April 2010

Jazz Fest 2010, First Sunday

People wonder if they should bring their kids to Jazz Fest.

You should bring them one day.  This is why.  You relieve yourself of any possible guilt when you bring them to see the Imagination Movers; you, yourself, get to party down to the Movers without feeling like that creepy adult dancing among strange children; and most importantly… you enjoy every Fest Day following so much more so, because you’ll be free!

This guy below said it best.  “Jazz Fest with kids sucks.”

Also, we owe this Mover guy thanks for hooking Paul up with a backstage access pass to Allman Brothers.  Thanks!

Here is my volunteer location of choice, and where we spent a lot of the day with the kids.  A bonus: it’s right across from the kids area and within a great spot to hear music from Fais Do Do and Gentilly.

Our kids day had me in the kids area quite a bit.  Nice shade.  Plus, this dixieland band was pretty darn good.  And the guy dancing?  He was really giving his all.   It reminded me of the Designing Women segment where Julia Sugarbaker discusses “crazy people” in the South.  The kids loved him.

Here’s the view at Gentilly.

One of the activities in the kids area.

Will and friends had a great time.

And tomorrow?  The kids are in school and we’re at the Fest.  Freedom!

Life in New Orleans

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Jazz Fest 2010, First Saturday

Today’s Highlights:

– Weather report was horrific (thunderstorms, hail, tornadoes, damaging winds).  We went anyway.  It was windy and overcast and looked like it *might* rain for a good part of the day… but it didn’t.  Then around 4:30 the sun came out… and that was that.

– Muddy field from yesterday’s big rain = wellingtons… the best Jazz Fest attire, ever.

– Hooked up with the front row pass for part of Simon & Garfunkel… awesome!  Thanks, Chrissie, Cade & family!

– Having friends around take the whole already amazing Jazz Fest experience to a whole new level.


— Jazz Fest Wellingtons, an awesome assortment, here.

— Art Garfunkel had laryngitis.  It made for a slow start to their set; things picked up with Paul Simon played a few solo (Diamonds on the Soles of her Shoes, etc.)  Then, they did Bridge Over Troubled Water.  Poor Art struggled hard, and then, right around the “I’m on your side, when times get rough…” Paul walked over and put a hand on his shoulder.  They finished the song together and stood, with hands clasped, to the applause at the end.

Pictures are by Paul and me…

Art & Photography
Life in New Orleans

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Jazz Fest 2010, First weekend Friday

New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival 2010 started today — Paul and I arrived early where I joined other workers in the volunteer entrance and Paul entered with the crowd.  In between running to supply me and my fellow gelato volunteers with Jazz Fest food favorites (cochon du lait po’ boy, rosemint tea, alligator pie, etc.) he took these pictures.

Fais Do Do always has a crowd dancing.

Also, locals wear great hats to Jazz Fest.

Dr. Bob’s work on wheels.

And up close.  (That’s Comanche Indians with guests in the background… see close-ups below.)

Mardi Gras Indians.  This little fella is the Spy Boy for this tribe.

He’s singing with the elders — everyone dressed up.  The Indians work all year on their suits — traditionally they hand-make them, developing the symbols and pictures, then making each stitch by hand.

Paul tells me that several Chiefs were brought in to usher in this Jazz Fest together.  He reports that several in the crowd were choked up at the moment… they gave a great performance with some specialized lyrics.

Gospel Tent.  Always where it’s at.

Little Freddie King.

Dudes with fire.

I’ll get a picture of the beautiful La Divina booth to post next time.  Until then, we’ll have to stick with the goods.

The gelato I was helping sell at the Fest… I recommend getting it affogado; which is gelato served with espresso poured over it.

Renee, desperate to get out to hear some music, suiting up in trash bags…

… because just before 2pm, the skies opened up.

We have a babysitting share tomorrow with plans to lay out in the sun in front of Acura Stage, watching the acts and waiting for Simon and Garfunkel.  Unfortunately… the weather is not looking good.  “Thunderstorms, damaging wind, hail, and tornadoes.”  Rain gear, anyone?

Art & Photography
Life in New Orleans

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Letter to ABC/FOX


While marketing its intended product, the Cacique commercial sells a positive thinking, self-affirming message to its viewers.  This is in contrast to ads for similar products, which, while marketing themselves, sell a degrading, self-hating message to viewers.  What do you get when you have marketing plus good vibes?  Well, we viewers call that a win-win.  I’m not exactly sure why you all call it inappropriate during your prime-time spots.  But maybe, if you pulled your heads out of your arses, you’d see it for what it truly is… a step in the right direction.


A Sometimes Viewer.

Here’s the “controversial” ad.

Here’s the article about the ad. (h/t: Scott!)


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Slugs SUCK.

A month or so ago, I planted around a million plants.  The frost, the house renovation, and our limited budget had meant empty beds for awhile… so we carved off some cash and I spent a few afternoons planting.  It was really growing in and starting to look good.

Then the petunias started looking not so good.  Holes.  And sticky leaves.  Like this.

I went out last night on the way to Treme.  A quick flashlight revealed what we’d suspected.


I ran back inside and set up Abita bait.  Too good of a beer for these bastards, but hey, it was what we had on hand.

The cat lives up the street and is my frequent garden companion.  He was out when I set out the beer traps and around this morning when I tallied results.  I counted to roughly 110 slugs.

And still, there are more.

I set up more traps tonight, though I’m not sure how long to keep this up.  I also put down coffee grounds (Paul will bring home more from our neighborhood coffee shop tomorrow morning).

Anyone else have experience with getting rid of slugs?  What else can I do?  How long do I put out bait?  And is it cruel to sprinkle them with salt?  I can’t bring myself to do it, even after just going out there and seeing several big fat ones on the Petunias.  Gross.

Home and Renovation

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When petting dinosaurs at the zoo…

… be forewarned.  They may spit.

Even on Daddy.  ewww.

Also?  Nothing phases Kate.


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Just Posts: March 2010

The March Just Posts:

The posts of this month’s roundtable were nominated by:


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New Twist on my sneezing.

Here is the original.


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Crescent City Classic: Over 5K for 10K!

The day before Easter, I joined the Abeona House Team for the Crescent City Classic 10K, to raise funds for the beloved nonprofit pre-school that Paul and I helped open near 5 years ago.  (Thank you to everyone that support me!)

The CCC is 6.6 miles winding through beautiful New Orleans, from Jackson Square to City Park — with special New Orleans touches.

Like costumes.

With inspiration from “Heathers,” here are Emmy and me.  Afterwards, she took me to a Remington party.

Here’s our Gym Teacher, Coach Chrissie.

Allie is adorable.

Coach Chrissie warms us up.

Group photo taken by random race person who focused on Muriel’s.

The crowd of 30,000 or so.  We were back, waaaaay back, from Jackson Square.

Coach Chrissie was on us to keep sharp.

Finally!  The start line!  We ended up reaching it about 8:30 minutes after the gun shot.

The Hornet mascot was out right before the starting line, hooray crowd.

Others were in costume, too.

I managed to get them from the front, too.  This is one of 3 I took of them… and the only one in focus.  I’m learning that it’s hard to take a picture while bouncing.

I put away the camera after this and focused on the road.  I tried, but failed, to get pictures of the Jello-Shot group.  They run through the crowd pulling coolers full of Jello Shooters and hand them out among the racers.  Their shirts?  Front: “Jello Shots” Back: “It’s not like you’re gonna win.”

I did sneak in one more photo, of the prisoners… who were chained together.

So we got through those 6.6 miles in under 2 hours.  I felt fine, except my feet, which developed hot spots by mile 3.  I realized later that I wore old regular cotton socks on the morning of the race because I’d not done laundry to wash my good moisture/wicking socks.  I’m certain that this made a difference; I know better then to wear crappy socks on a hot day.  Still, I felt fine after some airing out and moleskin application.

We all had lunch at Felini’s after — where Paul, Will, and Kate joined us.  We found out that the team raised over $5000 for Abeona House!

Thank you to everyone who supported me in this!  It was a great experience and a wonderful morning!

Life in New Orleans

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The Best of the Best Just Posts 2009

Lassiez les bons temps rouler, y’all!  Alejna and I are READY!

Our imperfect process took 3 months, involving the time, efforts, and thoughts of many.  More than the reading, the logistics, and the posts… we’re thankful for your comments and enthusiasm.  Thankyouthankyouandthankyou.

[cue drumroll]

Here are your voting results!

SOCIAL JUSTICE as political/legal :

SOCIAL JUSTICE as health/wellness:

SOCIAL JUSTICE as socio-economic inequalities :

SOCIAL JUSTICE as advocacy/service :


We have a prize for each of the post authors above in the form of pottery by a New Orleans artist (from Holly) and a bit of fair trade Theo chocolate (from Alejna). To collect your prizes, lease send us your snail mail addressess (Holly: coldspaghetti at gmail dot com and Alejna: alejna99 at gmail dot com).

And, for the post that received the largest number of votes in any category: When is zero not really zero? When it describes your food. by Kimberly at The Gav Menagerie

Congratulations, Kimberly!  (No trans-fats in your extra-special prize, promise.)

All this selection got to our heads and we decided to add in individual “Editor’s Choice” awards for posts we felt really capture the spirit of the Just Posts.  (They also got loads of votes, though not quite the most votes in their categories.)  Editor’s Choice folks also get goodies.

Editors’ Picks:

I chose Frozen by Meagan at A Certain Lack of Focus.  What impressed me about this post were the many layers within it.  In addition to the compelling writing on a tragic current event, Meagan creates a piece of art symbolizing the event she is discussing.  The full piece is shown in the start of the post, but as she tells some of the details — how one member of a loving couple and their children is isolated from her family, who are refused to be with her while she dies because they are both women — pieces of the artwork are pulled into focus.  It works on many intricate levels: the full piece showing the confusion of hospital and all the many people involved, and then, as the story becomes more intimate, the faces of the children locked away, invisible.  To me, Meagan manages to both tell a story and SHOW a story — sending a message much more compelling than either one alone.  For those reasons, Frozen is my Editor’s Choice.

Alejna also has an Editor’s Choice.  Hop on over to see what it is and why she chose it.

If you have a post in the lists above, we invite you to display a button:

On the left is a png (transparent background) and on the right is a jpg (white background). 

THANK YOU AGAIN to everyone who participated in the 2009 Just Posts for a Just World!

Anyone can be a part of the Just Posts – just send in your nominations – go here for more information!


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