July 2009

Note to Fairy: Get Ready.

The most amazing part, to me, is that it happened without the influence of blunt force trauma.  That darn tooth just came loose.  The natural procession of things. One tooth moving out, making room for that adult tooth coming in behind it.

Which tooth?

The one on the left.

Remember that kid?  Yeah, well, he has a loose tooth.

And while I don’t necessarily feel old over the fact that my baby has his first loose tooth, I do suspect that in the same moment that little tooth started to wiggle, a dozen gray hairs sprouted on my head and my boobs sagged another inch.  The natural procession of things.


Comments (0)


June Just Posts for a Just World

June has been a difficult month, with posts that reflect this with writing on the thoughts and life changes that come with civil unrest, national conflict, and personal loss. Two countries which we have deep personal connections, Honduras and Peru, have been immersed in violent clashes. I’m still not sure where I stand with the Honduran coup d’etat… I’m not even sure if I feel right calling it a coup. I do hope that the International community keep Honduras in it’s sights no matter how the situation continues to unfold: it is a country of beautiful, open, forgiving people, 70% of whom live in poverty. Any sanctions or separation imposed on the country due to its political situation will ultimately work to the detriment of the nation’s most vulnerable. The Big Picture, the fantastic photography site hosted at Boston.com, posted a collection of photographs of the protests.

Peru also has experienced civil unrest. For years, indigenous peoples have lived in remote areas of the Amazon rain forest with protection from development. But the country wants to use it’s natural resources, particularly it’s forests and oil reserves, to comply with agreements the government made in the US-Peruvian free trade agreement. Violence erupted at roadblocks where people gathered to protect their land from entering developers. You can read more about the conflict at Life in Peru, particularly this post.

Also, as was pointed out by another Peruvian blogger, Peru also lost one of it’s musical legends, Alicia Delgado, who was unexpectedly murdered (a true-to-life telenovela type story). In honor of Alicia (and with appropriate homage to Alejna’s musical JPs) here is Ms. Delgado:

Below are the June Just Posts. Thank you thank you thank you.

This month’s readers:

Be sure to head over to Alejna’s for more Just Post love and musical thought!


Comments (5)


Bang with no boom.

View of downtown New Orleans from the rooftop of Tulane’s 6-story parking garage.

The view of downtown New Orleans, with Fourth of July fireworks silently exploding in the distance.  There are two sets of fireworks because the celebration here has “dueling barges” sending off pyrotechnics from the river.

All in all, an easy way to see fireworks with no crowds.  Drunk college kids arrived part-way through (note to Tulane: install a sobriety check-point directly at the exit of the garage at 9pm on the Fourth) but the roof area is large enough for them to be only a minor annoyance… in the sense that we can’t help but look at ourselves and go, “my goodness, were we that self-absorbed and clueless when we were that age?!”

It’s not a sign that we’re old.  It’s a sign that we’re simply mature.

Art & Photography
Family Life in NOLA

Comments (1)


IKEA hits home.

Last week, my Dad flew back from PA to spend a few days around the Fourth holiday in Mobile and see Will and Kate. Paul and I took the opportunity to outfit the office… which involved a 350 mile trip to IKEA Houston.

Here is the car while we were packing it up and watching the back end of the car go lower and lower and lower… this photo is NOT the finished packing. A mattress, another big box, and a ton of other little boxes (not to mention us, our computers, and overnight bag) also fit in. We had to sit one in front and one in back for the drive to fit it all.

Paul rocked the installation. Here is some video of the cluttered mess while we were in the process of getting everything in and up.

He made some custom adjustments with cords and attaching computer equipment to the back of the rolling shelves to keep it off the desks (not shown) but it’s helped to put away much of the mess. Our chairs (Swoopers!) arrive tomorrow — FINALLY.

This is my desk.   Please don’t think this is in anyway a DONE or AFTER or COMPLETE sort of thing.  Just one more step…

We used the BILLY bookcases, with height extension.  Mounted to the wall, they are quite stable, but these aren’t the sort of shelves that you can take with you, so to speak.

We actually wanted the glass doors, but there weren’t any left, so we went with the solid white.

Here is Paul’s desk.  Also, a painting of Will’s is framed behind his chair.  We brought back several frames for kid’s artwork to go on the walls.

Our favorite item?  The ALEX shelves in between the desks.  Actually, we wanted matching ALEX drawer units (smaller ones) to go under one side of each of our desks.  But they were out!  So we settled with the big one.

We’re still figuring out the organization of things, but it is a much, much improved work space for both of us!

Home and Renovation

Comments (4)


Our Joker

Mi Familia

Comments (0)


What’s that smell?

Dear Dow,


(From the T-P : )

The strong chemical-like odor blanketing the metro area this morning is coming from the Dow chemical plant in Hahnville, according St. Charles Parish emergency officials.

Rodney Mallett, a spokesman for the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality, said the plant released the chemical ethyl acrylate.

So.  My husband is breathing ethyl acrylate as he carries out the trash?  My children are breathing ethyl acrylate as they run and huff and puff and play outside in the sun?  I am breathing ethyl acrylate as I walk to campus?

You down play it, sure.

(From same T-P : )

St. Charles Parish spokeswoman Renee Allemand Simpson said parish officials were told by Dow that a crack had developed along a seam in a tank at the plant, which released the odor at about 6:40 a.m.

Simpson said a Dow technical advisor [sic] said a blanket of foam had been sprayed over the roof of the tank, reducing the volume of leakage, and that the chemical was being pumped from the tank.

Some people may experience headaches, dizziness and vomiting, Simpson said. Two deputies were made ill by the release and were treated at St. Charles Parish Hospital, according to Sheriff’s Office Spokesman Capt. Pat Yoes.

“It’s not toxic at the levels that it’s at right now, but it is noxious,” Simpson said.

The plant has not shut down and is operating as usual, Dow spokesman Tommy Faucheux said.

Not that you have any history of downplaying chemical leaks or anything.

(Again, T-P : )

The chemical may cause toxic effects if inhaled or absorbed through skin, and it can irritate or burn the skin and eyes. The chemical is listed as a possible carcinogen by the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health. Officials, however, say the mixing of the chemical in the air has resulted in levels too low to be a health threat for those outside the immediate area of the plant.

Hahnville resident Ida Martin said her son woke her up early Tuesday after smelling the odor, but when she called the parish Emergency Operations Center, the person who answered the phone seemed to downplay the matter.

“She said it was just an odor,” Martin said.



Comments (6)



Surprise! Three part-time jobs, two kids, and one dissertation make the world a very busy place. Not that I am doing much on that last one. Thankfully, my one marriage is pulling through for me. Paul is agreeing that I should GO AWAY to write. The jobs are too demanding, the work continues to pile up, and the distractions are too plentiful. If I ever want to finish, I am going to have to fall off the edge of the earth.

Since it’s the New Orleans equivalent to dead of winter around here (in that it’s so stinkin’ hot tourists are frying on the sidewalk), local hotels have some great deals. Doesn’t it sound all romantic and artist-y to escape to the Quarter to write? (The mind boggles with wonder at how I will ruin what otherwise would be a perfect working escape.)

But wait! More surprises! Did you know that Monsters like to eat Poop? Yes, they do, according to Kate, who is the Household Authority on the habits of Monsters. As for me, all I can really say about Monsters is that when not terrorizing children’s dreams, they moonlight as Imaginary Friends. Watch out, because you might find that your chair at the dinner table is now THE MONSTER’S chair. That same Monster may forget to share when playing. He may also make horrible messes in bedrooms after tuck-in. But the biggest issue is that whole poop thing. Due to Monsters, an otherwise potty-trained little girl might just develop a toilet phobia surrounding her pooping.

And this means A LOT of surprises.

(Anyone out there in the interwebs tackled the Monster??)


AND… it’s time for JUST POSTS! Check ’em out and send in your fabulous writing and reading!


Comments (3)