Wednesday, August 31, 2005

I think I like Governor Blanco in an emergency.

I'd like her better if she carried a 45.
Dallas runs an oldies station. When I made that run I heard this song:

Different strokes for different folks,

And so on and so on and and shoobie do be do,

Oooh, sha sha,

We got to live together.

I am every day people.
You know, kids aren't so bad.

I sent a load off with Michael and his girl to the community center on Hwy 15. They have comforters, clean sheets, some towels and some clothes.

Lyman and I have 850 minutes on the telephone beginning tomorrow, and constant access to search lines on the computer.

I sat Ivan out, but not Katrina.
I'm worried about the Johnsons down in Covington.
My brother-in-law's brother lost his house in Gulfport. He's bringing his family up to stay in Natchez.
This is how things are locally.

I need to see what I can do.

Here's something else.
This station covers well.
I keep seeing the same footage of Negroes looting shops. They be rioting. Wouldn't that be entertaining?

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

I'm becoming picky about this. In this post by Glenn Reynolds the reporter in the story says that the area looks like a war zone.

As a journalistic, advertising, PR kind of gal I'd say you don't want to describe the effects of a natural disaster that way in a time that you are making war.

(It might also help if you've ever seen a war zone. Interestingly enough, of all the things my brother threw away, he kept his Army uniform. He is an authentic Vietnam Vet. I have some letters. He wasn't on the front lines. But he did weigh about 140 at the time.)

Not that there's much ultimate difference.

Just sayin'.
Hey. Home.

We're high and dry here.

Cell phones are screwed up. Some people in Natchez are without electricity.

I'm seeing hurricane pictures for the first time. So many devastated people.

Monday, August 29, 2005


Time to break this down.

Stay safe y'all.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

We were both tired this evening, so we thought we'd go to an old favorite, Alfredo's Trattoria, on Lemmon Avenue. Alfredo's was closed for Sunday night, so we searched for something open.

We cruised in Charles' G-35 for a while and found Arcoduro Pomodoro open tonight. It's a higher-end Sardinian Italian restaurant (there's another one in Houston), perfect for the evening.

We've been working hard, the lights were low, the music was soft and interesting -- I think it was sophisticated Latin jazz, but was too tired to ask.

When the waitress brought the wonderfully drinkable Zuliani Garda Reserve, she poured a spot into Charles' glass. He pointed to me and nodded. She poured a spot into mine, too.

"We are brother and sister," I told her. "We are equals."

She smiled.

There were giant sunflowers lining the walk outside the restaurant, about 9-feet tall, with stalks as big as my wrist and flowers as large as my face.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

I nearly never get to do what I want when I come to Dallas.

Patricia and I were going to take a shopping day.

Not to be. We spent the day with my brother, helping him with some of the recesses in his current abode.

Tomorrow I'm off to his place and won't be in touch again until late Tuesday.

Best to you.

Friday, August 26, 2005

I arrived safely at my sister's house just after six o'clock.

Traffic was remarkably easy and sane. Perhaps the heat is keeping the other lunatics off the roads.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

How fast do you want to discredit a modern anti-war movement?

Tap, tap. This is the 21st century. CE.

Bright runner + after cleaning

Much brighter, if not perfectly clean. Softer, too.
Blustery Russians.
Terrorist abettor that I am, tomorrow I'm going to start on a 900-mile trip in my gas-guzzling SUV during one of the priciest seasons in many years.

Some time back I told my brother that when the time came, I would go to Dallas and bring a load of delicate things back for him in the Tahoe. He called Monday and asked if I would be available to transport on the 30th, or next Tuesday. So here we go.

Since I'm going that way anyway, I've arranged to visit my sister for the weekend. Come to find out, she has some items stored in Charles' current storage space, so I get to move those a good distance across Dallas, too.

Ain't nothing so stirrin' as drivin' a big box in heavy traffic and high heat. Just sets my soul afire, and pleases me greatly that I am lining the pockets of princes.

I could learn to hate SUVs, too. If I didn't have one, I wouldn't be making this trip.

I told both my brother and my sister that I would appreciate it if they would pick a different month for their life-changing and life-threatening events. October might be nice. This is the third year in a row that I've been called to Texas in high summer.

(I might point out, Mr. Sullivan, that this is my gay brother I'm serving. A straight gentleman of his age would likely not have so many precious things to transport and would probably own his own damned truck. I can only hope that you've convinced all your compadres to downsize when time comes for you to move.)

UPDATE: When I say precious, I'm not being sarcastic. I helped him pack Napoleonic plates when he left Natchez for Dallas in 1993 that sold for $500 apiece.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

I browsed for 70-inch table covers today and found terrific bargains on sheet sets with high thread counts -- good wedding or housewarming presents, with $1 shipping for the next eight days.

I'm not a hair-shirt type, but I don't particularly like high thread counts in my sheets or I'd buy some for the household.

Monday, August 22, 2005



Yes, that did come out of the rugs.

I'll do better, Mama, I promise.

UPDATE: And after that, friends, the Hoover steam cleaner spit up something close to mud.
Kids, I just don't have that much repressed anger. (But I did name one of the rugs "Condo Board.")

I do have brand new anger at myself for letting these pretty rugs get so dirty.

It's hard to find the time to remove them from their spaces, because they aren't merely decorative. They protect the wood floor and provide welcome cushioning when we are cooking.

And they take a few days to dry when they are cleaned with the machine. Since we have this godforsaken dry spell, it's a good time to do this work.

It don't make it any easier, though.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Kitchen rug

So, since Lyman doesn't play anymore, I'm using a golf club to beat the rug.

Clouds of dust are coming out.

He asks, "What size iron are you using?"

"It's a six," I said.

"No, you need to go to a three," he said.
Threads like this remind me that my rugs beside the kitchen sink and stove need to be cleaned.

I think I'll go do that.

Friday, August 19, 2005

I had a dream last night that I owned a parrot, not one of these, but generally acting like these, that began talking a blue streak. The bird had Lucy's coloring and Charlie's feathering. She was not chattering as parrots do, but carrying on conversations with people in the house.

On the order of:

"Man, how did he miss that tackle?!"

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Edna Emery

VIDALIA, La.-Services for Edna Emery, 66, of Vidalia, La., who died Wednesday, August 17, 2005, at St. Francis Cabrini Medical Center in Alexandria, La., are incomplete at this time and will be announced later by Concordia Funeral Home.
Jordana's cards might be used sooner than I would have wished.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Yech. What was in the refrigerator?

UPDATE: Shrimp. Only a man could make that kind of mess with just 2 pounds of shrimp.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Good grief! Talk about male chauvinism. Charlie always wolf whistles at me when I am in the kitchen.

He's a cute little guy, but he's an alimentary canal with feet.
An interesting bit learned from chef/author/TV personality Anthony Bourdain regarding fine dining from Kitchen Confidential, is that the kitchen of a fine dining establishment will do it's best work from Tuesday to Thursday. The chef is freshest, the food is freshest, and the staff is not as stretched as it is on weekends.

So there you go.
Please, give us a break! There is rain all over the state of Louisiana except for here!
I bought a little social insurance the other day.

Sometimes I'm just not on point. The night before we left for Colorado, back when, we attended a party for Lyman's law school class. It was a jolly group, and the host and hostess were warm, generous people with a lovely house in New Orleans.

While we carried 48 of Lyman's excellent crawfish tarts, the hostess deserved thanks in the form of a card.

Six months passed before I sent it. That was the last of a pretty box that I bought from Neiman-Marcus back when downtown Dallas was my stomping ground, say 1988.

I like to keep a stock of special cards for just such occasions.

So I turned to Jordana Adams to see what she had on offer.

She had an elegant painting of zinnias in a milk bottle that works perfectly on cards.

Thanks, Jordana.
Jim Smith follows up on the search for a chef for the White House.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Donna Tartt's book has engaged me. It is aimless, but I took it up with a "here we go" attitude and couldn't put it down.

She's a writer, after all.

She needs an editor.


We're putting the travel cage up today.

Friday, August 12, 2005

The Hlatkys have suffered a loss.

What a pretty girl she was.
Lucy and Charlie slept the first time together in the same cage last night.

Charlie has been sleeping in a small travel cage on a table about five feet away from Lucy's.

They have all parts intact this morning, so I guess we're progressing here.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Charlie is six months old today, and smarter than an animal should be.

Mind, Charlie is a big eater.

When Lyman walked in with a bag of groceries today and set it on the counter, Charlie wolf whistled.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

I spent half last night reading The Little Friend by Donna Tartt.

I haven't read her first book, see anywhere, which was a critical success.

I've gone a ways, but I'm not sure she's not just playing with a great jumble of typical southern characters and traits in this book. It could be experimental. If so, the resulting aimlessness is hardly her fault, but the fault of the publisher who chose to release it.

We'll see.
The dog days of summer have set in, and it's a thirsty dog at that.

We've had about 3/4 inch of rain in the past month. We've watched fronts split in all directions and or simply fizzle before reaching us, and I am psychically parched. A rainy day is cleansing and restorative, and no amount of sweet tea will substitute.

Children are already back to school and I can't put my mind around that. Students of my generation went back after Labor Day, when the light began to change and fall promised.

I feel low. Maybe some shopping is in order?

Sunday, August 07, 2005

This news makes me unhappy on so many levels.

Charlie, all washed up

Here's Charlie after a bath.

My sister said, "Baby, you look worth about $1.386 right now."

Oak tree

I live with this tree.

I have a deadly fear of tornados.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

You know, I never particularly wanted kids, and here's why. I just bought $70 worth of tickets for this stuff:
Live & Direct Summer Tour with Hieroglyphics featuring Souls of Mischief, Casual & Pep Love plus One Block Radius / Boom Bap Project and O.C. from Diggin Crates
Spanish Moon
1109 Highland Road
Baton Rouge, LA 70802

Kick it, hon, and I want my money back.
Yes, yes.

But why is it that boys' noses grow faster than their bodies do?

I've been talking to Michael's girl, and she has a 13-year-old son. She showed pictures.

He's a sharp-featured, good-looking boy whose face is almost all nose.

My nephew, Craig, as a child of that age was all nose. He's taller and better looking than Tom Cruise. Similar coloring.

Friday, August 05, 2005

As promised yesterday, Smiley Anders has written of the two other Louisiana winners of the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest today:
On Thursday, I promised to run the other two category winners from Louisiana in the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest.

Put on by the English department at San Jose State University, it honors, more or less, the author who penned "a dark and stormy night" by seeking the world's worst opening paragraph for a novel.

Sen. Jay Dardenne, as we mentioned Thursday, won the "Vile Puns" category.

Here's the winner of the "Grand Panjandrum's Special Award," by Ken Aclin of Shreveport:

"India, which hangs like a wet washcloth from the towel rack of Asia, presented itself to Tex as he landed in Delhi (or was it Bombay?), as if it mattered because Tex finally had an idea to make his mark and fortune and that idea was a chain of steak houses to serve the millions and he wondered, as he deplaned down the steep, shiny, steel steps, why no one had thought of it before."

Staff Sgt. Kevin Craver of Fort Polk won the "Fantasy Fiction" category with this one, which you have to be an avid reader of fantasy tales to really dig:

"Why does every task in the Realm of Zithanor have to be a quest?" Baldak of Erthorn, handyman to the Great Wizard Zarthon, asked rhetorically as he began his journey to find the Holy Hammer of Taloria and the Sacred Nail of Ikthillia so Baldak could hang one of Zarthon's mediocre watercolors, which was an art critique Baldak kept to himself unlike his predecessor, whom Zarthon turned into the Picture Frame of Torathank."
For other winners, see here.

Sorry, Terry, but there are a lot of bad writers out there.

UPDATE: I like this offering in the fantasy fiction category:
The dragon cast his wet, rheumy eyes, heavy-lidded with misery, over his kingdom-a malodorous, rot-ridden swamp, with moss cloaking brooding, gloomy cypresses, tree trunks like decayed teeth rising from stagnant ponds, creatures with mildewed fur and scales whom the meanest roadside zoo would have rejected--and hoped the antidepressants would kick in soon.
Constance Barrett
Ruby, NY

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Smiley Anders has news of Louisiana winners of the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest:
As you may have heard, Baton Rouge's state Sen. Jay Dardenne brought fame and glory (or shame and dishonor, take your pick) to our city by winning the "Vile Puns" category of the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest, held since 1982 by the San Jose State University English Department to find the world's worst writers. It's named, of course, for the British author who coined "a dark and stormy night."

The senator -- a Republican, but a funny one -- won with this effort:

"Falcon was her name and she was quite the bird of prey, sashaying past her adolescent admirers from one anchor store to another, past the kiosks where earrings longed to lie upon her lobes and sunglasses hoped to nestle on her nose, seemingly the beginning of a beautiful friendship with whomsoever caught the eye of the mall tease, Falcon."

Jay's triumph brought this response from Judge Bob Downing:

"I am eaten up with envy over Sen. Dardenne's recent award. When I was at LSU living in that bare room in West Stadium, I would stay up late writing and writing trying to win that award.

"Yes, I was up many a stark and dormy night."

Land of bad writers

As readers of this column can testify, Louisiana is the home of some really awful writing.

So it's no surprise that two other Louisiana writers won categories in the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest.

Ken Aclin of Shreveport won the "Grand Panjandrum's Special Award" and Staff Sgt. Kevin Craver of Fort Polk won the "Fantasy Fiction" category.

We'll run these winners Friday (I figure you've had enough lousy prose for one day).

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

My brother called tonight to tell me that he got the house in Natchez. This is news of high good order.

I've never thought it quite fair that he brought me here then had to leave.

He's coming home.

Now, what to do about my sister ...

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Charlie & squash

Charlie is adept at holding food for eating. That's zucchini in his fist.
Shellie gets letters.

One this week contains this line in reference to Southerners:
We don't worry if our relatives were on the Mayflower; we worry about how they behaved during the trip.