Recent additions to the family dictionary may explain.

BP Proper Noun. Big Oil company who sought out Gulf Coast fisherman and families reliant on the biodiversity and abundance of the Gulf Coast and wetland areas, offering to pay them sums of $5,000 for waving the right to sue the company shortly after an offshore rig exploded and days before it was confirmed by media that oil was actually pouring out of the well and into the sea.

Celebration of ServiceProper Noun, in certain circles.  Big event for local nonprofit.  May occupy mind of program director for months and completely consume life for weeks.

DispersantsNoun.  Chemicals used to break up oil in the sea.  Use stems from catastrophic events, which occur when big business decides personal profit is more important than public safety.  Exact chemical compositions are considered “trade secrets” to minimize the ability of scientists (and others) to assess the impact on health and the environment.

DIBELS testNoun; that thing where capitals imply words that describe the test.  A test done in English that requires each student to spend 15 minutes alone with the teacher, during which time parents are asked to sub.  Test has significance somewhere and is likely related to some requirement.  Jazz Fest (see entry, below) may impair parents’ ability to process significance of testing.  Or else, the experience of subbing for a class of 1st graders may destroy the brain cells holding that particular set of information.

Jazz FestProper Noun.  AKA: Fess.  Like most things about New Orleans, highly misunderstood.  Seven days over two weeks, hundreds of musicians, artists, and food vendors.  This is not your Northern California “Jazz Festival” where erudite folk sit around and sip wine from fancy glasses while listening to the gentle smoothness of elevator music.  It’s more like Woodstock sobered up just enough to put on pants and then hooked up with a Louisiana girl who knows how to cook.

Pink tea. Noun.  AKA: Crystal Light.  Made for child’s birthday play-date/tea party.  Easy to clean up when spilled on crinoline and other costume material.  Served with petit fours and fruit salad.

Race DayProper Noun, according to school emails. Day(s) when students are hauled out to open space to run long distances which increase with age.  All kids finish, all kids win, emphasis on participation, exercise, and drinking lots of water afterward.  Usually happens right in the middle of Jazz Fest, see entry above.

Family
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Life in New Orleans

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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.

UPDATES:

— 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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