Thursday, March 31, 2005

Turning Thursday

Easter break for our district has ended and school started again today. Something for which I am very grateful. It can be tricky enough working with one child at home all day, add two to the mix, I'm toast! We did have a lot of fun and, I got a glimpse of how full my hands will be this coming summer. I'm going to have to be very creative to say the least!

The only real thing that I was able to accomplish in the past few days during dedicated work time was the set up and opening of a new store at Cafe Press. I've moved my digital photographs there for use on prints, posters, cards, t-shirts and such. I'll use some of my profits to spruce up HSC such as hosting the blog myself and using pay software like MT. I'm still trying to find the time to look into it all.

Blogger (free or not), however, is quickly trying my patience. Too slow, too many lost posts; but I like their (for the most part) global usability. I'm trying my best to support such a platform and will stick around a little longer to see if some of the bugs are worked out before making a switch.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Signs Of Inspiration



I have an affinity for signage such as this hand-painted, who knows how old, "Little Debbie" sign found at Girod Street on the corner of South Peters. It is painted on a garage door around the corner from Economy Iron Works. A little worse for the wear but still a beaut!

Saturday, March 26, 2005

Easter: Marigny Style

While on the way to pick up my mom, we spotted a festive group in lovely Easter costumes celebrating at Mimi's Bar. This colorful reveler spotted me taking photos and, after graciously posing brought a handful of candy to the kiddos. Only here!

Strawberries & Bunny Time!

What can be better than starting the day with a bunch of fresh Louisiana strawberries sliced over cereal? (We caught a really good deal on them yesterday at the big evil box store that everyone likes to pretend they don't shop at.) This year's crop looks good, not too big but meaty, dark and sweet. If parking is decent, I want to stop by the french Market today and pick up a flat of them. I'll freeze some to use later for strawberry shortcake and enough to make a strawberry pie. A good way to welcome the kool-aid and sandal days that are soon to arrive.

This is Easter weekend and, while we are more heathen than church going, we are from here, after all. Any excuse for dressing up the little ones all clean and crisp then feasting on tasty delights with our family is always more than welcome. My honey and I have become delegated as the special meal cooks over the past few years. Not only do we enjoy the chance to make a deciadent spread together it is also a great way to pay back our mammas who both shouldered the duty for so many years. I only hope we do at least a fraction of justice to their past efforts. I'll be doing the sides and he the ham. My mamma and his are both in charge of dessert. Mine will do cuppa-cuppa and his will make flan. If I have time I'll post our menu with recipes tommorow.

The CCC was run today so we'll hang a home for a bit longer until traffic from the race dies down some. If I time it right, the little ones will nod off while we run our errands. That way they'll be nicely rested for their nana who will be in charge this evening while we're out. We haven't had a date together in a couple of weeks and are looking forward to some good old fashioned adult time. A little sushi then some jazz and drinks should make for a very fine night.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Pretty Pink Azaleas


IMG_2001
Originally uploaded by Harmony St.Charles.

The meaning of Spring could not be better defined by a day nicer than this one. Outside the air so fresh with everything looking lush and in bloom. My youngest and I snapped
this pic together while on our walk.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

New Orleans Pianist Gets Creative In Baghdad

I was reading the WWOZ.org message boards this morning and came accross a very interesting post that I want to share here:

New Orlean Comoser in Iraq [sic]

Hi,

My name is William A. Thompson IV. I am a jazz pianist and composer from New Orleans, La. But much has changed for me. I have generated a project that might be of interest. In April of 2004 I was activated in the La National Guard to serve one Year in Iraq as a Counter Intelligence Agent. I’ve been in Baghdad since October of 2004. I was at first horrified by the notion of this deployment and the seemingly, end of my music career. However, I have come to view this deployment as a unique musical odyssey. Since my deployment I have put together a sizable portfolio of compositions, which I’ve recorded with various software and my fully weighted, 88 keys, keyboard. I mainly use Logic 7, Reason, and an I pod for sampling. The music is unique considering that I have included samples, which I have recorded here in Baghdad. These samples include Iraqi dialogue concerning political issues and all else. I have transcribe
d the pitches of such samples and composed music based on their contents. There are many other “war samples” to be found in my music. To find an audience from this combat theater, I have created an online musical journal at my web site, www.wativ.com. The overall goal of this project has been to document the perspective of one soldier’s experience, through music. It just so happens that this soldier is a professional musician and composer. As far as I know, what I am doing has never happened before. What other composer can say that he or she is producing music about the war in Iraq while in that very environment. My site allows listeners to view and hear what I’ve created here. One article has already been published on me in a local N.O. publication called The Gambit Weekly. It can be found in the archives section of their web site if you’d like to check it out. Yes, I am a jazz musician. However, the music I’m producing now is in no way bop. With the incorporation of my interest in classical music, “war samples”, and the electronic element; this music is indeed hard to classify. To get the full experience as to my project, you must visit my site at www.wativ.com, where you can hear my music and read in greater detail.

Peace from Baghdad, Will.

Posted by William A. Thompson IV on March 19, 2005
12:42 pm New Orleans Time (CST)

WWOZ New Orleans and Louisiana Music Message Board

A Wild Night

Looks like this Mandeville resident forgot to cease fire long enough to pass the local police station. Yee Haw.....

"Alleged Criminal Comes To Cops"
COX.net for New Orleans - Local

Sunday, March 20, 2005

I Caught The Sun Peeking

To have started out so wet and stormy, the day seems to have turned out pleasant enough. We shared a fine lunch on the veranda of my honey's mamma's house consisting of frozen pizza and coleslaw made from the St. Pats parade cabbage that we caught last weekend. Proving that the quality of a good meal coincides with the quality of the company gathered around the table.

Watching the kiddos running around in the full sun made us all agree that a growth spurt is on and that I'm sure to have my hands full this summer. Their brains are like little sponges right now and they want to know how everything works. I just might get my money's worth this year out of our family membership to the Zoo and Aquarium in order to keep them from turning couch potato on me.

You really have to get creative as a parent with kids home during summertime in New Orleans. It gets unbearably hot during the main part of the day and the yourger your kids the trickier planning activities can be. I think the key is just getting out early in the day and knowing where a snowball stand is within any ten mile radius. That and a good supply of cold wet wipes!

Friday, March 18, 2005

Fun For Friday

I'm a self confident kind of geek so, I have no problem admitting that I'm a shameless trivia searcher. Especially when it comes to movies or book passages.

This morning while doing my daily round of blog reading I stopped at Ernie The Attorney and found a great Friday trivia question. It's a passage from a contemporary novel.

(Surely, I'm way late on the ball but, I emailed him what I thought it was anyhow just for fun.)

It looks like a good book too! I think I'll add it to this weekend's shopping list.

Ernie The Attorney: Friday's Literary Trivia Question

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Happy Green!

Celebrate the fine art of being drunk before nightfall starting today at noon with all the fun at Parasol's annual St. Pats party. Or like me, stay inside with a nice hot Irish Coffee and watch all the fun via webcam.

Don't forget to wear green or the faeries will pinch your nose!

NOLA.com: St. Patrick's Day: ""

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Ducking The Ides

Well, it looks as if we've done better than Ceasar and made it through the lamb phase of March. Now if only today's cold and grey conditions would just move on and, allow us some sunshine before the weekend's onset.

A day like this is almost good for nothing more than stayng inside and drinking hot liquids. Whether it be coffee, tea or toddies. If however, getting out is a must and, work's not the reason; shopping for used books or music is always a good diversion from the drearyness. Later, huddling with your new treasures in a favorite coffee shop or bar before making the slick journey home.

Owning and knowing how to use a crock-pot can really come in handy at times like this. There's nothing like coming back to something warm and all ready to eat on such a cold and damp Wednesday.

Monday, March 14, 2005

A Bean On Every Plate

Back in the day before my priorities changed, Mondays meant cheap beer and a plate of free redbeans & rice from Igor's Bar on St. Charles Avenue. It has been about eight years for me and I'm not even sure if the tradition continues. I remember though that you had to get there early and buy your drink for a place in line. I believe serving time was around 7 p.m. and the beans always ran out fast.

Saturday, March 12, 2005

Shamrocks & Snowballs

We're headed to a party this afternoon on Magazine Street to watch the Irish Channel St. Patrick's Day Parade. If the weather stays this nice it should be a fun day. I will chase beads with the kids and take pictures of the floats going by. Afterwards we can take a relaxing ride while the kids nap a bit.

Maybe I'll even break down and give into my yearning for a snowball. Usually, I hold out until April but, I passed by Tee Eva's yesterday and had a near-religous experience just thinking about super sweet watermelon flavored syrup poured generously over a tall mound of shaved ice. Those yummy concoctions served up by Ms. Tee Eva are what helped me survive being eight months pregnant in May, twice! My honey would pull the Jeep over and I'd waddle up to the little serving window with my belly a foot ahead of me. I don't think I would've made it through without snowballs.

Going to Ms. Tee Eva's is a New Orleans staple. While there are a lot of great snowball stands around town (many of which I frequent depending on what part of town I'm in when the urge for a "cold one" strikes), there's just something extra about walking up to the little brightly painted building. You can't miss the place, it is painted sunshine yellow with animated smiling faces on the outside eyeing frosty snowballs. The sweet smell of pralines mixed with the smell of spilled syrup greet you as you walk up to the tiny service window. The t.v. is usually playing the "stories" in the background. Service is dedicated but requires patience. While you wait the awning provides no useful protection from the sun that beats down upon the sidewalk and back up the soles of your shoes. The reward comes in the form of a large mound of ice doused in the flavor of your choice. By the time the first bite has slid down your throat and you feel the tingly buzz from the sugar all thoughts of discomfort fade. It's an inexpensive solution to surviving the sauna months.

FYI: Ms Tee Eva is also the sister in law of none other than the late, great, "Emporer of The World": Ernie K Doe.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

What Are You Watching?

Timecode NOLA is a show featuring local independent film makers and their work along with news about what is going on in the New Orleans/Gulf South film industry. It airs three times a week on Cox channel 10. Mondays at 10:30 p.m, Thursdays at 7:00 and Sundays at 7:30. What's really cool is, if you visit their site you'll find a downloadable copy of the most recent episode.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

What's For Dinner?

I worked up quite an appetite with all that I did today and, by dinner time found myself with the fierce desire for some pulled pork BBQ for dinner. We stopped at our first choice, The Joint which is on Poland Ave. by Dauphine Street. I found out that they are only open Thursday through Monday. It was dissapointing to see them closed since I've heard some really good things about the place. We''ll try again another time taking better note of their hours. This time however we opted for VooDoo BBQ on St. Charles Ave. instead.

Their style of BBQ is not the wet shreds of pork in sauce kind (which is good) but, the dry seasoned Memphis style with the sauce given on the side as more of a condiment. The menu has BBQ chicken available by the whole or half portion, pulled pork sandwhiches and plates, beef brisket and ribs. Inside is clean and decorated with cheerful folk art, tables in the front and, a nice bar area in the back. Service was quick and friendly. Prices may be on the high end for this type of fare but, portions and the quality of food stand up to the cost.

We ordered a feast to go that included a whole chicken and a pulled pork plate with, "rattlesnake" beans, corn pudding and cloeslaw for sides. Everything was great except for the coleslaw. It had rosemary in it which clashed with the intended flavor. The meat was super tender and well seasoned. I especially enjoyed the Crystal's Mango hot sauce that comes on the side. It is spicy but sweet, tangy and, addictive! What a nice induldgent end to a long hard day.

Monday, March 07, 2005

Cleaning For Spring

The weather is changing fast and the time for spring cleaning has come. Windows must be thrown open while the dust of another southern winter is ushered out. Cotton replaces flannel on the beds and summer quilts begin to make their first apppearances. It is the season to make everything fresh in preperation for the hot lazy days ahead.

I like to get as much done now as possible before Jazz Fest comes and brings higher temperatures along. Once it gets hot and the oven goes into hibernation I don't want to scrub or dust a darn thing. I will spend between now and mid April pulling everything out and giving it the once over. Scrubbing away the ghosts of holiday dinners, head colds, school days and, carnival parades. Then I'll have room for the sundresses, birthday parties and, tadpoles soon to come.

With a big pot of Redbeans & Rice on the stove I'll grab another au' lait, my Crest - O - Mint cleaner and get to battling the dirt demons!

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Pizza, Puppies, and Ice Cream

As good as traditional intentions may be, sometimes it is neccessary to change course in mid sail. Such as day like today when the children have been awake before dawn and they are just too wiggly in their skins to wait through a leisurely brunch. Bitten by the sprintime bug they simmer with energy and the need to get out in the fresh air and grow.

So, what is a mamma to do? Today, we'll stray of the normal path and go to the Riverbend area for ice cream cones. Then, we will eat our treats at the Audubon Park Riverview or the "Fly" as it is locally known. We'll grab a bench and watch the boats go by.

Afterwards, we can stop by "Dog Day Afternoon" at Audubon park. The kids can wind themselves down enough to take a nap in the car while we take an afternoon drive. That should prep them nicely for taking a pizza from New York Pizza over to their grandmother's for dinner. A tasty end to a fun family style New Orleans Sunday.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Soggy Sunshine

The sound of rain drops falling hard on the roof woke me this morning instead of my alarm clock. It was so grey outside that it seemed the sun was as reluctant to come out from behind the clouds as I was to emerge from under my blankets. Once my feet did hit the ground, however, I didn't stop moving for the rest of the day. It wasn't until almost three o' clock that I took a break. I was delighted to see that the sky had dried up and it was now warm outside. The perfect conditions for a nice ride though town.

I had a hankering for an iced late' so we stopped by CC's on Jefferson Ave. first for a round of drinks. The place was filled with students taking advantage of the free wi-fi. The whole street for that matter was positively buslting; shoppers were in and out of stores and outside tables were filled with al fresco diners. It looks as if the recent developments and rennovations to Magazine Street are making a good impact so far.

By the time we reached Poydras Street both of the kids were in nap land so we took the chance to drive through the French Quarter and on into the Bywater area for a spell. Decatur Street was lively with tourists, workers, hucksters, tap dancers and mule drawn carriages. Everyone was taking full advantage at this surprise peek of Spring.

The residents of Bywater were also out enjoying the climate change - sitting on stoop or porch while trading converstion back and forth. Others sat quietly reading in the fresh air while children played ball in the street. Their pre-summer faces contrasting with wrinkled school uniforms. I envy their anticipation and remember to myself fondly what it once was to think of Summer as vacation instead of just three hot months to bear until fall. I hope they know how short those days are and that they savor each one.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

This Walk Is For The Dogs

The LSCPA will be having a 2 mile fun walk in Audubon Park to raise funds for those who are furry and in need. There will be live music, contests, raffles, freebies and auctions. Walking is not required to join in the festivities but, free tee shirts are being given out with each registration. While supplies last, of course.


Dog Day Afternoon

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Still The New Orleans Saints.... For Now

It looks like the powers that be are still willing to talk a little longer about whether or not we'll be able to keep our professional football team here. It would be a real shame to see the Saints leave our city. To someone from here who is a fan, that would be like having an oyster po-boy without the oysters. So, please ya'll, work it out!


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