Archive for January, 2008


Thursday, January 31st, 2008

One morning about a month ago, Xy couldn’t get our car started, and she had to catch a ride with a co-worker. I was all set to take it to the shop, but when I tried it an hour later, it started right up for me. So we dismissed it as a fluke. This morning […]

Dacryopinax Spathularia

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

Two and a half years after I took it, my picture of tiny orange fungi has finally been identified. It is Dacryopinax spathularia, also known as sweet osmanthus ear in Chinese. It’s a jelly fungus. This stuff still sprouts up on our deck from time to time. Apparently it’s edible, but I don’t think I’ll […]

Edwards Et Al

Wednesday, January 30th, 2008

It seems that in a few hours John Edwards will drop out of the Democratic primary. He’ll make the announcement right here in New Orleans, which is also where he started his campaign. I’ve tried to remain neutral with regard to the primaries. After all, I can’t vote in our state primary (because I’m registered […]


Tuesday, January 29th, 2008

Doesn’t it seem ridiculous that our collective mood should rise and fall based on what this guy says in his speech? Tonight, the armies of compassion continue the march to a new day in the Gulf Coast. America honors the strength and resilience of the people of this region. We reaffirm our pledge to help […]

Baby Dilemma

Monday, January 28th, 2008

Sawing into the baby in this king cake made me feel kind of like Solomon Gone Mad. Since the baby isn’t actually contained in my slice, but has remained embedded in the adjacent cakery, does it even count? Am I nonetheless subject to the obligations of “getting the baby”? Does my twisted ankle curry no […]


Sunday, January 27th, 2008

This story in the paper made me feel ever-so-slightly vindicated about our decision to renovate. A new study of home prices around the New Orleans area shows that buyers rewarded sellers who gambled and rebuilt in devastated areas like Lakeview, eastern New Orleans and Chalmette. Renovated homes in those areas recovered much of their pre-storm […]

Blizzard of ’78

Saturday, January 26th, 2008

Mom reminded me that today marks 30 years since the Great Blizzard of 1978. I’d just turned 11. I don’t remember much of it, except that there was a lot of snow, and we got out of school for quite a few days in a row. We had fun, and I was utterly oblivious to […]


Thursday, January 24th, 2008

I overheard Xy talking on the phone, commiserating with a co-worker about a frustrating staff meeting: I felt like giving birth right there and telling her, “Eat my placenta, bitch!” Ah, the joys of being a public school teacher.

A Visit to the Jock Doc

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2008

I wasn’t going to see a doctor about my ankle, but Xy suggested I should. So I gave my GP a call. I’m none too enamored of my GP, as I mentioned before. I’ve only seen her once and can’t even remember her name. But when I called, her staff referred me to an “orthopedic.” […]


Monday, January 21st, 2008

I rented a buffing machine to clean our tile floor. It cleaned up OK, I guess, except for a powdery white residue everywhere. I thought this might be efflorescence, but upon further investigation I decided it’s probably just dirt, specifically drywall dust. As I was carrying the buffing machine back out to the car, I […]

Her Smoke Rose Up Forever

Friday, January 18th, 2008

Title: Her Smoke Rose Up Forever Author: James Tiptree, Jr. Published: 1969-1981 He wails voicelessly as conviction invades him, he who had believed in nothing before. All the agonies of Earth, uncanceled? Are broken ghosts limping forever from Stalingrad and Salamis, from Gettysburg and Thebes and Dunkirk and Khartoum? Do the butchers’ blows still fall […]

So Dark the Con of Man

Thursday, January 17th, 2008

I cajoled Xy into attending our local meeting of the School Facilities Master Plan for Orleans Parish on Tuesday night. It reminded me of the infamous “Summer of Planning.” Specifically it reminded me of the America Speaks sessions which I never attended (having already been burned out by the Lambert process) but which I read […]

On Being XL

Wednesday, January 16th, 2008

I wanted to record my thoughts on being 40 years of age, but I frittered away the year. Now I’ve only got a few hours left. There’s not much to say, except that physically I feel pretty much the same as I did at 30. The long slow inevitable decline may have already begun, but […]

Our Poor Floor

Tuesday, January 15th, 2008

One feature that attracted us to buy our house was the beautiful terra cotta tile on the floor downstairs. People often ask if we installed it ourselves, but the previous owners get the credit for that. Alas, the old floor ain’t what it used to be. It sat under brackish water for a couple of […]

My Life in 200 Words or Less

Monday, January 14th, 2008

I finally added a brief biography to this site.

Fun Times at the Cork & Bottle

Sunday, January 13th, 2008

I went to the local wine shop Friday evening. The woman behind me in the checkout line offered to sleep with me if I paid for her wine. When I mentioned that I was married, she said she’d include my wife: “You know, like a threesome.” But when she learned Xy’s not blond, she retracted […]

I Got a Golden Letter

Sunday, January 13th, 2008

We got our “gold letter” from the Road Home today. The letter states that we did not qualify for any compensation. Or, as they so cleverly phrase it, “your compensation grant was zero.” This is because they estimate our damage at $34,050.53. Our insurance company paid us $82,294.03. Both these figures are stated in the […]

One Year Later

Friday, January 11th, 2008

A year ago I gave a speech. Sadly enough, I could give that speech again today. Not much has changed. I would have to strike the reference to District Attorney Eddie Jordan — he’s gone. I would lose the line calling for more cops. But other than that, I stand by what I said a […]

Minor Revelation

Thursday, January 10th, 2008

I was just a-sittin’ and a-thinkin’ the other night, and somehow I had a minor epiphany which I might express thusly: Indiscriminate cynicism serves the powerful almost as much as unquestioning obedience. It may be obvious to the rest of the world, but I wish this had occurred to me a decade or two ago. […]


Tuesday, January 8th, 2008

I’m trying not to get sucked into the drama of the presidential primaries… but it’s hard. Here, then, is a diversionary tale of adversity and triumph to distract myself. On my way to work one rainy day back in December, I noticed Entergy was tearing up the street near our house. Hmmm, I thought. That […]