Dear America

Everyone else here is writing "Dear New Orleans" posts this month. I feel the need to write a "Dear America" post. I've tried really hard to refrain from Katrina anniversary posts. But some make it impossible to do so. So here we go.

Dear America: Shut up. No, really. Until you are also willing to judge everyone who lives in an area that could be hit by a tornado (which could really be any of us, if bad luck strikes; but Kansas and the rest of tornado alley, I'm giving you the side-eye in particular right now). Unless you're also willing to judge everyone who lives in any area where there are mudslides, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, massive river floods, forest fires, etc.--did I miss anything? Oh, yeah--TSUNAMIS. Just. Shut. Up.

Facts: there were ZERO rapes and murders at the Superdome after Katrina. There were ZERO rapes and murders at the Convention Center after Katrina. Did people die? Yes. One guy killed himself at the dome. One man was shot in the back by police at the convention center bc he begged them for help. The cops claim he came at them aggressively. His name was Danny Brumfield. Look it up. Did people die? Yes. From heat exhaustion and no food or water for five days. Or, by, you know, DROWNING.


Fifth Grader

"I'm only letting you take this picture so I'll have memories to look back on."


The Rainbow Bridge

I am sad to report that Phil, one of the feeder fish we won with a ping pong ball at the Atchafalaya catfish festival, has passed on to that great pond in the sky. Emmeline conducted a lovely ceremony for him, and we honored his short, sweet, wet life. Steve, our other feeder fish, is recovering in the loving fins of our other goldfish, Dorothy, Elmo, and Oscar. Long live Steve.


Why Your Team Sucks

This article made me cackle. Who Dat, bitches.

"As Drew Brees enters his twilight years we’re totally fucked. Brees could kill and eat a baby on local tv and we would throw a parade for him. We’re going to keep him around until he’s just a pile of parts tweeting out ads for his Jimmy John’s franchises."


Texts from Kara

Texts from Kara. Bc it's been awhile. And I'm missing her hard tonight. And bc giraffes.



Kenny: I came THIS CLOSE to buying a toilet at Lowe's.
Me: But we don't need a toilet. We have one.
Kenny: I know, but they were ON CLEARANCE. They were on sale from $300 to $100.
Me: But we don't need a toilet. We have one.


Notorious BIGGER?

After successfully lip syncing Forgot about Dre on my porch, Kenny and I have decided that I should quit my job and become a rapper. Now I just need a rap name....


Palin, Where Art Thou?

I like the GOP debates better when the audience cheers for letting people without health insurance die. Is that coming up?



Hey, did you see that dead lion? I killed him! First, I had to bait him into leaving a protected area, and then I shot him with a crossbow. But even though I'm supposedly an excellent shot, I didn't actually kill him and he wandered around in pain for 40 hours. And then I shot him with a gun. Cool! And then I took off his collar, which showed he lived in an area where he was supposed to be protected. But it was too late then, so I skinned him and beheaded him. And I never had any clue that what I was doing wasn't totally legal, because, hell, I paid $55K to shoot him. And the guy who lured him out of the reserve swore it was legit. My bad. But it's really all about conservation, so this was a good thing. And now, his spirit will live on forever. In the display of his head. My bad about his 24 lion cubs who will now be killed by other male lions who want to take over the pride. But FREEDOM.

Cecil the Lion's Killer


Life with Tchoups

When we have steak for dinner, and no one saves a piece for Tchoups, he gives me the same look that my dad gave me in high school when he found out that I made up a fake weekend field trip, complete with faux permission slip, when I was really planning to spend the weekend partying w friends. "It's not so much that I'm angry with you. I am just SO DISAPPOINTED. It will take a while for you to earn my trust again." Sorry, Tchoups.


Gangsta's Paradise

Me, Kenny, and Emmeline driving in the car last weekend, while E is in the backseat listening to the iPod on headphones, loudly--
Kenny: Is she listening to Gangsta's Paradise?
Me: Yep. Her three favorite artists right now are Gladys Knight, Queen, and Coolio.


Life with Tchoups

If you are wondering at what age your golden retriever will stop obsessively following you around, complete w sniffing under the bathroom door to make sure you're still alive, the answer is 14 years and two months. I just tried to talk to Tchoups while he was on his bed, and his response was very much "OMFG, seriously? You want to discuss this NOW? Because I'm IN BED. I do NOT want to go on the porch with you. I'M SLEEPING." Thanks, Tchoups.


Year 1

I thought I was going to be all brave today. I thought I had done all of the crying and grieving that a person could possibly do in a year's time. That although I would be missing Kara today, and thinking about this anniversary, that I wouldn't cry. But then Van Morrison came on the radio, singing "everything I do, reminds me of you." And I had to sit in the parking garage at work and bawl, just like I did a year ago today.

Then, someone at my side says, "There, she is gone."
Gone where?
Gone from my sight. That is all.

Year 1 is done. On to year 2. Spent tonight having sushi w Krissie and watching Beverly get her Kara Lynn Morgan tattoo. And then watched a crane meander across the street in a place where cranes are not supposed to be. I'll take it. I hope we've done you proud. I miss you. I love you.



I often wonder what my brother Charles would be like if he had lived, especially on a night like tonight, when Garth Brooks played the arena, who was his favorite singer when he died in 2001 at the age of 22. Would he be partnered off now? Would he have kids? Would he still live on the coast? What would he do for a living? I know it's a pointless exercise to wonder what he would be like at 36, when he's been gone for 14 years, but I still do.



Things we have muddled through without you: your birthday; your funeral; space camp; head lice; Saints pre-season; the obligatory Katrinaversary; Saints regular season; no Saints post-season; trading a bunch of Saints; keeping Marques Colston (HOFSTRA, bitches); Darren Sharper; Mike Smith being fired; Rob Ryan being kept; Cris freaking Collinsworth being the announcer for the Saints/Cowboys game; Halloween and trick or treating; Krewe of Boo (although none of us went); Bill Cosby; Thanksgiving; Genevieve; Christmas; New Year's Eve; Twelfth Night; Joey's birthday; Stuart Smith dying; Beverly's birthday; Krewe du Vieux; parades, parades, PARADES; and parades, always parades; Al's death; Emmeline and Beau's birthdays; St. Patrick's Day and the resultant PARADES; St. Joseph's night; Easter; French Quarter Fest; Darren Sharper, again; Jazz Fest; Mother's Day; Trey's birthday; fourth grade; ISL PARADE; your NOLAversary; Krissie's birthday; Obamacare affirmed; an engagement in Houston; my birthday; gay marriage legalized. And crying. Lots of crying. But also, laughter, and love, and Kara-ing on. And now, in a little over a week, it will be your birthday again. Preceded just one day by the anniversary of your death. And we will do it all over again. I miss you. I love you. It will never be the same, but we still laugh and we still love. And I love an amazing bunch of people, all of whom I met through you. Thank you.


Marriage Equality

I remember the election of 2000. I remember how I felt when the Supreme Court installed Bush as president, despite the fact that Al Gore won the popular vote. And in spite of the fact that it was highly disputed as to whether or not Bush had, in fact, won the popular vote in Florida. But the Supreme Court said he had won, and the fight was over. Did I like it? Hell no. Was I bitter? Hell yes. And I spent the next eight years being called a dirty libtard and told that if I didn't like Bush, or invading Afghanistan, or invading Iraq, etc., that I should leave. Because AMERICA. And how dare I question our dear leader in a time of war? I have spent the last eight years ignoring incredibly nasty posts equating our current president, whom I voted for twice, to a witch doctor and a monkey. I have watched his patriotism, his faith, and even his citizenship called into question. I have never once told those who disagree with me that if they don't like it, they should leave. This country belongs to all of us. But I am so very thrilled to watch our social conscience change. Rights for ALL of our citizens matter. And you don't get to insist that one Supreme Court ruling, like installing Bush as president, is perfectly valid, while saying that another opinion, like legalizing gay marriage, is a case of "activist judges legislating from the bench." It doesn't work that way. If you don't like this decision, you don't have to leave. It will always be your right to oppose our governance. But I hope you will at least think about it, and see if you can find it in your heart to understand that what makes one of us stronger makes all of us stronger. Your rights are not diminished when those same rights are given to others. The same goes for my fellow Christians who are having difficulties with this. Again, I say, your rights are not diminished by giving those same rights to others. Open your hearts. Listen to the true teachings of Christ. There is no mention of intolerance. Of hate. Of bigotry. Only of love. Open your hearts.


Faerie Folk

Kenny and I were talking about Alan Richman tonight, as he spoke at the conference Kenny went to in NYC last week. I would still very much like to give Alan Richman a very hearty f*ck you, with some demonstrative hand signals thrown in for good measure, almost 10 years after his review of post-Katrina New Orleans. His reviews are equivalent to kicking a dying puppy.

"During my time in New Orleans, I sought to keep some perspective. For example, when the sommelier at August brought me an incorrect vintage of the wine I’d ordered, I tried not to be too distressed, knowing that somewhere in the Lower Ninth Ward a house was sitting atop a car. Yet it’s important to come to a tough decision about New Orleans, because it’s going to cost Iraq-magnitude money to get this place back to where it was or, better yet, where it should have been."

I hope that the "faerie folk," aka Creoles, kick his ass at some point.


Grief Anniversary

Grief Anniversary - E.B. Wexler

“anniversary” implies that I do not have grief the other 364 days
I do.
But as the date approaches
I feel, slowly arising
The original grief
The breath sucked out of me when I got the news over the phone.
The early grief
Walking around in a daze, wondering where she went
How things would be now

She was 31
She was my “person”
And it was out of the blue.
I have not been the same since. And I don’t want to be….



"Mom, you just don't know what it's like to be 10 and have people not like you."

True. I was 12 when girls started shoving me into lockers, throwing spitballs into my hair, and working their hardest to make me want to kill myself. Ah, misty water-color memories. Good times.



The restaurant where my husband works that shall otherwise remain nameless in this post is apparently hosting some type of Republican senatorial retreat this weekend. Kenny asked me if I wanted to come hang out at the bar, but after a few minutes of discussion, we both acknowledged that it would be very awkward when he had to call security on me after I asked every senator in sight about the magical pill you can swallow that ends up in your vagina.



Selfie by the TEN-year-old. Happy Birthday, Emmeline. You survived our early parenting missteps, like the time your dad accidentally bathed you with dog wipes instead of baby wipes (and the resultant full body rash), and made it to the double digits!



One day, I will convince those of you who don't live in NOLA that real Mardi Gras isn't about drunk tourists baring it all for cheap plastic beads on Bourbon Street. It's about drunk locals waving their arms and screaming "heeeeyyyyyyyy" (whilst fully clothed) for cheap plastic beads on St. Charles Avenue. And the marching bands. And the bagpipes. And the floats. And the friends. And all together, that's why we love PARADES. If you need me for the next 12 days, I'll be on the neutral ground at St. Charles and Eighth. PARADES!!!



Okay, here's the thing. I know there are a lot of jerks out there who use their Bible (or Quaran or Tanakh or any other religious text) to justify their rights to be bigoted, intolerant assholes. I don't like them, either. But at the risk of coming off as a whiny #notallchristians post, it does get a bit tiresome being lumped in with the haters all of the time. I'm about as flaming liberal as I can get. I also believe in God. The god I believe in isn't Santa Claus, and hedoesn't have any interest in who wins the Super Bowl or Survivor or finding your lost iPad. He's also not spending all of his time damning people to hell for their sins, bc I don't believe in hell. My God is, however, a source of comfort to me, as is my belief that we have souls that continue after this life is over--in what realm or plain, I have no idea. And I get that--my faith is just a source of comfort to ME. I'm fairly certain none of my friends who are atheist or agnostic would ever say I've tried to convert them to my way of thinking. But as another friend posted recently, it does feel lately as though if I admit to having a faith, I'm opening myself up to ridicule. We don't all suck, okay? And I will never, nor have I ever, told E she has to be good bc SIN. And I still love a good sacrilegious joke. Peace.


Deep Thoughts, NOLA Style

Things I love about New Orleans: having very animated conversations w Kenny about what phase of toupee Bob Breck was in when I moved here. All I can say w certainty was that it was before his current Caesar/George Clooney look.


Rose Who?

I'm at Comic Con with someone named Rose Tyler from Dr. Who. Now, where is the bar?


Stuart Scott

I avoided posting on this all day, but Jesus, I'm sad that Stuart Scott died. This speech was so beautiful and came into my life at a time when I needed to hear it most, two days after losing my friend.

"I also realized something else recently; you heard me kind of allude to it in the piece. I said, ‘I’m not losing. I’m still here. I’m fighting. I’m not losing.’ But I gotta amend that. When you die, that does not mean that you lose to cancer. You beat cancer, by how you live, why you live, and in the manner in which you live.”

Stuart and Kara beat cancer.


While My Guitar Gently Weeps

Jeff Lynne singing while Prince plays guitar on a George Harrison song equals my musical nirvana.