Yet Another Illustration

August 27, 2009

Yet another illustration of the difference between guys and chicks.

My brother is having a son. He called me to tell me. The phone call lasted all of 38 seconds.

My sister-in-law told me that she was surprised I didn’t comment on his facebook announcement he made. And then said she doesn’t understand us two.

I began to explain that we don’t talk to each other about meaningful things because we’re brothers, and we know exactly how we view the meaningful thing.

I know he’s excited. He knows I’m excited. I know he knows I’m excited and vice versa. A male version of the conversation goes like this:

Guy #1: I’m having a son!
Guy #2: Awesome. Name him after me!
Guy #1: No, your name is stupid.
Guy #2: You should teach him to throw left-handed.
Guy #1: I know. He’ll have a job even if he sucks. Can you believe the Sox traded for Billy Wagner?

Same Conversation by Girls
Chick #1: I’m having a baby! Isn’t it exciting!
Chick #2: Oh my God! I’m soooo excited!
Chick #1: Aren’t you happy for me?
Chick #2: I’m so happy for you! You’re going to be a great mom!
Chick #1: Why wouldn’t I be a great mom?
Chick #2: What? I said you’d be a great mom!
Chick #1: Of course I’d be a great mom, why wouldn’t I be?
Chick #2: Well, that one time when you… (fight ensues. Girls no longer friends.)

Where You From?

August 20, 2009

Had a conversation with Richie the other day about where people say they are from, compared to where they are actually from. Richie says “I’m not from New Orleans, I’m from St. Bernard.” Because he lives so close to where he’s from, he’s right. For me, I don’t bother being accurate.

Since moving to New Orleans, I’ll mention that I’m unaccustomed to something Southern. And the response will be “Oh, where are you from?”

I just say “New York” because most people down here don’t realize there’s a difference between New York City and the rest of the state. Or they think “Upstate” means the non-Long Island suburbs.

Usually that ends the conversation. But sometimes, they say “oh, where in New York?” And I have to say “Upstate” to end the conversation.

If the person I’m talking to is from up north, they I’ll actually say I’m from “Rochester” (which still is really generalizing).

So naturally on Wednesday, some lady at a restaurant next to me starts talking to me and the where you from conversation ensues.

Each time, there’s a follow up: New York. Upstate. Rochester. Turns out, she’s from Rochester and I have to go all the way to the final answer of West Henrietta.

She lived on Park Ave until 1989. Small world.

Understanding The NOLA Hurricane Season

August 17, 2009

Since my friend shared an enlightening post to help her friends understand Hurricane Season, I thought I’d chime in on the subject.

Hurricane’s happen all the time. But we’re a little different in New Orleans for a variety of reasons. It makes it more dangerous to be here during a Hurricane than anywhere else. But no one possibly could have predicted that. (oh wait. Well, ok. So scientists knew, but not back in like 1878. Oh wait again).

Based on my massive experience of hurricanes here (in three years), here’s how the hurricane season goes down.

Phase One: Blissful Ignorance

DefCon 5. Situation normal. TV tells us they’ll keep us informed this Hurricane season. If you go to the NWC Hurricane page, it’s got a couple red blobs, but nothing with a name.

Phase Two: Awareness

Our current phase. Now we have names, but don’t really care/know them yet. You take a quick gander at the map and projected cone and say one of two things:

A: “Ah, that’s going up the East Coast, we’re fine” (like, Bill*) and return to Blissful Ignorance. -OR-

B: “That could come at us…but we’ll worry about it when it gets to the Gulf.” (like, Ana*)

(*-Since we’re in phase two, I had to look those up)

Phase Three: There’s Some Shit Brewing In The Gulf

Self-explanatory. This is when you check out the NWC website in the morning and see which of these three reactions you should be having.

A: “Ah, that’s going up Florida, we’re fine” (Return to Blissful Ignorance) -OR-

B: “Ah, that’ll keep going to Texas.” (Wear a raincoat, as the return to Blissful Ignorance will be damp) -OR-

C: “_______ is coming right for us. How bad is it?”

Phase Four: Where Everybody Knows Your Name.

Things get kind of eerie around this time. The key difference between Phase Four and the previous phases is the name aspect. It’s no longer a thing, it’s a person. You’re shopping and you hear people whispering about him/her. TV commercial breaks begin/end with “Tracking _____ on NewsCenter 7” or “The latest on ______, tonight at 10”

If someone from another planet visited last year at this time, they would think were a primitive village who lives in fear of an angry tyrannical king/god named Gustav.

Practically speaking, you monitor any changes to projected path (there’s still like a 300-mile window in which the thing will move) to determine how much you should panic.

In the past, this is when Categories come into play. In our post-Katrina world, this season could be an interesting test case. As a New Yorker, having watched with baited breath and fingers crossed praying that the Industrial Canal levee would hold as water topped over it, I am still in “GTFO” mode. I don’t plan on sticking around to see the difference between a Category One and Category Four. I’ve see a Three/Four (safely from Birmingham, because I GTFO’d), and I’ve seen what a 4/5 did. In the past, people stayed for 1-3. We’ll see if we return to that.

The other part of Phase Four that makes the title apt is that with that eeriness, comes a general communal sense. The personification of the storm means the storm acts as a mutual friend which severs the separation of strangers in the city. You talk to people you don’t know as if they were acquaintances of yours solely because you both know Gustav is up to something. People you don’t know ask if you’re going to evacuate or not, where you’re going to spend the next few days, do you live in a flood area, etc. Conversations end with “Be safe” or “God Bless you.” It’s a lot like Disneyland.

Well, if everyone was expecting Godzilla to come stomp on Disneyland in two days. (Which is why I think Hurricanes should be named after Monsters/Horror Movie Characters). Some people plan on staying and fighting. Others are obligated to. Some are going to flee. Others take the opportunity to go hog-wild in Disneyland unattended by looting/pillaging/debaucherizing.

It’s very surreal and unique.

Phase Five: GTFO’ing / Leaving Before ContraFlow

For reasons I have not adequately been able to determine, the worst part about the Hurricane isn’t the wind, rain, flying objects, flooding, looting or societal breakdown. It’s ContraFlow.

No, ContraFlow is not the cool weapon where you can fire three-ways when playing Contra

No, ContraFlow is not the cool weapon where you can fire three-ways when playing Contra

ContraFlow is when all the streets of New Orleans immediately turn from normal roads into one-way avenues away from city center. In theory it is a genius idea to help people get out of the city: Instead of two/three lanes on I-10 going out from NOLA, we have four/six. And yet, somehow, doubling the amount of roads out of the city does not lead to a faster evacuation. It leads to DEATH.

From what I can ascertain, the problem with hurricanes is that with the limited amount of roads out of town, everyone tries to leave at once at the last possible minute. That leads to everyone in the city congregating bumper-to-bumper, getting in accidents and running out of gas on narrow interstates over swamps/lakes. Which would be really convenient for our angry, vengeful tyrant king/god to come along and destroy us.

Because getting caught in ContraFlow is a death sentence, half the city tries to leave before ContraFlow. Which basically just extends the gridlock by a day and a half, as they are all trying to leave at once with only half the lanes of ContraFlow.

The whole thing turns into that scene from Swingers in which they discuss when to call a woman after you get her number. Industry Standard is two days (ContraFlow), but everyone knows that, so you have to wait at least three days (pre-ContraFlow). And now that everyone knows that, and are all on a three-day time, it’s really best to go four days. But that’s kinda really crowded now, too. So, long story short: Six days.

I’d think that eventually everyone is leaving 2-4 days before ContraFlow, no one would actually be leaving once ContraFlow starts, and you could be the only person with six lanes to yourself, flying out of dodge at the last second. But that doesn’t work either, because there’s always people who are very stupid and stubborn.

You probably COULD time it just right, where you left a few hours before ContraFlow, and got to the opening of ContraFlow at the exact moment they opened the other lanes. If you’re first, you’re golden. But the odds of that happening are slim. And you can’t really risk miss-timing it.

Phase Six: Watch on TV from a safe destination and hope your possessions survive.

Lather, rinse, repeat.

Taking it Back!

August 15, 2009

I think I might grow a Hitler ‘stache. There’s no reason why facial hair needs to be associated with anti-Semitism. We need to take that back. Maybe I’m not the guy to do it. Someone who stands for all the things Hitler didn’t should take it back. Maybe a concentrated effort of humanitarians all rocking the Hitler stache would make it just another moustache style and not “the Hitler Stache” anymore.

So here’s my list of people who need to bust out the Hitler Stache to reclaim it from the Third Reich:

President Obama (He’s extremely popular and would get the liberals off our back)
Bono (A modern humanitarian who’s universally respected. Plus a new album coming out)
Tracey Morgan (another person who no one really hates)
Jerry Seinfeld (Everyone’s favorite Jew. If he does it, it will be okay!)

If I can get the five of us to all do the Hitler Stache, we can take it back.

Smells Like LSU

August 12, 2009

So, LSU (along with North Carolina and Penn State) are putting out colognes.



No, really. They have a signature fragrance.

According to the Product Description: fresh splash of Frozen Basil, Calabrian Bergamot and Armoise. Transcend your spirit as Provencal Lavender, Crushed Sage, Violet Leaf and Clove Bud Madagascar blend for a cool, purple sensory experience. Take a deep breath and relax while Incense, Indonesian Vetiver, Patchouli and Oakmoss encourage you to soak in the warmth of the amber sun.

Wow, that paragraph reads like J.Peterman’s finest.

How do you transcend your spirit anyway? How can you go to a higher plane than your spirit? The word transcend means “to triumph over the negative or restrictive aspects of.”  So, LSU fans are trying to triumph over their very existence? Um, yeah… me too.

Well, I’m not surprised their description makes no sense, seeing as how they abbreviate LSU because their applicant pool can’t spell Louisiana State University.

So let me help them out with a more accurate description: Cover your stank with a powerful aroma to that will last for several minutes in the sweaty, oppressive, Louisiana humidity. The cool swamp water, mixed with Crystal hot sauce, box salt, crawfish boil brine and PBR create a pleasureful toxic gumbo that will have you smelling as fresh as Mike The Tiger’s cage!


August 8, 2009

Well, it took three years, but I finally went to an Emril restaurant in New Orleans.

Like most trendy, fine dining options, I expected it to be over-priced and under-whelming. Any place that cares about the presentation of food usually is. I don’t need presentation. I need good eats. I don’t care what it looks like. Some of my all-time favorite dining options look like a plate of garbage. Actually, it’s named after a plate of garbage.

The fact that they kept refilling our water glasses from seven dollar bottles of Evian water confirmed the over-priced.

As a non-seafood eater in New Orleans, my options are usually limited. So I was pleased to find this on the dinner entree menu:

Grilled Rib Eye with German Style Fingerling Potato Salad, Applewood Smoked Bacon, Coarse Grain Mustard Cream and Roasted Leeks.

The presentation was good. So I expected to be under-whelmed. But let me tell you, this was freaking delicious. The potato salad was simply sliced fingerling potatoes with the mustard cream and bacon flavor. Freaking delicious. I’m going to try and replicate it.

I also discovered that the Abita Brewery has more than just their 17 styles of beer. They also have a root beer, which replaced IBC as my new favorite root beer.

Naturally, it took a visit from my brother, niece, sister in law and her family to get me to do something touristy. But hey, another item of things to do in New Orleans has been crossed off my list.  That’s approximately four down, 97 to go.

F*** This Website

August 5, 2009

Oh my God. I think the internet is now finished. This guy wins.

The premise is genius. He takes labels, stickers, etc, with the F-bomb on them, and puts them on signs to change the meaning of the sign. Then he posts the pictures on his site.

Pure comedic brilliance.

Oh, how I laughed.

Monkey Business

August 1, 2009

I have a stuffed Curious George that is most likely older than the people reading this. My parents gave “him” to me on my first birthday, and he’s always been around. Usually, he resides on my bed, lost among pillows and blankets. I keep him around not because it’s a security blanket thing, or because I curl up with him or anything ridiculous like that. It’s just that’s where he’s always resided (save a semester of college when he didn’t get packed). He doesn’t make road trips and I sleep just fine if I’m away. If he was missing, I’d be able to sleep just fine, Ironically, when I sleep, I usually have my arm around a pillow if I’m on my side.

The other day, I was flipping channels late at night, and came across a movie that’s been around a while and not really one I usually find re-watchable. But there was nothing else on.

I was re-arranging the bed for sleep, and as I’m grabbing George and tossing him into the corner, in the movie Outbreak Dustin Hoffman is going on a news broadcast in California, showing a picture of the host monkey responsible for the entire town of dying of a virus.

At which point I turned to George and said “It’s not your fault.”

I thought it was funny. I thought I’d share.