Mar
2006

in music news

stupid

My beloved Pet Shop Boys have a new album coming out May 22. The new single, “I’m with Stupid” comes out May 8. I heard the song this week and really like it. Although the title seems lame and you think the couple sung about are lovers, there is talk that the Boys wrote it with Bush and Tony Blair in mind. The lyrics are here. You decide.

And this is embaressing, but I think when they go on tour there should be shirts that say “I’m with PSB, stupid!” ๐Ÿ˜‰

Mar
2006

Blog SIG

I did not attend the annual 4C’s conference this year [for several reasons–not having my proposal accepted, not enough conference travel money, trying to finish coursework], but as per usual, Clancy has started her posts wrapping up the event. Most important to my dissertation topic is of course what the Special Interest Group on Blogs had to report. Here is the link to Clancy’s post, with more to follow as I read the usual suspects’ blogs this week. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Mar
2006

deadlines and horns to toot

Again, I’m not blogging as much because of a full week of deadlines. I spent several hours at Panera today writing my First Amendment policy analysis, which is on the case of Sami Al-Arian. Learning more about academic freedom than I ever thought, and love that!

Just wrote a response to Practicing New Historicism and have more Kenneth Burke to read than I ever wanted…

In television as my distraction news, I rented the DVD of the Fox show House MD, starring my Bertie Wooster, Hugh Laurie. Love it and am so glad I’ve got 20+ episodes to catch up on!

And in tooting my own horn news, the English Department award winners were announced today and I won a distinguished scholarship award! Woohoo!!!!

Mar
2006

Winona State wins NCAA Division II title

While I am not a basketball fan, you can’t help but watch a few seconds of March Madness while channel surfing. Yesterday we watched a full game though, that being the NCAA Division II championship game. The winners, Winona State! Just a hop, skip, and jump away from AC’s alma mater, St. Mary’s. Here’s a link to the Winona Daily News story, although I think the headline should read “Reaction in Winona huge” rather than “hug.” You tell me…although they are a friendly people!

We’re gonna call AC’s friends to see if there was crazy partying in the streets last night. When we go this summer, first round of cheese curds is on me! ๐Ÿ™‚

Mar
2006

isn't it ironic?

Songs that came on my I-pod when reading the introduction to Foucault’s The History of Sexuality:

Brand New Lover by Dead or Alive
I’m Too Sexy by Right Said Fred
Work It by Missy Elliot
Funky Cold Medina by Tone-Loc

And here is a passage from Foucault to bring it all together:

What sustains our eagerness to speak of sex in terms of repression is doubtless this opportunity to speak out against the powers that be, to utter truths and promise bliss, to link together enlightenment, liberation, and manifold pleasures; to pronounce a discourse that combines the fervor of knowledge, the determination to change the laws, and the longing for the garden of earthly delights (7).

Mar
2006

More links to Katrina

I had visited CBSNews.com looking for the text of the interview I saw on Anne Rice this past Sunday, but instead came across these two: Unearthing Pompeii which discusses natural disasters, and “New Orleans Mayor: Rebuild Anywhere.” The latter doesn’t restore my faith in the current mayor, but the Bring New Orleans Back Commission report looks hopeful. I want to help them achieve their recommendations, “from revamping schools to consolidating some city offices. The wish-list of projects included new light-rail systems, more farmers’ markets, new riverfront development, job-training sites and better flood protection.”

Mar
2006

being boring

To quote Zelda Fitzgerald, “She covered her face with powder and paint because she didn’t need it and she refused to be bored chiefly because she wasn’t boring. She was conscious that the things she did were the things she had always wanted to do.” Well, I don’t consider myself boring, but have been bored amidst having a wonderful spring break. Drove down to Key West for a couple of days and “deepened my olive complexion,” but now I am back and think I have too much time on my hands. Feel lazy and not at all motivated to do much of anything except watch season 2 of Remington Steele. Don’t laugh at me! I love that Pierce Brosnan and have since I was about 10 years old. I think he’s the only celebrity that I wrote a fan letter to who did NOT respond. Oh well…

Anyway, eventually I will get back to the academic grind with due dates looming over my head, but until then here are 2 links I want to keep track of: regarding the future of political campaigns and regarding the freedom of online speech worldwide.

More when I’m feeling energized. ๐Ÿ™

Mar
2006

My return to NOLA

Sorry this has taken so long to post. Been under the weather and also trying to meet some deadlines. All I have to do today is organize 2 paper proposals, go to the library and sit through 6 hours of seminar…eek!

Well here goes. On Saturday the 25th we flew out to NOLA where it was a rainy day. The big parade for that day had been cancelled which meant we could get our baggage and make a leisurely drive to the Tom-pound where we were staying instead of rushing to St. Charles Avenue to try and catch beads! That night was sort of low key but included seeing my dear friends Rudy, Kurt, Charley, Ashley and of course, the infamous Julie C! I can’t wait to go back this summer for her high school graduation!

Sunday, AC and I took a long walk from the Tom-pound all the way up Magazine Street with our final destination being my friend Sarah’s apt. for a parade party. Along the way we stopped to stock up on Barq’s Red Creme Soda and ran into my friends Jimmy and Marlene. At Jimmy’s house we were treated to the best homemade red beans and rice and gumbo and also had fun playing with all the dogs that were visiting! I knew we’d run into people on the streets, and that’s what I love about NOLA the most. We eventually made it to Sarah’s where I caught up with a lot of former dancing buddies then AC got his first glimpse at the big super krewe parades: Bacchus then Endymion. The crowd was thick but we caught a few items. By the time Endymion came down the street some families has left so we were in prime catching location. We were plummeted with beads, frisbees and footballs! It was wonderful and AC was so cute jumping up and down for his first throws! ๐Ÿ™‚ We had a rocky ride home with Rudy and his sis thanks to someone side swiping Rudy’s van which we affectionately call the Man-bulance, but got back to Tom’s before midnight. Never got Cooter Browns’s cheese fries, but there’s always a return trip to look forward to!

Monday was the big day because it was the day I’d be seeing my house for the first time and also the day of my favorite parade, Orpheus. I know tons of people in this organization and have gone to its ball the last few years, but denied tickets to it this year for 2 reasons: 1) it was AC’s first Mardi Gras and I wanted him to experience it on the streets where all the action is, and 2) Katrina destroyed all my floor length gowns so why make AC deal with renting a tux? Anyway, back to the house. My parents picked us up from the Tom-pound and we made the drive. I wasn’t as nervous as I thought because the weather was so pretty this day, I had AC with me, and somehow I knew we could deal with this quickly. I had asked that we just do a driving tour and not go inside, but my dad needed help moving a fountain that had survived so we were gonna be parked there for awhile. When we took the turn down Filmore, I couldn’t believe all the houses that were now empty, including my childhood friend Rose’s. Everything was desolate except for a handful of homes that had a trailer parked next door who were attempting to clean up. When we finally turned down St. Anthony, I pointed out the bike path I had ridden on and told AC that it led to the University of NO and Lake Pontchartrain. It was so strange seeing all these houses that looked pretty much fine on the outside but had that spray painted marking on the front door noting that the National Guard had checked for bodies. My dad also pointed out holes in the roofs which meant that people had had to escape from their attics to be airlifted out. Lots of houses had added their own spray paint messages. When we made it to my house my tears has started but I controlled them. I looked around the outside of the house first and had to laugh when I saw the corpse of a squirrel entangled in wires of a phone pole. I know that sounds heartless, but I’ve had a history with bothersome squirrels running through an apartment’s walls no matter how many times the hole was boarded up, and they’ve become my arch nemisis. Anyway, I saw the waterline all the way up the side of my house, then the backyard, then went inside. Everything looked so much smaller, the mold was crawling up the walls, and the floorboards were uneven and crunched when you stepped on them. I went to my most recent bedroom first and still was amazed at how everything sort of looked the same shape and size but felt danker. One could probably salvage what is left but my parents don’t want to. My mom especially cannot fathom sleeping in that house knowing that it had once been filled up with water and so much decay. I went to the other rooms and it was strange to see the sun pouring through the windows onto the dirty floor and mold. I made my tour as quick as possible and took photos of memorable spots. My friend Greg called right before I went in and said he’d be home after so to keep from crying my mind stayed focused on visiting him. I think I would have had a bigger breakdown if the house still had some of my stuff in it, but because it was empty, it was easier to process. I think one of my fears had been the emptiness of it all so it’s ironic that that is what became so comforting. Pics of this entire visit are here, please leave comments if you like.

After this visit home we went to Mid City to visit Greg, Blake, Nancy and all the pets. Then AC and I were dropped off in the French Quarter so we could hit all the hot spots during the day and avoid the messy crowds. I took him everywhere from Pat O’Brien’s to Marie Laveau’s Voodoo Shop then the eating and drinking began. Muffalattas, Pimms Cups, gumbo and margaritas, you name it. Friends joined along as we went from Molly’s on the Market to Napoleon House to the Carousel Bar in the Monteleone Hotel to Gallier Hall where we had Grand Stand seats for the parade. These were awesome! Thanks again Jeremy!
Post-parade we ventured to the Howlin’ Wolf to hear some music only to run into the parade again and see Lara and Renee for more throws! Tons of stuff that we could barely carry! It was amazing! I can’t believe we packed it in the suitcase, but if you want some of the loot, just leave a comment and I’ll share! George Porter played til 2am at da Wolf and despite being exhausted from the day, it was fabulous to dance around with friends to Porter and Ivan Neville’s Mardi Gras Mambo. AC got video of it and as soon as I figure out a place to upload it, I’ll share!

Mar
2006

Mardi Gras

I know a lot of you are waiting to hear about my Mardi Gras and return to NOLA experience. We got back from the fabulous 4 day trip on Tuesday night and have been catching up on sleep and academic work since then. Now we are both down with a sinus infection. I’m a little better than AC, but I got it first.
So sorry for being absent for so long, but the less time on the computer, the better for me right now.

I promise to post all my experiences and my feelings about facing my empty house in New Orleans later tonight. Right now I have to cook some food otherwise we’d both just sleep the rest of the afternoon and not bother eating.

Til then…