," he says with a very different tone. I smile like I've never seen him before in my life and walk on.

My life in New Orleans is like this at the moment, maybe because of a resolution to step out of my shell a little bit and join the mortals. And what I'm finding, down here in mortal land, is that for some reason you are drawn back into beginnings and endings and their reverse with the people all around you. Which is teaching me there is no real closure with the people who drift in and out of my life.

Only uncertain reunion times.

Saturday, July 16, 2011


While I encounter many things on my morning walks with the implacable Nita, today I was not expecting to be involved in what may possibly have been the poorest suicide attempt ever known to man. Or perhaps, nothing.

There I was, maybe 20 yards from my house, wondering why a grown woman spent the previous evening in a black cocktail dress waving around a wand made of joined straws and flowers pluck from my uber fancy cocktails trying to "Accio" everything in sight, and regretting the number of the cocktails I had, when a voice called "lady!".

I stopped and looked around.

"Up here!"

I look up and standing on the lower railing of a second story balcony was a very pale bearded man.

"I need you to call the fire department! Now!" He puts a foot on the middle railing and looks like he's going to climb over.

"Whoa. Are you okay? Calm down."

"No, I need you to call the fire department or I'm going to have to come down!" More climbing motion.

"Okay," I say, trying desperately to remember stuff that people say in movies to jumpers. "Okay, I am going to go do that right now. I am going to run get my phone and call the fire department. And I want you to promise me you'll stay right there until I come back."


I run to my house dragging a very confused puppy behind me, slipping on the wet flowers of the shedding crepe myrtle on the drive. And I am thinking of how ridiculously unhelpful I am in situations where people or animals are in pain. And I am thinking of a frog that got partially mashed under a sleeping bag that I had to kill with a rock on a camping trip because it was suffering, of fish that swallow hooks that we can't catch-and-release and heartbroken friends that I hover helplessly about, of victims of tragedies too terrible to comprehend that I spend hours thinking of the right thing to say without being able to accept that there is never a right thing to say.

And I can't find my phone. I'm tearing through the house in a panic when I locate it and as I head to the stairs my eyes are full of tears and I run to the end of the driveway sure that there is already a crippled body waiting for me that I will not be able to touch.

And the fire truck is already there. And the man is there, on the ground perfectly fine. So, there being nothing more to do, I caught my dog who was following me confusedly dragging her leash and continued on our walk.

"What's going on?" asks a woman a couple of blocks down that I pass quite often.

"I have no idea."

And I do not.

When I returned, the fire truck was gone. And a sullen little gloom sat upon me. I remember more than a year ago dealing with a man who had taken a bunch of drugs, then a bike ride to Borders in the middle of a hot summer day, and had ended this glorious spree prostrate on the sidewalk not far from where a stranger who seemed intent on throwing himself from balcony told me to call New Orleans' finest. The confusion, the frustration, the repugnance, the worry ... and the knowledge that the sky will fall at any moment.

Or am I being a Chicken Little?


A near and dear friend of mine, whose musical taste I consider as discerning as my own, recently admitted that she has never heard Nick Cave. Happily, this rainy afternoon, as I finished catching up on Harry Potter in preparation for seeing the finale tomorrow, I got to inform her that - in fact - she had. This lovely song from Abattoir Blues.

Just in the way we will never be able to truly place ourselves in the minds and shoes of others, it is hard to imagine the soundtracks that set the background for their complicated and almost always completely irresolvable plots. I know, for me, this particular singer has been a part of mine for so long that it is hard to think of the perhaps brighter days when I did not know him. For almost 15 years now, he trickles in. And is probably somewhat responsible for my odd habit of deciding to chain smoke and look thoughtful like a heroine in a French novel while swaying like a manic cobra.

Thus, for those who need an intro, an incomplete guide for what Nick Cave song best fits your particular existential crisis - sadly often to the tune of gothic romance. I recommend accompanying this with some Marlboro Reds and your collection of so-so wines.

"Goddammit, will you never learn anything?"

"I am madly in love with you. And it scares the fuck out of me."

"If you can't trust your lover, who can you trust?"

"If only closure was as easy as having a penknife handy."

"And in the end, even my nurse can't keep me under control."

"Can we just be in love with each other without the territorial battles and boundary disputes?"

"Sadness runs in currents through generations. Also Nick Cave can admit he looks like a gay businessman dancing in a disco."

"The Kool-Aid Man is inherently evil."

"Sometimes you just need to be able to not feel a thing. And I'm pretty sure I have Seasonal Affective Disorder."

"In the end, nothing is better than a cuddle. Especially from the divine."

Monday, July 11, 2011

Book Report

George Eliot

George Eliot and I have the same birthday, which explains why we are both so long-winded.

*Spoiler alert*

Yeah, I actually finished this tome about 2 months ago but honestly felt like I really needed to think about a way to write a report to do it justice. Or maybe not the book justice because it was unevenly sharp and poignant, coupled with incredibly dull and mundane. More like my reaction to this book justice. Really, just how many times in a book is one allowed to go "pallid"? Jesus Christ.

Dorothea was annoying. Rosamund was a bitch. Will was kind of sissy. The real treat for me were the minor characters, who seemed more real.

And yeah, I was totally thrilled when Dorothea's husband kicked it.

If you want a storyline, go straight to the Epilogue, which manages to happily cover about twenty years in the space of five pages.

If you want a lot of rumination on unrequited love and forbidden feelings for a few years that goes on for hundreds of pages, have at it. There are some gems or wisdom and wry humor in it that did make me fold a corner of the page with some vague intention of quoting it at some point. But in my opinion, the best summary I have of this book was that, when asked by a stranger at a bar what I was reading, I honestly could not remember without looking at the cover. Yes, it took this speedreader that long to slough through it. Do I regret it? No ... but that may only be because I can finally check that off my book bucket list.


Sunday, July 10, 2011


At 8:30am yesterday I was running while laughing hysterically down the street, splashing beer all over my brilliant white gear, trailing a bright red sash and getting intermittently smacked on the ass by large women on roller skates with whiffle bats.

In other words, it was San Fermin in NOLA.

"I am the artful dodger!" I yell gleefully at a particularly hefty rollerbull after performing some Matrix-like move to escape her flying weapon. "I heard that!" she responds, and I am rewarded for my smart mouth by being chased down the street where I hurl shrieking in that gleeful not quite terror you would have as a child playing tag.

And yeah, she totally got me. I would've lasted about twenty seconds doing the real thing.

"What time is it?" asks a friend about an hour later. We are sitting in the shade on a sidewalk where we have collapsed following impromptu Salsa lessons with our souvenir Pamplona-themed cups strewn emptied around our feet. No one is feeling like pointing out the cultural confusion.

"Uhh ... noon? No, it is 9:30. AM."

"Ah. Hey, can you take a picture of me with that guy dressed like Spiderman?"

And I remember why I love New Orleans. And I now know why when, a few months ago I was thinking of leaving it forever, something stopped me. A little voice asking for a chance, and reminding me maybe I should meet it halfway.

"Let us remember how light our hearts can be," it said.

And I acquiesced.

Sunday, July 3, 2011


Because this evening I am a lil' tipsy. And this is just the song for it.

"You used to say your heart felt like a stone
Now everything you ever wanted is your own
Still cold like the stars
That's just the way you are
Still cold like the stars."