Friday, September 28, 2007

My place or yours?

An MSN columnist has compiled a list of the ten worst pickup lines ever, and eight really bad ones that worked. I've never used a pickup line, but I know someone who successfully used "nice butt!" to get a date.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007


I've been sleepy a lot recently. I even fell asleep several times during the Saints' game last night, though some might say that being asleep was the best way to watch the game. I have a sleep disorder that has me waking up in the wee hours of the morning, and the heat lamp that the doctor has me using to jiggle my circadian rhythms seems to make me tired earlier than usual. Maybe I'll start using it later in the day.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Doing it himself

My youngest son is realizing that he can do some of his favorite things for himself, like blowing bubbles and running the vacuum (though he already has taught himself to swim). This is huge, and a source of great parental pride. Of course, someone else has to push the vacuum while he looks at the light on the front of it. Also, he is going through a phase during which there is a place for everything, and everything must be in its place. He apparently noticed that a particular item was placed slightly differently in our two local WalMarts, and I think he wanted me to move it at one of the stores. Because he's nonverbal, I'm not absolutely sure about this, but a trip back to the other WalMart seemed to support my theory. The item in question is a fixed display, so I couldn't move it for him even if I had wanted to. However, I noticed that another store we frequent actually moved its sales circular rack to the spot where A. had me move it several few months ago. I guess he was right about where the thing belongs.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Splatter Season

As the Louisiana resident readers of this blog are aware, we are in one of our semi-annual swarms of copulating bugs.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Monday, September 17, 2007

Great N.O. Music Video

Local musician Clint Maedgen made this fabulous video in the lower French Quarter shortly before Hurricane Katrina:

Thanks to gentle reader Cajun Boy for the heads-up.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

NPR Vigilante?

Jodie Foster's most recent film, "The Brave One," reminded me somewhat of her first film, "Taxi Driver," except with Foster filling in for Robert de Niro in the Travis Bickle role. However, the main character of "The Brave One" is not a maladjusted ne'er do well like Travis; rather, she is a sophisticated Upper West Side dweller who hosts an public radio show on which she decries the loss of various aspects of life in New York, the city she loves passionately. After she herself is the victim of a violent crime, she becomes terrified of damn near everything about New York, so she gets herself an unlicensed nine millimeter pistol and stumbles into an increasingly bold campaign of vigilante acts. Hip, leftish intellectuals generally don't tend to glorify one-person vengeance campaigns, and Foster's character has a fascinating internal monologue about the morality of her actions. I suspect that half of the audience last night was oblivious to that monologue, given the loud cheering that erupted when Foster blasted away at bad guys. However, that obnoxious audience reaction reinforced to me the debate Foster's character had with herself. Foster also played a cat-and-mouse game--in person and on the air--with a quiet, dignified cop played by Terrence Howard. The final plot twist was somewhat disappointing, and seemed to cut against where the movie seemed to be heading.

I thought the leftish twist on a usually right-wing genre was interesting, and it might draw some derisive hoots from the cultural and political left. I personally take a dim view of vigilantism and unsanctioned ownership and carrying of firearms, but it's worth exploring how someone from a class unaccustomed to the kind of violent behavior that particular individual might associate with a lower socioeconomic class might turn to that behavior herself. It may also be worth exploring why a hip, leftish intellectual might think herself somehow above such a violent response to violence. I also wonder whether a sort of class snobbery on these questions may be affecting the rather virulent denunciations of this movie by some of the critics.

Home Improvement?

I've been vexed by the small garden bed between our front window and walkway ever since we moved into this house eight years ago. It's difficult to grow much of anything in there, and we aren't around here enough on weekends to work too hard on keeping it clean of the weeds that have tended to fill up the area. We've talked for a couple or three years about creating a rock garden in the area, and, yesterday, I went to Home Depot and bought edging, red lava rocks, and marble chips. I pulled out the scraggly plants that had managed to survive the past few years, put down a anti-weed cloth, and filled up the area with rocks. We placed a couple of plaster statues representing our two sons in the area; DW has been wanting to put those in the front yard for several years. BTW, you can see from my shadow in the photo that I'm really, really tall.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Elevators of New Orleans

My oldest son, T, is obsessing on elevators these days. When he's here, we make use of the elevators inside various stores on Veterans' Blvd. in Metairie, across the Lake.

My youngest son, A, smiling for the camera.

T is acting like he's A's older brother these days, after several years of deliberately ignoring his younger brother. For example, whenever A gets upset and worked-up about something, T finds A's shoes and takes them to the nearest adult so the adult can take A on a calming walk. T also allows A to hang around him, and the two have even been reported to play together on occasion.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Randy and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

It started around 4;00 a.m., when I had a nightmare that left me screaming out loud in my sleep. Then I had to take an hour off work to take the car into the shop. So I drove our other car into work, loaded with all of my telecommuting gear from yesterday. I had two duffel bags, a backpack, and my wheeled laptop bag. Our garage at work is in a basement with an in-ramp and an out-ramp, and we're supposed to walk up a narrow, steep stairway and out a door on the first floor of the building. Our offices are in a building across the street. That's usually no problem. However, because I was so loaded down today, I used my card key to open the garage door and exited up the out-ramp. A courthouse security guard threatened to take away my card key if I ever leave the garage that way again, baggage notwithstanding, then blamed his rigidity about enforcement of the rule on a higher authority. So I started working, when Toyota called to tell me they had ordered the wrong parts for my car. Later in the day, I had a mixup with the local pharmacy and my doc. When I got down to the car after work, I noticed that another hubcap had come off. At least I didn't have a wreck on the way home.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

I have returned

Thanks to gentle reader Cajun Boy, we now know what Shaquille O'Neal's party bus looks like. I wish I had one of those, painted just like Shaq's.