Archive for November, 2008

Sunday morning in the park

Sunday, November 30th, 2008

Waited till mid morning to take Loca to the park and the day is absolutely stunning. The little bit of fall color that goes on display here is best seen inside the park along the lagoon. I love to watch the coots chuking along the water, and the Great Egret, the immature Cormorants sitting up in the tree, the lonely rail, the moorhens, the mallards all seem to have found paradise, just like me. The moss seems fatter hanging from the trees and the sunlight has the horizontal quality that makes dense cypress stands seem darker and more imposing.

Turning at the end of the path on the Marconi side an artist is creating a threshold to nowhere out of mosaics. In front of the museum is a FEMA trailer that has been converted by an artist into an Emergency Response Studio fully equipped for displaced artists, there are also two sets of pristine white stairs to nowhere in the meadow, and steel letters that spell DESIRE are still perched on top of NOMA looking imposing and impressive.

When is the best time to have a baby?

Sunday, November 30th, 2008

For all of us who always thought we would get pregnant at some point, the question is always when is the best time to have a baby? Since I waited till I was 40 years old to try, I feel like marching into colleges across the country and talking to women about the notion of them having it all – it just ain’t so. If you want to have your own child, you cannot wait till you are in your late 30s much like all the actresses in Hollywood that you read about – because your chances greatly diminish after age 35.

I was speaking with someone who is 36 and his wife is 33 and they are thinking of starting to try next year – I nodded my head, yes, don’t wait, I said.

But what about a career? you ask – well there’s that and there’s everything else but what I’m saying is if you know you want to bear children then you have to think within nature’s timeframe, not Hollywood’s or the business world.

In your thirties, contemplating having a child is daunting if you are a) with a partner who doesn’t want a child, b) not with a partner, or c) working on tenure, career, or other major goals that you don’t want to interrupt. But contemplate you must.

When I think back to my early thirties, I wish I would have been more proactive instead of believing I had time remaining. And while I did take action at 40 and did get pregnant numerous times and did lose all those pregnancies, I do believe that right now at 49 is the perfect time because I am with someone who shares the same vision of having a family I do.

So maybe there is no right time, maybe like T wrote in her letter, we are always and never prepared for major events in our life, and maybe one day when we wake up and we’re mothers, all that has gone before will seem perfectly orchestrated.

Monday night the stars will put on a show

Sunday, November 30th, 2008

Monday night look up into the night sky and behold a rare wonder – a crescent moon and two bright shining stars that are actually Venus and Jupiter.

Thoughts before tomorrow

Saturday, November 29th, 2008

Deep sorrow for the families who lost a loved one in Mumbai during this horrible tragedy.

Here, Abby is still missed.

You pick up the pieces and you move on. Right?

The bells of Cabrini are ringing and so it is time to shut down and enjoy Saturday night. As Flower always tells me, hope dies last.

Picking the carcass clean

Saturday, November 29th, 2008

If anyone wants to know – we’re ready.

Good friends who think they have something to tell us that we might not already know have told us that a child is going to change our life. Really, we say, trying to be considerate but thinking to ourselves, why, we never thought of that.

We have gone over and over and over in our minds the pros and cons of being a parent and the one thing that was certain the day we met was that we wanted a child. And we have gone over and over the many ways that might happen, and we realize we are not tied to how or who, but when.

One friends says do IVF, another says she knows a woman who adopted a child who was abandoned in her neighborhood, another says get one from foster care, another says surrogate mother, one says Ethiopia, another says Russia, still others think that China remains open, and I keep thinking one is going to float down the bayou in a basket and we’ll call it Moses.

Do you know me?

Saturday, November 29th, 2008

I got irked recently when my mother turned at the table and said, “I know you, Rachel.” She had just said I am easily repulsed. Which I don’t believe I am. “I know you,” she said, as if to imply, better than you know yourself. Since T had the fur covered peach slice incident at the ready, it was easy to concur. But honestly, one or two incidents does not make a label.

In a conversation recently, the person speaking with me kept assuming that she knew me, possibly better than I know myself, and as hard as I tried to offer a rebuttal, she kept giving me that knowing look – which I must say really vexes me.

Okay, I don’t know me either. I’ve done things I didn’t think I was capable of – and that is a wide range of great things and horrible things. I’ve reacted most in line with who I think I am but mostly I have spent a lifetime questioning who I am, so what gives anyone outside of my skin to think they “know” me if I am still surprising myself?

Taking a compliment when you can

Saturday, November 29th, 2008

Recently, New Orleans was awarded the (dis)honor of having the highest crime per capita of any U.S. city. Last night, at Swirl, a friend was talking to my friends visiting from Atlanta, she had recently moved back to New Orleans. She said, “Yes, Atlanta’s a functioning city, but it’s good to be home.” Ah, home, crime ridden but lovable.

This morning after breakfast at Dizzy’s – eggs, grits and fried catfish – my friend said she really thought I would never find a person, male or female, who would compliment me until she met T. I said I feel the same. But wondered is that a comment on me or T?

Yet the biggest idiots are in the U.S. of A.

Saturday, November 29th, 2008

Wal-Mart Employee Trampled to Death by Customers

By JACK HEALY and ANGELA MACROPOULOS A Wal-Mart employee in suburban New York died after being trampled by a crush of shoppers on Friday.

As the U.S. takes a breath, India suffers at the hands of idiots

Saturday, November 29th, 2008

How could we not be connected in these global times to every event, every city and citizen who suffers?

Mumbai – my colleagues recently held a conference there, in a country that I dream about but have never visited, and now Mumbia is in peril. Damn these terrorist to hell – with so much in the world to worry about, young punks wrecking senseless havoc on people who were living their lives – very sad, indeed.

Deep Fried Bayou Style

Friday, November 28th, 2008

We opted for a small gathering this year for Thanksgiving and it was a long and lovely day. The weather was superb. I woke up and walked Loca into the park where the Turkey trot was underway. She and I ran into Sangi, Loca’s new best friend, and the two dogs tripped the light fantastic in and out of the lagoon, terrorizing anyone near who wanted to stay dry. Then home again, where T and I decided to ride our bikes to the lakefront and had a lovely ride on a gorgeous, sunny day. We came back and started the meal in earnest – why? – because we were deep frying our turkeys and didn’t have to be tied to a stove or an all day affair. Mom showed up around 3ish, looking pale and shaky, but she came and that was good.

We prepped two turkeys – one with just salt and pepper and one covered in Paul Prudhomme’s Magic Barbecue spice (yum). We also had shrimp and tasso stuffed mirlton, sweet potatoes, fingerling potatoes, sugar snap peas sauteed with sliced almonds and nutmeg, cornbread, challah, and ciabatta. Then we finished with pumpkin cheesecake from Cafe Minh and pecan pie from me (Thanksgiving eve the lights went out when I was supposed to be making the mirlton and pie, the only advance items that needed attention. Somewhere between losing electricity and our out of town guests arriving, the pie got left in the oven when the broiler was turned on for the mini hamburgers and WALA, burned pecan pie – it was delicious nonetheless).

But for those of you who have not had the pleasure, behold seven steps to a delicious turkey:

Step 1 – rub the turkey all over with Magic Barbecue and stick on the turkey thing:

Step 2 – Bring turkey out to deep fryer in a wide open place – like the bayou

Step 3 – make sure the peanut oil has hit 350 degrees

Step 4 – immerse turkey into hot hot oil

Step 5 – what hot oil looks like

Step 6 – 30 minutes for an 11.5 lbs turkey and Wala – dinner!

Step 7 – enjoy, super darlings