February 25, 2010

Daydreams and Undertows


Life is eating me alive right now. But, everyone is healthy, everyone is sane, sort of, and, most of all, there will be an end to this chaos. Either it will end or I will die, so that's something to which I look forward. The end of it, not my life. Although, some days, an early death appears less as a punishment than a reward. Only on some days.

If only there were more hours in each day. And, wouldn't it be cool to be the sort of person who only needed 4 hours of sleep per night? Those things aren't going to happen, so I will patiently wait for the tide to change. Life has an ebb and flow. Right now, I am caught in an undertow, so I just need to relax and ride it out. Breathe in. Breathe out.

It helps to search resort vacations on the web and dream of days spent lounging on a sunny beach. Hmmm, that sounds nice. Ride the wave...

February 15, 2010

Waiting for the Parade

Sometimes, the best part of the parade, is the wait...you get to climb a ladder that your parents have hauled 15 blocks, strangers wave at you, and your mother takes pictures of you while your father gives you undivided attention. And to think, sometimes I feel sorry for him because he is an only child. I was the fourth child and can honestly say, I do not think I ever got the undivided attention of either parent unless there was copious amounts of blood involved.

The parade was awesome...was caught a ton of stuff...and hauled the ladder and a 20 pound bag of junk back to the car 15 blocks away. The smile on that mug was worth being a pack mule for a day.

Grace is Hereditary

If you look closely, you can see the picture on the table is of my mother holding me when I was 4 and had a broken arm. Max liked that picture a lot. He made me take it out of the frame so he could carry it around with him. 

His cast is off now and it was only after it came off that I realized something. I think he thought this cast was going to be on his arm forever, He seemed genuinely surprised that it was taken off. I could learn a lot from him. He accepted this cast as if it was not a bother at all. He completely adjusted in a matter of hours and frankly, never really complained about it at all. Sure, he cried when he broke it, but he never complained about it after that first night. Not once.

I, on the other hand, complained almost non-stop about what a pain in the ass it was having to wrap his arm in a bag to bathe him, how it stunk, how he could only wear short sleeve shirts, and pretty much about any change what-so-ever in my life. If I had broken my arm, I would have cried every day and moaned as much as I could about how much it hurt, how awful it was, blah, blah, blah.

Max, however, is grateful that the funky skin flakes are off his arm. And let me tell you, that was pretty gross, too.

He got his grace from me and obviously, his good nature from his father...thank goodness!

February 5, 2010

Do You Know What It Means...

My company is hounding me to move up to New Jersey. Yes, I am aware that is where our office is located. Yes, I know I won’t find a job this good that pays this well for someone with my experience in New Orleans. Yes, I know that Jersey has a far better school system/government/public works/fill in blank than New Orleans.  And yes, I know I have gone as far as I can working remotely from my home office in New Orleans.

But, no, I won’t be moving to New Jersey, thanks for asking.

You see, I can’t leave New Orleans. Here are my top 10 reasons:

1) My mother is buried here. Tell me, whose grave would I visit when I am sad/happy/lonely/scared?  And, even if I did dig up the name of some relative who was buried somewhere up there, would the cemetery operators frown upon me placing Mardi Gras beads and masks on the headstone?

2) When I walked into the Jersey office and shouted WHO DAT into the air, no one would respond in any way other than possibly calling security. Here in the Big Easy, screaming Who Dat is akin to saying Good Morning.

3) Where would I get my Bunny Bread/Blue Runner Red Beans/French Market Coffee/Zapp’s Chips?? I’d have to get it shipped up from New Orleans. And that’s just a whole lot of work and planning.

4) It snows up there and they all go to work and school anyway. That’s just silly.

5) When I showed up to work  in April and May wearing shorts and flip flops and sat at my desk watching streaming video of the Jazz Fest with tears pouring down my face, people would start to doubt my ability. And then I’d get fired anyway, so why bother packing everything up and moving?

6) The Saints are in the Superbowl. Our football team wears gold pants, our mascot is a flower, and our male fans wear dresses, but our team is going to the Superbowl after 43 years of trying.  Leaving now would be like leaving before the encore!  5,000 straight men parade around in drag to commemorate Buddy Dileberto and celebrate the Saints going to the Superbowl…and it brings tears to my eyes…tears of joy and pride and a feeling of being home. I just don’t see anything like that happening anywhere above the Mason Dixon line.

7) Did I mention it snows in New Jersey?

8) My house in New Orleans cost $100,000 and is 100 years old. Plus it sits 2 short blocks from the Jazz Fest, ½ mile from City Park and about 5 minutes from the French Quarter. What’s that you say, I can get a smaller house in New Jersey for $450,000 and it will be a 2 hour drive in hellish traffic anywhere. Well, gee, thanks, but I’m good.

9) People in New Orleans know that you eat Red Beans and Rice on Mondays, you can get the best roast beef po boy in the world from Russel’s Short Stop, Dixie beer will give you a horrible hangover, you can’t take a left on Tulane Avenue, streetcars have the right of way, so look before you turn on St Charles, and that Betsy’s restaurant continued serving breakfast all morning even after the car slammed through the from wall. People in Jersey don’t even know what a po boy is.

10) I, despite my near constant crankiness about it, love New Orleans the people who live here. I love Mardi Gras, grown men who call each other “baby,” Jazz Fest, impromptu parades, second lines at funerals, second lines at weddings, second lines for any old reason, people who actually know what a second line is, being able to get from one end of the city to the other in less than 40 minutes and being able to do so without a map. I love gumbo, muffelettas, Terranova’s grocery, king cakes, po boys, shrimp ettouffe, and Parkway Bakery. I love PJ’s coffee and sitting outside CC’s coffeehouse on a sunny spring day. I love that my next door neighbor is the trumpet player for the Fairgrounds race track and that most days I get a free live jazz trumpet concert wafting over from his house. I love confederate jasmine and sweet olive. I love that the worst natural (or man-made if you ask us New Orleanians) disaster to ever happen in the United States’ history didn’t break us, it made us even stronger and more dedicated to rebuilding this beautiful city. I love that my husband will grab a live giant New Orleans cockroach with his bare hands and throw it outside…chivalry like that is not only dead, it never existed up in Northeast.

And so, my friends, those that I love so much in this beautiful city…can I use you as references on my resume?

WHO DAT!!!!!!!!

February 4, 2010

There's No Place Like Home

I have been feeling weird about my blog, it's like I said all there was to say and now it is just a source of angst for me. But, I think I'll try to post more often and maybe say less. You know, just to get the creative juices flowing. 

Right now, I am typing away as I listen to Max watching The Wizard of Oz for the 150th time. His 2 favorite movies are Snow White and The Wizard of Oz. Seriously, both of those movies are kind of scary, but not to him. He loves them. He can let out a shrill scream that sounds just like Snow White running through the dark and scary forest. And, when he feels like it (sadly, not on command) he will use his munchkin voice to ask for things.

I hope I never forget this stuff. It is priceless. I wish I would slow down and appreciate these little things all the time. But when I am tired or stressed, I forget to relax and get all grumpy and annoyed, like he's taking too long to grow up or something.

One day, I will miss his sweet little knees poking me in the back and his loud pretend burps at the dinner table. I hope I can remember to enjoy them more often instead of worrying so much about everything.

Sigh. Breathe deep. Take it all in....If I only had a brain, I would while away the hours, coferrin' with the flowers, consultin' with the rain, I would dance and be merry, life would be a ding-a-derry. If I only had a brain...