Archive for May, 2010

Busy as a bee

Monday, May 31st, 2010

Tin is learning what all the animals say and the best is when he says shzzzshzzzzshzzzz, what a bee says. Well we have been busy bees. I barely touched down from traveling when my family arrived from out of town and one event bled into the other. While it’s great seeing everyone, the weekend went by in a blur between breakfast here, lunch there, see you here, catch up there. Friends’ invitations dropping by the wayside – can you have dinner on Sunday? can you stop by for a visit? what are you up to? – ha! we’ve been busy as bees and chill out time never materialized. About 2 this afternoon, I gave into the entire household and took a nap myself. I was toast, done, overdone, stick a fork in me.

But along the way, this morning when my brother came by for breakfast, Tin got his drumsticks and drum and showed just why he should be on YouTube as little drummer boy. My friend in California sent me a robin’s egg blue Wonder Woman mug that I’ve been drinking my tea out of for the past two mornings. We’ve eaten jambalaya, risotto milanese, and summer ripe peaches with cream. My neighbor brought over a mango daiquiri and a watermelon daiquiri in the pouring rain today, and I brought them hot risotto with mushrooms and asparagus. We’ve watched two episodes of the Wire and are hooked even though it’s a weird show where sometimes the acting and dialogue seem so stilted and sometimes it flows perfectly (weird directing is all I can think or editing, not sure). I took a walk in the rain with a good friend.

All in all, it’s the shotgun approach to life – do all you can do, be all you can be, and then take a nap.

Memorial Day Weekend

Monday, May 31st, 2010

BP unleashes the oil spill to end all oil spills killing 11 people, and maybe even killing Louisiana, so much for more more more. Maoist rebels derailed a train in West Bengal and 71 people are dead, so much for innocent victims. Israeli military board a ship headed to Gaza with supplies and kill 9 Palestinians, thus severing ties with Turkey and complicating its relationship to the US much less the rest of Europe. Yep, it’s Memorial Weekend and human beings are up to their usual foolishness. Killing in the name of country, money, religion.

Let’s all take a moment to step back and remember that Memorial Day is a day to remember our people in service. We are memorializing our people who are serving our country and defending it against evil. But today I say let’s go one step further, let’s take a moment to reflect on war, corporate greed, and borders – none of which have served anybody since the beginning of time. No war, no corporation who was greedy and no closed border ever led to a better world, a better way, a better life for anyone, anytime, anywhere.

Prada heels and a drunken midget

Sunday, May 30th, 2010

We went to my niece’s high school graduation and I missed everything but her walking up to get her diploma as I was engaged in my way too high Prada heels chasing Tin up and down multiple flights of stairs outside in the lobby and across the marble floor as he wobbled and lurched and crashed like a drunken midget. When my niece accepted her diploma, my loud family was screaming Woo Hoo – with me flanking the left where I had walked to with Tin and the core of my family in the center rows. Her sister shouted, “That’s my sister!!!” and we all did another Woo Hoo.


Well, we got the audience going which started this whole wave where the next kids were greeted with “That’s my brother” or “That’s my cousin” and all the way to when the very tall guy next to us turned and said, “That’s my little boy” as this very tall and stocky kid accepted his diploma.

I can’t believe Miracle Baby graduated from college, baby Sara graduated from High School, my older brother’s baby got married all in one year. In the blink of an eye life happens. Shut your eyes tight right now and try to capture the essence of this moment because it is sweet but fleeting.


On wanting a family

Sunday, May 30th, 2010

About ten years ago, a friend of Steve’s was dating a woman who wanted to have a baby. She got pregnant and they got married and she miscarried and they got divorced. She was cited as one of those, those types of women who irrationally want a child no matter what. You know the type. Some men think that women want only to have a baby and are singularly focused on making that happen. But I don’t believe that is true. I think most women who dream of being a mother and having children want to have a family.

Now that T and I have a child, I know what I didn’t know before and that is the inner workings about the insular nature of the family. Recently, someone was telling me her husband is jealous because he wants to see his grandson and feels his in law is hoarding. It’s a delicate dance here at the LaLa trying to find time to be with my son, with T & T, and offer time to T’s mother to do the same. I myself always wondered why my friends with kids wanted to see me alone and not bring their child. The other day we were going to meet friends and had offered to meet away from the house but I knew they were interested in Tin and so we decided to start here instead. A little Tin and then a lot of adult time.

Family’s are insular because they have to be. You work a certain amount of hours. You exercise a certain amount of hours. You have a certain amount of chores and errands. You have a certain amount of time to be with your partner. You have never enough time to be with your kid. Friends and family get the left over. There is hardly enough time for all you need to do much less what you want to do.


Throw whatever it is at it and see what sticks

Sunday, May 30th, 2010

While BP is figuring out how to get us out of this fine mess they have gotten us into, I sat in the living room with Tin reading Farm Animals, a book my aunt had given him. Oink Oink, Moo. T’s mother came in and sat on the other couch and said that BP is moving to plan B and that basically no matter what “it is over for Louisiana.” I looked out the window, it was raining outside, I had just spent sometime walking in the rain with a friend as our dogs played together in the smelly lagoon (it hasn’t rained so the lagoon was low, which makes it smelly) and we talked about braving it out, keeping our minds towards the light, not the dark.

T was at the gym exercising her knee because the injury she had over the Mother’s Day weekend at the beach has not gotten better and she fears she will need surgery. She fears her injury will upset our trip to Spain (and Tangiers) and so she is fretting about getting surgery now if she needs it rather than later.

Meanwhile oil is gushing into the Gulf – meanwhile Louisiana fisherman are lining up to become BP independent contractors and getting trained in oil clean up – and they are thinking about now, about supporting their families, but they are sick to their stomach that what they got up every morning and loved to do, FISH, might be a thing of the past.

Meanwhile my cyber friend was planning a trip to India but cancer got in the way. Instead of gathering with family, she’s been gathering her hair off the floor. She now wonders when her hair will grow back and what will it look like.

I looked once more out the window, through rain, at the bayou where a fish jumped out of the water. Is this something that will pass? Will we here in Louisiana, in New Orleans, weather this one? On Tuesday hurricane season begins and the predictions are for a gnarly summer. Will the hurricane come and disperse the oil?

We finished farm animals and moved to singing a song, one I made up about Tin being a pookie bear who dances all day long. A friend text me, he wrote, “Depressed about oil… Cant watch talking heads. So we woke up and watched super bowl” – sometimes questions like is the president being presidential in this crisis? just what is going to happen to Gulf if that oil doesn’t stop spewing? Should all of our happiness and joie de vivre rest on a single trip planned? have multiple choice answers.

I went online but the NFL hasn’t released the full version of the Super Bowl on DVD yet. I didn’t tape it. What was I thinking? I didn’t tape the Super Bowl on my DVR. Wow, I could just spit but no, instead, I’m thinking look what I have to look forward to – the release of the 2010 Super Bowl DVD!

Hope dies last as my Russian Flower tells me.

What haunts you little boy?

Saturday, May 29th, 2010

When we were putting Tin to bed last night, we read him a book that has a poem by Maya Angelou and paintings by Basquiat, which is called Life Does Not Frighten Me. T was reading the text and at one point it said, “I go boo” and she thought it said, “igaboo” and we laughed so hard that we cried, which upset Tin because both of us couldn’t stop laughing or crying.

Later that night Tin woke up in the middle of the night sobbing having had a nightmare, one of maybe three that we have observed. We didn’t know if we caused it, the book caused it, or if something in the recesses of his mind crept out and scared him.

But he woke up fine and happy and today he was a perfect angel with all we had to do.


Friends in crisis

Saturday, May 29th, 2010

Last night, we went over to a friend’s house for a lovely dinner, but it was a multipurpose visit. She is in crisis and we were going over to rally for her. Other friends came and we had this feast of feasts – coconut crab with plaintain chips, quiche lorraine, red pepper soup, olive bread, stuffed artichokes and champagne. As we sat at the table discussing all of our great plans – Spain, Tangiers, Berlin – we raised a glass to friendship. Her friend in San Francisco, on hearing that she is in crisis, dropped all her plans and is flying out for three days.

Relationships are tough, but friends are critical.

Chill weekend turns into spaz weekend

Saturday, May 29th, 2010

This was the weekend I was coming home from nonstop travel to take a chill pill, but it turns out it is my niece’s high school graduation and my other niece’s wedding. I wasn’t invited to the wedding on account of one gone pecan that married into the family, but that is a story on which I will not digress. Meanwhile, my brother and his entire family save for my niece who had to work, came in from Atlanta and they all come over for a lunch of jambalaya. Only we had such a crazy morning getting out the house for the Fargo memorial and getting Tin fed and the jambalaya cooked – I left the burner on and called Jerri to run go to turn it off as I remembered on the way to the levee. When we got back, I ran around the whole time trying to get everything done, that it was only in the last two minutes that I got a chance to really visit.

My nephew’s wife was due at the same time our first almost adopted child was due, so we were keeping up until my adoption failed and then you know how those things go. So when I saw their son, I was thrilled to see he had moved from the little teeny thing I had first been introduced to to this chunky monkey boy:


My brother lucked out when he met his wife. All my brothers did, they all married good women, which kept them somewhat sane.


The short life of dogs – sigh

Saturday, May 29th, 2010

This morning we went to the levee to honor yet another German Shepherd, Fargo, with a dedication to Toby Burroughs who started the New Orleans German Shepherd Rescue in honor of this fine dog who passed. She couldn’t make it as her other dog, Bismarck, passed last night. Sigh. We tried to get all the Shepherds together for a photo op but as you can see Loca snuck into the shot. Later Loca rolled in a mud puddle and tried to coerce the other dogs to join her, so we had to get Loca and company into the Mighty Mississippi for a dip.


Update on the spill

Saturday, May 29th, 2010

My friend who is an authority on the Louisiana coastline said that things aren’t as bad as they are saying they are but they’re getting worse. That’s the good news bad news. He also said that he approached Anderson Cooper to pose a question to him about how he can take being around death and destruction and it not get to him and that Anderson totally blew him off. Oh well. Maybe that is the answer.