January 21, 2012

All That Jazz

I drove into the city today from the airport after dropping someone off and tried to look at New Orleans through the eyes of a tourist. The first thing Marge from Montana might notice as her filthy cab careens under the railroad trestle just past the I-10/610 split is the cemeteries. We do cherish our dead don't we. I mean, if burying them practically above ground next to a major federal highway can be considered a form of cherish. Really, what must these tourists think? Surely, they assume we are all idiots.

A friend once told me that the jazz music piped into the airport in New Orleans sounds genuine, as compared to the Don Ho forced upon people at the Honolulu airport. I don't know what that means really. Are we in New Orleans more simple than the people in Hawaii? Or are we just better at making people believe we all eat alligator and all know how to play instruments? Or maybe he just likes jazz better than ukelele music.

Look, I said I was going to try and post every week. I did not promise that it would be all that interesting or even all that good.

I did go the ER yesterday. That was both exciting and anticlimactic, as I am still alive. I had what they called a "visual disturbance." Yes, it was very disturbing that I LOST THE ABILITY TO SEE for 30 minutes. Yes, that was scary and I thought I was having a stroke or a TIA or something. But, in the end, they could find nothing wrong with me and sent me home with 2 tickets to the IMAX theatre because I had to wait more than 30 minutes. Seems kind of mean to give someone who might be on the verge of blindness tickets to a movie. I guess I better use them soon just to be safe.

In spite of the fact there was a fatal shooting down the street from my son's school, I would still rather live here than anywhere else. Does that make me an idiot? Perhaps, but frankly, my family and I just won't fit in anywhere else. People would assume the husband and I are drunk all day if we lived in Iowa, where as here, because when we are dressed up Mardi Gras day as the Bearded Lady (the husband) and a Ringmaster (me), since we remain upright and with our eyes open, everyone knows we are the sober ones.

Maybe this is what my friend meant about the jazz music in the airport....

January 11, 2012

Passion? No thanks, I'm good.

I am sitting in an airport. I wonder how many of my blog posts start with that sentence. I bet a lot. I spent the past three days at a big sales conference. There were over 1600 people at the meeting. It was insane and bizarre (I am not a salesperson) and I often felt like I was in a live action Saturday Night Live skit or a trippy dream. But, I guess the sales people were motivated. I, on the other hand, kept my bitter and sarcastic comments to myself…mostly.

I have to keep most of my opinions about public education, motivational speakers, Power Point Presentations and hotel food to myself, but I will tell you this, Death by Deck meetings are alive and well in 2011. I barely escaped with my life. Why, oh why, did anyone ever in a million years think Power Point was a good idea?

I do not think I have had sun on my face since Sunday. I have been in a windowless conference room for 3 days being told to Live Big! Follow my Heart! Be Impactful!  I may have developed rickets from lack of Vitamin D. They asked us often what our passion was. In fact, you were supposed to write on your name tag what you were passionate about. I could not think of anything to write. I realized that I am not really passionate about anything. I think maybe I used to be, but now I am not. Now, I find passion to be a bit exhausting and annoying. Think of the people you know who are passionate about something…they are annoying right? They show you pictures on their phones, they tell you long and involved stories; they shake their fists and spew their righteous indignation. They spit when they talk.  

I will leave the passion to those who have the heart for it and I will continue to put one foot in front of the other, taking each day as it comes, trying to be a better human being, trying not to walk away from everything. I will drink my coffee in the morning and do my job. I will kiss my son and walk the dog. I will try to be as kind and loving toward my husband as I want him to be with me. And I will do it again the next day.

I used to be passionate about ideas and values. But now, I just show up and smile.

January 5, 2012

Down in New Orleans Where the Blues Were Born...

 Mike's parents used to have a Little Christmas party every January 6th to celebrate 12th Night or the Feast of the Epiphany. This is when the three wise men made it to baby Jesus and brought him Frankensense and all that jazz. I have fact-checked none of this so it might all be wrong, because here in New Orleans, January 6th, or King's Day (I think some people call it that) is the first day of Carnival Season. Yes folks, Mardi Gras starts on January 6th every year. That means the good people of New Orleans get one week between the Xmas holidays and the start of Carnival to dry out and eat like normal people and then we get right back up on the horse - we eat King Cake and drink have parties and dance in the streets like crazy people right up until the day before Ash Wednesday. And then we repent. And we quit eating sweets and drinking (except for Sundays, of course) until Easter. And then Festival Season begins - Jazz fest, French Quarter Fest, Strawberry Festival, Mirliton Festival...we got a festival for every vegetable and every genre of music. You name it, we got a festival for it. Then summer comes and it's too hot to eat or drink so we're good until Halloween, more or less. And, bam, the whole things starts up again. It's exhausting I tell you.

So, tomorrow night is our Little Christmas Party. Anywhere from 20 -100 people are going to show up at our house (the good people of New Orleans are also not very good at RSVPing or sticking to the RSVP selection) and we will have food and drinks and a live band.

The gumbo is made.

The Christmas Tree is a fire hazard at this point.

But the mirror is masquerading already.

My cousin Beth's beautiful Mardi Gras quilt is gracing the wall above our table.

And Kenny is tired already.