Deep Thoughts, NYE

It's not officially New Year's Eve until everyone is wearing a hat made of tin foil. While singing "and we want to wear foil" to the tune of "Royals." But that may just be me.


Joyeux Noel

Emmeline decided to leave her Christmas list out next to Santa's cookies to make absolutely certain he knows she wants an Isabelle American Girl doll.


!@#$% Elf on the Shelf

Tomorrow night, Snowflake will be leaving E with a photo collage of her time here with us. These are my personal favorites.


Jambalay, Crawfish Pie

I just made turkey carcass stock and roux all by myself. And now it's almost gumbo. For those of you born and raised in NOLA, this is no big deal. But for a Georgia girl whose only cooking instruction growing up was how to use the electric can opener, it's huge. Yay, me.


@#$%^ Elf on the Shelf

So help me, cat, if you mess up the Elf Christmas Gras parade, I will cut you.



God Bless Us, Everyone

This so describes Christmas with my family.

A Deficit of Dignity

"But, for those who can’t even see the humanity in the man because of his race, try to respect the title that comes before his name. It’s there forevermore."


Evil Genius

Kenny discovered that the receipt for our Christmas tree shows a 90-day return policy, so our plan is to return it on March 8th and angrily demand a refund bc it's dead.


@#$%^ Elf on the Shelf

The adventures of a sarcastic mom and her elf. Alcohol optional but suggested.


Your Tax Dollars at Work

You know you're going to get along well w/ your new co-worker when you tell him that someone tried to charge alcohol to a federally-funded grant account and this is his email response.


Never Forget

I hate to say it, but I kinda miss Kenny making our yard as tacky as possible during Christmas time. It made him so happy. (Shh, don't tell him I said that.) The great storage unit fire of 2014.

La Politics

Bill Cassidy just ran an ad where he was practically foaming at the mouth whilst screaming about Obama. Mary Landrieu just ran an ad about how much she loves puppies. Please make it stop.


Deep Thoughts, Thanksgiving Style

We named our turkey Bernice. And then we ate her. Is that weird? She was delicious.


Ferguson Decision

How to put this--I understand that some of you think Darren Wilson was an officer just doing his job. We'll never really know, because Michael Brown is dead and never got to tell his side of the story. As is Trayvon Martin. As are many, many others. What I don't understand is the GLEE in the verdict. What I don't understand is the GLEE in another "thug" being shown his place. If you don't care about the circumstances that put young black men in this position, you're part of the problem. It's not the fault of so many of our country's children that they're born into poverty and have little chance of succeeding in life. It's our fault for not caring.

Deep Thoughts

While mopping my floor, I just flashed back to my childhood, when not only did my chores include having to vacuum my electric lime green-colored shag carpet but having to RAKE it as well so the shag was all nice and neat and orderly. Oh, 1970's, what a very, very strange decade you were.




I'm glad that we can now focus on the biggest threats to our democracy, which are, apparently, poor people, women's reproductive systems, and Ebola.


Vera Lynn

Does anybody here remember Vera Lynn? Remember how she said that we would meet again, some sunny day? Vera, Vera, what has become of you? Does anybody else in here feel the way I do ?



Kenny, rummaging through our CD collection
Me: Oh shit, you're putting on Michael Jackson's Thriller, aren't you?
Kenny: Yep

Twenty years together.


They're creepy and they're kooky, mysterious and spooky, they're altogether ooky, the Addams Family. Happy Halloween.


A Conversation with My Cat

A conversation w my cat, if she could talk:
Me: I JUST put food in your bowl.
Cat: But I didn't SEE you put the food in my bowl. It doesn't count. I need to SEE you pour the food.
Me: Screw you.
Cat: That's it. I'm leaving.

I think I may have mentioned that I need to get out more.

Texts from Kara, Part 3

Another text from Kara. Because we crack me up.


Deep Thoughts

Recipes that call for adding cream of something soup make me sad.



Emmeline just made a Mardi Gras float in Minecraft. That is all.


Blue Skies

I feel like I'm under a dark cloud today. Oh, wait....


Kara On

It's been 2 months and 11 days. I'm supposed to be over it, right? That's the protocol for mourning. You're allowed to talk about it for a couple of weeks, three at most, and then you're supposed to be done.

But I'm not done.  I still bring you up on a daily basis in conversation with other friends, and I can tell, to a certain extent, that it makes them uncomfortable. And I don't bring you up to make them uncomfortable. I bring you up because you were a very important part of my life for eight years, and you're still a part of my life, even if you're not here physically anymore.

I don't know how to do this. I just don't. I can go a few days and function normally, but then BOOM--it all comes back. I suppose that I'm still in that stage where I can pretend that it's just been a couple of days since we've actually talked, and I can deal with that. But then the fact that you're gone--that you're really gone, and that I will never talk to you again, always comes seeping back into my consciousness. And I weep. Or I try not to weep, depending on the company I'm keeping at the time.

I've found that I'm at my best when I'm either alone or with "our people." I have isolated myself to the extreme over the past two months and 11 days, just because it hurts so much. When I'm alone, I can talk to you, even if that sounds crazy to other people. Sure, you don't answer back, necessarily, but it still helps--just to talk to you.

Deep Thoughts

If someone paid me to write a composition to musically depict what it feels like when you're having a seizure, it would sound like modern jazz. I hate modern jazz.


Factory of Sadness

Dear Saints: please do not make me feel like this tomorrow.


Word Crimes

I confess: I do sometimes judge your blog and FB posts. But, in the sage words of Weird Al Yankovic, "You should never write words using numbers. Unless you're seven. Or your name is Prince."



Just got my first "You have to say that, you're my mom." Good times.



This is the thing to bomb. This is the beginning—from "I" to "we." If you who own the things people must have could understand this, you might preserve yourself. If you could separate causes from results, if you could know that Paine, Marx, Jefferson, Lenin were results, not causes, you might survive. But that you cannot know. For the quality of owning freezes you forever into "I," and cuts you off forever from the "we."
--John Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath



Tchoupitoulas Lee Meyer. 91 in people years and still lookin' good.



Things lost nine years ago: a house, a car, most of our belongings; and, for lack of a better way to phrase it, the naiveté and false sense of security we all have, to a certain extent, that something as terrible as that happens to other people and not to us. Things gained in the nine years since: a sense of place; a calm, although it was hard fought, in the acceptance of loss; a home; and an extended network of amazing people who I am happy to call my NOLA family. (Although one is dearly missed.) All in all, I think it was a good trade. Happy Katrinaversary.



In my Lucia's absence
Life hangs upon me, and becomes a burden; 
I am ten times undone, while hope, and fear,
And grief, and rage and love rise up at once.
And with variety of pain distract me.
--Joseph Addison



[Michael's] personal account of who initiated the physical encounter is forever lost to the grave, but the initiation is likely to be the central question in the case.

To believe [Wilson's] scenario, you have to believe that [Michael], an unarmed boy, chose that man to attack. You have to believe that [Michael] chose to attack a man who was wearing his gun in a holster. You have to believe that [Michael] chose to attack even though he was less than a hundred yards from the safety of the home where he was staying.

This is possible, but hardly sounds plausible.

The key is to determine who was standing his ground and defending himself: the boy with the [cigarillos] or the man with the gun. Who was winning the fight is a secondary question

That said, we’ll have to wait for details of the investigation to be revealed to know for sure. But while we wait, it is important to not let [Michael] the person be lost to [Michael] the symbol. He was a real boy with a real family that really loved him.

--Modified slightly from "A Mother's Grace and Grieving," written for the New York Times by Charles Blow on March 25, 2012, about Trayvon Martin's death at the hands of George Zimmerman. 



I left my phone at home today. Now what am I supposed to do on the elevator? Make eye contact with and/or make small talk with people? Blech


Will the Circle be Unbroken

I have traveled close behind her, tried to hold on and be brave.
But I could not hide my sorrow when they laid her in the grave.


Three Little Birds

Although Kara was one of the most positive and joyous people I've ever known, one of the many things I loved about her was our shared black humor. If I was running late for a Mardi Gras parade this year, she would text me and tell me something like she was having stomach pains and I should hurry up and get there. After her brain surgery, she asked me if it was horrible that she was sort of excited about losing 15 pounds. At some point along the way in the past 16 months since her diagnosis, "Three Little Birds" became our song. We were constantly texting each other that "every little thing's gonna be alright." The fact that Bob Marley died of melanoma was not lost on us. Now, when I listen to it, weird as it may sound, it feels like a message from Kara Lynn Morgan. Every little thing is gonna be alright, although it will be a while. I miss you. I love you.



I'm going to try to write this post without reverting to the words that describe my mood best right now--maudlin, morose, mournful, mad. All of those wonderfully descriptive M words. Maudlin, in particular. But, who am I kidding?

Last Tuesday night, I lost my best friend. And I've wept more in the past month than I probably have in years, because we all knew it was coming. I've thought a lot about that, recently--whether it's better to know that the death of a loved one is coming, like Kara's, or for it to take you by complete surprise, like a Mack truck ran into you, as it was with my brother's accidental death 13 years ago. And although they're both terrible in their own ways, I guess I've decided that an anticipatory death beats out a sudden one, just barely. Because at least you get the chance to say goodbye.

I won't rehash the beginnings of my and Kara's friendship. If you really want to know, you can read about it here. I guess just suffice it to say that, for now at least, I feel completely bereft. (Even though she's playing our song as I type this--every little thing's gonna be alright.)


Dear Prince:

I'd appreciate it if next time, you could ask us all to wear black. Or white. Or beige. Or any other neutral color. Kenny is enjoying the purple, though. XO.



It's not a real birthday party until you decorate a crab...and until everyone looks at you strangely because you decorated a crab. And looks at you even more strangely when you tell them you named him Bob.


Life with a Nine-Year-Old

If you have or ever had a nine-year-old, does he or she talk ALL of the time? And on the rare occasions when not talking, does he or she fill the void with throat trills, tongue rolls, clicks, and made-up songs, like "My Pudding's Name is Bob?" And does the song have five verses and a chorus? Or is that just my nine-year-old?


Vieux Carre

Ate some Creole tomatoes, had a few drinks, watched a guy throw up on the sidewalk, saw two wedding secondlines, watched a guy do push-ups in the street, and just saw a guy walking around barefoot clutching a Snoopy Christmas doll. Just another day in the French Quarter.


Dear New Orleanians:

This is a special drawing I made (I'm quite the artist, no?) to explain the many intricacies involved in two cars turning left at the same time when there's no neutral ground involved to confuse everyone. I know we like to be different and all, but really--I promise--this works well. Tell a friend. XO.