Aug 29, 2017

Photograph Taken a Few Days After Hurricane Katrina at Mom's House in Madisonville, Louisiana

Family Photo from Madisonville, Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina
Maggie and Greig, Madisonville, Louisiana circa August 2005

You can make out the outline of Mom's house in the upper left-hand corner of this photograph. A fallen power line is draped over a felled tree. You can see that the massive oak still stands. Everything else is scattered, twisted, and torn. Katrina was a monster wind storm - and this photograph attests to that fact.

"Welcome" in Nine Languages

Who doesn't like "Welcome" signs in multiple languages? The sign is a filtered shot I took at MoMA's film lobby - hence the "this way to art" wordage. I'm thinking of printing this out and posting it on my classroom door.

So here are the translations in machine friendly rendering:

Willkommen - German

ようこそ - Japanese

Bienvenue - French

Benvenuto - Italian

And in English - Welcome, this way to art 

欢迎 - Chinese (Simplified), Shanghainese

Spanish - Bienvenido

Cantonese - 歡迎

Bem-vindo - Portuguese

환영합니다 - Korean

Aug 17, 2017

Me and My Cat - Circa 1980s Family Photo

Greig and Toby, LaPlace, Louisiana circa 1987

I like the photograph above for two reasons.

First, Tobey looks glorious and we are definitely bonding - although my toothy grin is a bit unsettling (probably because the image is cropped and half my face is missing).

Second, the sofa we're lounging on sticks in my memory - I loved its satin-like feel - a bit of luxury that I can recall from my Southern Louisiana upbringing in the mid-1980s.

Aug 13, 2017

Crossing the Delaware

Crossing the Delaware River over the Delaware Memorial Bridge

I'm wishing everyone peace and solace on this Sunday in Ordinary Time.

Aug 11, 2017

Belly Beach Parade

Beachgoer in Perdido Key, Florida Summer 2017

I'm addicted to this filter I used to take the above photograph. On my mobile phone - via the Facebook app - I upload random photos to "my story." My friends over at Snapchat were made famous with this kind of ephemera-generating technology - so I guess Facebook has jumped on the bandwagon to compete. And I think Instagram has a similar feature.

Aug 10, 2017

Pet Hamsters are All the Rage

Hammie controls an interdimensional portal 

I swear to God Hammie the Hamster lived for a good six or seven years. But it felt like she was always around. She lived from like 1989 to God knows when - how many times did we release her into the yard to nibble - and store - clover?

You see - Hamie was a magical creature.

My younger brother and I created a mythology - partly based on Noozles - an animated series that ran on the children cable television network Nickoledon - that included hidden portals, and an interdimensional wizard hamster that ends up in our world.

Hence the longevity. And the adoration.

Aug 3, 2017

Destin Floaties Summer 1984

Destin, Florida July 1984

It's funny how memory works. I remember sitting on a hotel bed in Florida eating Pringles with my younger brother - wearing floaties.

That's pretty much how it went down for the Roselli July 1984 beach vacation. Except I was eating Planters brand cocktail peanuts - and that's my older brother in the photograph, not my younger sibling. And look. He's attempting to give me bunny ears. I'm clueless.

Mom says we first jumped on the bed. Whenever we first arrived. But there's no photograph of that first introduction to this classy Destin joint.

And no one can confirm it's Destin. But I don't care. I'd like to think that there's a six-year old me floating in some beachside pool in Destin - the State of everlasting beach vacations Florida.

And ohhhh. I found the floaties. And look at me chomping on those Sour Cream and Onion Ruffles brand potato chips.

Wear Your Floaties!

Aug 2, 2017

Delicious Dream in Beijing

In my dreams, I heard the thumping of feet and I thought it was the sound of my feckless roommate thumping towards the bathroom to puke but it wasn't my roommate thumping.

Aug 1, 2017

On Evil

I am not sure how I became interested in evil. Maybe it was the repetition of the line in grade school from the Lord's Prayer, "deliver us from evil," that first alerted me to the concept. Evil - at least how I conceived the concept then - was something akin to the supernatural. Like a demon with wings. Or a nebulous force á la Freddy Krueger tearing away carpet and bedding (cum bodies) in horror movies. Certainly evil is akin to horror. However, I probably was propping up evil with dramatic flair by honing my focus on demons —  and by contrast, the good on angels. If there are demons, or so my logic foretold - there must be angels.

I wonder if it's common to have this original sense of evil as the bogeyman and it's only when we grow older that we ascertain other kinds of evil.

And for me it was the realization that evil is just a scapegoat term for all that which exacts suffering in the world. Or - as some dead philosopher once said: "evil is a a deprivation of the good."

A Painting of Hurricane Katrina's aftermath From the collection of Arthur Rodger at the New Orleans Museum of Art

Jul 28, 2017

New Orleans Mardi Gras from the 90s

I really like Mardi Gras. Even when I was thirteen.

I wanted to save this post for actual Mardi Gras - but, heck, it's kinda too funny to wait - and I'm impatient.

For me, New Orleans Mardi Gras wasn't really celebrated in New Orleans. We went to Jefferson Parish, secured a spot on Veterans Highway in Metairie, a few miles west of the Orleans Parish line.

On this strip of highway, folks set up ladders on the neutral ground (the grassy median). We got there early, lugged ice chests filled with sandwiches, cola, and liquor (for the adukts).

In the Metairie version of Mardi Gras, the first parade is run by the Krewe of Argus (compared to the Krewe of Rex which runs on Saint Charles in New Orleans). Argus is an interesting choice for a Mardi Gras pleasure krewe. Argus is the mythological creature with a thousand eyes - so he can sleep but keeps several eyes open. The signature Argus float is spectacular in my memory - a bust of the many-eyed giant flanked by papier-maché  peacocks.

Maybe I caught the undies and bra at Argus? I don't remember.

In the photo, we're waiting for the truck parade. It rolls immediately after the Krewe of Argus. The trucks number in the low hundreds. They're eighteen wheeler cabs affixed to a flat bed converted into a Mardi Gras float.

Maybe I got the wig from home? I'm not sure - but judging from this picture it was one helluva Mardi Gras in Metairie, Louisiana. 

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