Thursday, April 27, 2006

postcards from nola

I saw BOB DYLAN on the street! He was wearing a black knit cap.
There's jasmine and gardenias in the air. I plucked a gardenia off a tree by the Circle Bar as two old man sat and watched the world pass by at Lee Circle. I stuck the flower behind my ear as Robert E Lee looked out on all of us from his pedestal. The grizzled men read their novels and mumbled tall tales. Mom and I saw a photograph of them in the Ogden Museum. Everyone's a legend in New Orleans
Sudha is a now a doctor. I'm full of stories. Running into old schoolteachers, knitting with brilliant women who tell me about their wild quilts, taking the bus uptown with my mom and getting my iced coffee fix.
Life is just a bit easier in NOLA. The knots in my back are melting away with just another cup of coffee and another glass of wine. The humidity isn't even that bad. We're all doing alright, getting by. Getting by is that much harder and sweeter all at the same time in NOLA. Come see how we're doing. We sure miss you here (but the city is a bit nicer without all the tourists... no judgment, but that's just the way it is and i wouldn't tell you any lies while there's a crescent moon in the sky)

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

home in the FQ

home again. i brought the rain w/ me to NOLA from NYC. already i have mosquito bites on my hands and unlike gifford, i am not happy about it!

reading the times pic, drinking coffee and eating a baguette. life is good.

the flight was uneventful and I read the new Anne Tyler novel. Great plane reading, by the way.

I should go as I am on dial up and already spent too much time on work email. bah!

Monday, April 24, 2006

crow po'boy?

so i'm eating crow b/c I'm going home to nola for jazz fest. that's right, serve it up dressed on french bread w/ no mayo thank you very much. I am indeed going to jazz fest. friday and sunday, kids. I'll be dancing with lots of sunscreen, a dartmouth baseball cap (thinking of my sweetheart that i'm leaving in manhattan for the week) and my favorite medical school women.

and for those curious, yes, i'll see my house and, no, we're not rebuilding. where do people get this idea? the house is all but gutted, but no one is living in that house again and we sure as hell are never living on that land again. my parents are staying in the quarter until they figure out what they can do with the house and the land. i don't even consider them or anyone else i know at the starting point in this post-katrina life. we're all just trying to find out what happens next and that sure as hell isn't going to be made known anytime soon. and this isn't because of a lack of community interest. we're at the mercy of our sweet federal government and a little bitch i like to call FEMA. people don't even know how high they have to raise their homes in order to meet with standards -- because there aren't any standards! aside from those un-rebuilt levees. doesn't do much to build confidence. oh and there's peace in iraq. ha ha.

personally, i've been doing great. work couldn't be better, nyc in the spring is lovely and books, coffee and joy are endless. we're all surviving. gifford moved into her new place and it looks amazing. su and alison are moving to nyc this summer. kari and jarred are moving to baton rouge as jarred is beginning law school at lsu. marc is going to cairo again this summer for work on his doctorate. good things. i'm proud of everyone and it keeps me going despite the total inertia of life in nola. i'm going home to see for myself how everyone is doing. i'm going home to celebrate my life and my family. we are nowhere near the starting point, but we sure know how to make the best of what we've got.

Friday, April 14, 2006

three's the charm

Happy third anniversary, Tim!

Thank you for surprising me at work today, for the roses, for running around town in the rain with me to go see the movie, for cooking dinner with me and - most of all - for making new york seem like it only belongs to us. I'm so happy we spent so much time together today. Here's to many more good fridays to come. I love you.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

can't make nice

After much mocking, I have to say that an important friend got me to listen to the Dixie Chicks back in 2000... and I haven't looked back. Here's another reason why I am proud to say I can belt out just about anything from "Fly" and "Wide Open Spaces." So make fun of me if you like, but they stand up for what they believe in and that's something I can stand behind with pride.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

what happens after a stressful week on a solitary Friday

After an incredibly busy and mildly stressful week, I returned to Brooklyn playing Carly Simon and old, old Elton John on my ipod. You know it's time to retreat when you are recreating Magic 102 FM on your ipod. Well, that and a constant stream of Neko Case - who was incredible last night...

But I digress.

A bit lonesome without a certain sweet gentleman caller, I decided to direct my lonesome energy into cooking. I made possibly the best white lima bean soup I've ever made. Incredibly thick and a little bit sweet thanks to the onions. Who knew?

And I made this great dal w/ yellow split peas, sauteed onion and garlic, fresh ginger, curry powder, cumin, salt and a container of chopped up grape tomatoes. As soon as the soup got to just about the consistency I wanted, I added fresh chopped up parsley and cilantro. It doesn't get any better than this.

Now I have tomorrow's lunch and dinner in the fridge, plus five extra meals of food in the freezer. All that, plus two boxes of cereal, a bunch of bananas and a large bottle of pomegranate juice (which costs as much as a cheap bottle of wine!) for about $16. Talk about classy budgeting. Who says New York City is an impossible place to live? I should coach fledgling 21 year old college grads on how to survive on a budget in the city.

I meant to do some reading but it didn't happen. Sorry, John Banville. I will read "The Sea" later on. Maybe in a couple minutes.

Monday, April 03, 2006

All I really want to write about these days is music. What will I do the day my ipod dies? It will not be a pretty occasion. I should develop a crisis strategy. This sounds ludicrous, but I think the recovery period from Katrina would have been infinitely worse without having all of my music at my immediate disposal at any moment of the day.

I was reading about Neko Case today and I noticed that one of her favorite things is Carly Simon's "The Way I Always Heard It Should Be." Close readers should be able to sort out that I have an incredible soft spot in my heart for Carly Simon and should I ever meet her in person, I will most likely turn into a rambling mess, cataloging all the various moments in my life where her music was a very important soundtrack. And this ranges from age 4 to 27. It's really amazing to find someone whose music is about equally important throughout the years.

But I digress. Case asserts that Simon proved to her that rich people could indeed make great music. That really caught me off guard. Yeah, I know all about Carly Simon's background, etc, but that someone would come out and say that is kinda intense. And I love that she says it about Carly Simon and not the Rolling Stones who were really privileged kids. Mick Jagger has a degree from LSE for God's sake.

Great music comes in surprising packages. I love the unexpectedness of discovering great new music.

Books and reading are constants. I am surounded by books every blessed day, even though these days I'm more likely to be reading the New Yorker, The New York Review of Books and the New York Times (yikes. have I become *that* New Yorker?). But music and the new life on the trees is akin to religion. It doesn't take much to make me happy, honestly. Indian food, friends, my ipod, reading material, iced coffee and good weather. I don't know if I'm made of stronger mental health than others or than I have an infinite capacity for finding joy in the world. I don't know if I can make that assessment, but I'll take this living for what it is.