Archive for October, 2006

Only the best hinges for the LaLa

Tuesday, October 31st, 2006

I went to the Bank and got the ball hinges – K will redo them – and now the world is happy that Rachel is not putting modern hinges into a 100-year-old house. The siding is almost finished but what is more impressive is the guest bedroom that my friend P is painting – it’s this red wash with a yellow ceiling. When I saw how pretty it is turning out, I told P it was going to make my bedroom look boring. Today, P said K had come in yesterday and remarked how great the colors looked and P told him what I said, and his response was, “maybe this will be her warm up room.” What is his problem?

It started with a wasp

Monday, October 30th, 2006

When I was a little girl living on Louisiana Avenue, I stepped on a caterpillar and was rushed to the hospital because I went into shock. Years later, in Atlanta, as a teenager, a bee stung me and my parents, a doctor and a nurse, went into shock that I might go into shock, so my father shot me up with Benadryl and he gave me so much in his panic, that I was slipping almost into a coma, so he in turn shot me up with adrenalyne – so then I went into shock. [Reason No. 94 why medical parents shouldn’t treat their children.]

So while I was at the LaLa on Sunday morning cleaning up the mess inside, a Nicaraguan guy who had passed by the house a week before and needed directions to a job site, stopped again to say thanks for helping him. He said he is a construction worker but doesn’t speak any English so it has been difficult for him here even though he loves New Orleans. So he’s telling me how he is part construction worker and part medicine man when a wasp flies up my shirt and bites me on the stomach. So I screamed and all sorts of ideas about “shock” ran through my mind as he, without missing a beat, kept telling me about his wife who became an evangelical christian and kicked him out of the house while he grabbed the wasp and opened it with a stick and took the insides out and rubbed them on the wasp bite on my stomach, and finally I was like, “hmm, okay, that might work, but I’m in pain here, so I’ve got to go.”

Now Armando is stalking the LaLa. I told him I don’t have time to talk the first time, but while talking to K he rode his bike up and was sitting there and I ignored him BUT I just wanted to shout – look, I know you said you have no friends here and don’t speak English, but shoo, shoo, go away, I can’t help you AND my wasp sting is I think worse than it would have been had the insect’s guts not been rubbed into the bite.

All my ex’s

Monday, October 30th, 2006

I ran into my ex-bro-in-law on the bayou this afternoon – the Bean and I got in the car with him and took him to the LaLa to show him what is going on. I haven’t seen him since pre-K when I first learned he was diagnosed with cancer, so it was good to catch up. We went back and forth on who’s nuts and who isn’t these days. He bought a house a few weeks before Katrina hit and only had one inch of water, so he and his family are doing well in the midst of the craziness. It was good to see him, his brother, my first husband, still wont speak to me even though it has been about 18 years. He has two kids now.

I can still remember thinking that I had a narrow window back then – stay and have children and leave right then – and try as I might – therapy, etc. – I couldn’t stay. Had I, maybe I’d have those kids I want now, but whatyagonnado?


Monday, October 30th, 2006

A while ago, we had a small grocery in Mid-City called Whole Foods – that was its name when Whole Foods out of Texas bought them. While the big Whole Foods was building out the bus barn Uptown, management continued to tell Mid-City that they wouldn’t close down the smaller store. So all was happy in LaLa Land.

Then the big evil corporate Whole Foods suddenly said it was closing the smaller store because its shiny new store Uptown and in Metairie were enough for it to make loads of profit.

So the neighborhood barked loudly.

And there were meetings and bids and three grocery names threw their name in the hat.

Although it had the least to offer, Lakeview Fine Foods, won the bid. In Lakeview, the small grocery catered to an older demographic who wouldn’t know organic if it levitated and bit them on the lips, but Mid-City nabes insisted on whole foods-esque and so Lakeview Fine Foods promised to oblige.

Then there was Katrina. Then there was Rita.

Lakeview Fine Foods was wiped off the map. So we all thought the owners would put a lot into the Market on Esplanade – the name it took instead of Esplanade Fine Foods.

So when the Market on Esplanade finally opened with limp lettuce and hard as fist tiny mangos and a prepared food department that displayed the food in the least appetizing way imaginable, we all said, huh. And though loads of people came to patronize the store within the first months, more and more, people found themselves going to the small neighborhood Terranova across the street or the larger Sav-A-Center that had been beautifully refurbished after Katrina.

So on Friday when the emails began circulating that MOE’s – as we came to call it – was closing on Sunday, we are all in shock, disgusted, and felt pretty much duped by management because they didn’t listen to what the community was saying and instead they folded without a good old college try.

Baby, it’s nice outside

Monday, October 30th, 2006

Monday – scale mountains? make big calls on Wall Street? finish Taj Majal? What if the Bean didn’t even get her much anticipated morning walk around the bayou even though I got an extra hour of sleep and nice sunshine to wake up to?

After a weekend of Go Go Kitty at Swirl, Voodoo Fest at City Park, birthday cake for L, man of mystery, Voodoo on the Bayou with spike Jimmy Choo’s aerating the Pitot House lawn, and more Voodoo Fest – Monday starts slow out the gate but promises to build momentum as the minutes tick off.

Joy Oswald is not allowed in Mid-City

Friday, October 27th, 2006

With 116 days to go till Mardi Gras starts in ’07, I was thrilled to learn that Endymion is coming back to Mid-City. Due to Katrina, last year, the last of the neighborhood parades was transferred uptown to join the long list of parades that roll along the St. Charles Avenue route.

Due to a post-K squeeze on the city’s resources, Iris and Tucks are being asked to precede Endymion along the Mid-City route instead of their normal uptown route.

Joy Oswald, Krewe Captain of Iris, says – all of her members don’t want to bring their kids to “that area” – “that area hasn’t come back at all.”

You know what I say to Joy Oswald – stay in the Isle of Denial where you belong you ignorant oaf.

New Orleans still has a ways to go

Friday, October 27th, 2006

When it takes six stores to find a pair of fishnet stockings, you know New Orleans is still reeling from Katrina. I like what the clerk at Dillard’s said about why they didn’t have fishnets – “they’re seasonal” – what is the season for fishnets, I wonder?

Driving, pounding rain

Friday, October 27th, 2006

Awakened in the wee hours to a rainfall that sounded like cats and dogs were falling out of the sky. The Bean and I waited for it to subside and got out for our walk while it was still dark outside. I wanted to check the door from the terrace and see if rain came in, but on the way back around the bayou, the rain started again, so we quickened our step. Stopped for a moment to say hi to D, a neighbor, she said she saw a play last night – I realized how long it’s been since I’ve been to a play – ridiculous. MacBeth at the Gates – she said it was a physically demanding play and there were only 17 people in the audience. Obviously, I should be supporting these events.

On the qualities of happiness

Friday, October 27th, 2006

“Happiness is always a by-product. It is probably a matter of temperament, and for anything I know it may be glandular. But it is not something that can be demanded from life, and if you are not happy you had better stop worrying about it and see what treasures you can pluck from your own brand of unhappiness.”
– Robertson Davies

In search of a more complicated truth

Thursday, October 26th, 2006

It’s hard to know if your actions elicit the actions of others or were they going to behave that way anyway? How can you know? It’s all such a tangled intertwined mess of call and response and sometimes silence. In May of last year, when I moved home and the work started on the LaLa – who’d a thought all that would happen would happen.

I received a missive from B today saying:

“Very glad that you are at the end of your long historical project. Good for you for seeing it through. I hope that you have kept a journal that will be read again in the future. I think about my part in it a lot. What an amazing experience all in all.”

G told me this morning that my blog was going to get me in trouble and I said I am already in trouble. Deep trouble. I had a lot of disturbing communiques last night – stuff that kept me awake last night – I kept throwing thought after thought into a simmering witches’ cauldron until I had a funky brew that colored my morning today – made me want to beat my head against a wall trying to find out the answer to one simple question that L asked me this morning when I was holding Abby and J was eating his waffle – she asked, “do you ever wish you could undo any of what has happened in the last year? I mean, you seem happy, but I’m just wondering.”

It’s a shifting landscape I told her – I wouldn’t take a nickel for where I am now, but I wish I could understand better the choices everyone makes and how much that choice is conditioned upon the choice that the “other” makes and I find myself still searching for that same complicated truth even in my relationships now – how much does what I say influence what is said to me and vice versa?