I hate the Elf on the Shelf a whole lot--and my daughter at age eleven, HAS to know it's me, right? I'll realize, in a panic, when it's bedtime, that I haven't done a damn thing with the elf.

And yet, still...go big or go home, right?


Dear Liberals:

Dear Liberal Friends: Hillary is not going to suddenly be declared the victor because of recounts in a few states. The people who make up the Electoral College aren't suddenly all going to grow a conscience and vote against Trump. The Republican controlled Congress isn't going to use the 25th Amendment to declare Trump unfit for office, nor are they going to impeach him. And if they did, we'd get Pence as POTUS and probably Sam Brownback as Veep.

 As much as I just want to hide for the next four years (please, god, it can't be EIGHT, right???), THIS. IS. HAPPENING. On January 20th, the shit-flinging hate monkey will be sworn in. So stop your fantasies and stop trying to hide under the bed. This is real, and we have to do all in our power not to lose everything that was gained in the past eight years. Write letters to the editor. Put your congressional representatives on speed dial. Call out the racist/homophobic/misogynistic/xenophobic people who did this. (If you're terrified of confrontation like me, you can even be polite about it with something along the lines of "I don't share your views. Please stop talking.")

 Love each other. Look out for each other. We still might lose everything. But we have to try. And then, if all else fails, we move to Ecuador. Or Sweden or something. We'll figure that part out later. 

But for now, fight.

 Love, A


Pride and Joy 2

On the Friday night after Thanksgiving, I got a phone call that my father had fallen down (again), was unconscious (again), and was being rushed to the ER (again). By the time I got there, he was trying to check himself out against medical orders for the third time in as many weeks. The doctor was furious.

As you may know, it's impossible to reason with a late-stage alcoholic, so my sister, stepsister, and I triggered an involuntary commitment. In between his alcoholism, heart issues, and recurring melanoma, he's not in a very good place mentally. So getting him committed against his will wasn't real difficult procedurally but it was devastating emotionally.

Thus far, they've held him for a full 24 hours past the mandatory 72 hours and have told us that they may keep him for up to two weeks. He hung up on me when I called him on Saturday, and then he informed the hospital that he would refuse to take any calls from me and my sister from this point on. He has also forbidden the therapists working with him to contact us.

So, my sister and I have been disowned spiritually (there was nothing left to "own," physically). I cycle back and forth between rage and grief and lots and lots of depression, but I don't know what else we could've done at this stage, and I don't regret it. He is going to die. Probably soon. At this point, I have no idea of whether it was better to keep on standing by and watching it while doing nothing or trying to at least prevent him from further harm. No one can take care of him anymore without help. And now, the result is all the same, in that I've most likely lost my dad for good.


Everybody Knows

Everybody knows that the boat is leaking
Everybody knows the captain lied
Everybody got this broken feeling
Like their father or their dog just died
Everybody talkin to their pockets
Everybody wants a box of chocolates And a long-stem rose
Everybody knows


Pride and Joy 1

True confessions: my dad is in late stage alcoholism and they think the melanoma has moved into his bones. It's a race now to see which one will kill him. I know this is way too much information for the internet, but it's so much easier for me to tell you this way than in person. Because in person, I will tell you everything is great. Because it's painful to share this shit. So if you have seen me burst into tears in the past week or see me do it in the future, that's why. And you don't need to say anything to me about it or feel the need to comment here. Really.



Kenny and I found out we lost another friend to cancer this past week.

Armand was an incredible person and a brilliant chef--he got his start at Commander's under Paul Prudhomme, then moved on to become head chef at Gautreau's, before moving to the MS Gulf Coast in the 1990s to open his own place. His food was as amazing as he was.

When Kenny and I started dating in 1994, he worked for Armand, and everyone there became a second family to us. Once business started winding down on Friday and Saturday nights, that's where you'd find me--hanging at the bar with Armand while everyone else wrapped up service. It was right around that time that chefs became celebrities, and he absolutely hated that part. I would sit at the bar and stifle my laughter while watching people come up to fawn over him--to meet THE CHEF. He was terrible at that role--he just wanted to do what he loved. Most nights, I would be stationed behind the bar, tasked with getting him a fresh Heineken when his current one ran out. Just as often as not, he would defer customers to me and then be highly entertained while I tried to seriously pretend like I was addressing a complaint, even though I didn't work there. Once the last customer was gone, the party would start and we'd all stay there till way past when we should've gone to bed.

He was a mentor to Kenny, as well as a best friend. He played relationship counselor to us more than once and always did a damn good job of it. When my brother died, he was one of the few who sat and talked with me about it with love, when so may other people weren't able to do so because of the way he died.

He threw the best damn 4th of July parties on the coast, complete with semi-professional fireworks. If you went on July 4th, there was a good chance you'd get burned by falling cinders from those fireworks, but it was worth it.

Everyone who worked for him was family, including Unc, his 80-year-old maitre d'--Armand bought the house behind his for Unc, and they shared the big backyard.

He had phenomenal gardening skills and loved to take you out back to show you his latest crop of snap beans, eggplants, tomatoes, and peppers--always peppers--the hotter the better. He laughed till he cried the first time he got me to try a habanero.

He was one of the most knowledgeable people I've ever met--he'd happily spend hours talking to you about Hannibal or the fall of the Roman Empire. He loved playing with words on his menu; he had a Titanic salad (an iceberg wedge) and a Cassius salad (like a Caesar, but done in the back).

He drove 600 miles to surprise me and Kenny at our wedding.

He was a father, a husband, and a friend. He was our friend.

You will be missed, Armand. May the light perpetual shine upon you.


Cinemax Theory

"This election, you had two major Presidential providers. One offered you the Stronger Together plan, and the other offered you the Make America Great Again plan. You chose the Make America Great Again plan. The thing is, the Make America Great Again has in its package active, institutionalized racism (also active, institutionalized sexism. And as it happens, active, institutionalized homophobia). And you know it does, because the people who bundled up the Make America Great Again package not only told you it was there, they made it one of the plan’s big selling points. And you voted for it anyway."

Cinemax Theory


Thoughts for the Horrified

"But I’m not ready to accept that this is inevitable — because accepting it as inevitable would become a self-fulfilling prophecy. The road back to what America should be is going to be longer and harder than any of us expected, and we might not make it. But we have to try."

Thoughts for the Horrified



I'm done.

I'm done with everyone's racist, misogynistic, nationalistic, homophobic bullshit.

I honestly thought we were making progress--that we were maybe one or two more generations away from true progressivism, from caring about our fellow men and women, from wanting everyone to have dignity and quality of life.

I see now that I was naive. I see now that I was vastly wrong. We weren't. The haters and the racists and the misogynists and the homophobes were right there all along, marinating in their anger and resentment, lying in wait, to take their fucking country back to the goddamn dark ages.

My heart grieves for my daughter, who will now grow up in a vastly different world than the one I wanted for her. My heart grieves for my friends and for my fellow countrymen, whether they are "documented" or not, who are rightly terrified now because Trump singled them out as "other."

My heart grieves for all of us. Except for the fuckers who did this to us. I hope they reap what they sow. Maybe tomorrow I'll feel better--but today, I want to burn it all down.



During the fall of 2006, I started thinking about Christmas presents for family, as well as about wanting a picture for myself of my rapidly growing daughter, so I decided to see about getting a portrait of Emmeline taken.

I had a friend at work who was dating a photographer, so she put me in touch with him.  She told me that he had lost his studio and all of his prior work in Katrina (his studio was in Lakeview, so everything was gone), but that he was an amazing photographer.

I called him and we set up a time for him to take the portraits at a spot where he was using loaned space. He warned me that the building didn't have electricity yet, so we set up the appointment for early morning, when the natural light coming in through the floor to ceiling windows was at its best. He asked me to bring a blanket to drape on the floor, as the building had industrial carpeting.

I brought the blanket, he brought a backdrop. And it was the best damn pictures I've ever seen.

And it still amazes me that a year after Katrina, I went to a building with no electricity for a portrait session--and that seemed perfectly normal at the time.


Loving an Alcoholic

Loving an alcoholic is a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad thing.

Loving an alcoholic is living in secrecy--because when people ask you how he's doing, what can you really say? Anything but the truth. The truth is shameful to him. To you. The truth is a secret that no one really wants to hear.

Loving an alcoholic is grasping at straws. Deluding yourself. Willing it to be so, only to watch him fail, and fail, and fall again.

Loving an alcoholic is trying to clean up the aftermath left in its wake. The sickness. The anger. The horror.

Loving an alcoholic is shit. And piss. And vomit. On your floor. On your walls. On his pants.

Loving an alcoholic is listening to the same stories. Telling him the same stories. Because he doesn't remember.

Loving an alcoholic is learning to live with excuses, because you just don't have the strength to do anything else anymore.

Loving an alcoholic is violent tremors and bodily fluids. And wine. And scotch. And vodka.

Loving an alcoholic is watching him lose himself. Bit by bit. Piece by piece. Drink by drink.

Loving an alcoholic is learning to lose him. Bit by bit. Piece by piece. Drink by drink.

Loving an alcoholic is sorrow. And grief. And despair.

Hi, I'm Andy. And my father is an alcoholic.