Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Wait a Minute. What? on the fire at Ms. Mae's: "Fire officials say they had some resistance from bar patrons who were reluctant to evacuate because they were watching the Saints game."

Only in New Orleans.

Monday, September 24, 2007

2 Years Old

Sydney turns two today. I've written about her so much that to do so now seems almost redundant. She is miraculous, the chubbiest little spitfire you'll ever share a snack with. She has her father's brains and her mother's temperament, which will serve her well in life if her parents take care not to screw it all up. She loves Popeye's and any music with a funky beat. She loves baby dolls--and all those nature vs. nurture people can suck it, for the record, because nurture clearly has nothing to do with anything--and running really fast around the block. She talks, she counts, she sings, and she sleeps all through the night, every night. She is the most amazing thing I've ever searched for the words to describe.

The story of Sydney's birth is amazing in its own way, although she will undoubtedly grow to loathe the telling. And there has been much telling, and re-telling, in the last couple of years. I like to watch the expression on peoples' faces when they ask how old she is, as they do they the math, arriving at a date not long after the storm, when they finally ask ended up being born...and I tell the story about Houston, and Rita, and our ridiculous journey across 5 states to my mom's place in Orlando, where Sydney was finally born, a mere 24 hours after our arrival. I tend to omit one of the best parts of the story, which my friend Shayna loves to recall, the part where Cade and his company are forced to evacuate Ft. Lauderdale for Hurricane Wilma, when Sydney was--what?--barely a month old.

Still, in the middle of it all, there was indescribable beauty. Childbirth, for me, was the single most exhilarating experience of my life. The pain, the confusion, the exhaustion and the fear--all of this obscured by the emergence of this new life, this very vocal little person. They laid her on my chest and it was over, it was all over.

(I came across this charming piece of correspondence as I was cleaning out my inbox. Note the artificially cheerful tone.)

Sent: Thu, 22 Sep 2005 20:08:41 -0500
Subject: I Evacuated to Houston and All I Got Was This Lousy Hurricane

Hey everyone,

I'm in the lobby of a Holiday Inn in Alabama, mooching off their wireless access and trying not to go into labor. Cade and I left Houston yesterday, drove north to Marshall, TX (just west of Shreveport), then woke up early today and made it to just outside Montgomery. We've tried to take major roads and stay close to hospitals. I managed to get my medical records from the doc in Houston before evacuating, so we're set. We'll head to Orlando in the morning. We had to get there eventually anyway--just weren't planning on dong it this soon...

But we're okay. I'm just hoping this storm doesn't wreak as much havoc as Katrina did--hopefully folks will have learned some lessons, and perhaps the storm will weaken some before landfall. I don't wish any of this craziness on anyone else.

Hopefully the next mass email I send will include pictures of the new Roux!


Tuesday, September 18, 2007


I've been slacking a bit on the blogging end, which I could easily attribute to a busy schedule but should probably admit has at least something to do with a growing ambivalence about the whole endeavor. It occurred to me recently--after a debate on another blog with a person who later turned out to be someone I know, in real life--that any one of my clients could Google my name and track down not only this blog, but comments I've made on other blogs, thereby blowing my cover (that of a completely sane, exceedingly rational person, possessing profound wisdom and, as one client recently told me, "a quiet spirit"). This realization has given me pause, as it well should, and made me wonder once again if its truly possible to be a therapist and a real person. But that's for another day.

Truth be told, I have been busy. In the seven days since I last posted, I have seen 26 clients, consulted a podiatrist and scheduled a foot surgery, planned a birthday party, freaked out about my child turning 2, attended a baby shower, bit my nails through Rob Zombie's re-make of 'Halloween,' coordinated culinary provisions for the Open House at Abeona, helped Cade prepare for his going-away party and mourn the end of an 11-year stint with his company, cooked dinners, did laundry, fed the cat, yelled at the cat (he bites), and coached Sydney on the proper pronunciation of the word 'chalk' (She tends to drop the h and the l. Go ahead, say it. Now imagine a two-year-old walking around saying things like "Mommy pay wit cauk. Daddy like-a pay wit cauk.")

And last night Cade and I watched the series premiere of K-ville, the new cop drama set in present-day New Orleans. I thought it was pretty interesting. Over the top, yes, definitely melodramatic and narratively unrealistic (Drive-by shootings staged by real estate wannabes intent on sabotaging rebuilding efforts? An OPP escapee turned dedicated cop?), but interesting in the sense that it presented some true-to-life material. They certainly had the lingo down, and the accents weren't half-bad, unlike a certain other cop drama set in New Orleans. Bottom line: no Emmy nominations, but maybe something worth watching every now and then.

In my spare time.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007


6 years ago today, my sister had her tonsils out. They'd been a real problem for years, like two gumballs lodged on either side of her throat, and on that morning she went under the knife to correct the issue. My parents called from the waiting room of the hospital in Florida, early that morning, to let me know that Kate was resting comfortably and would be going into surgery shortly.

6 years ago this morning, I drove to Sav-a-Center for the very first time. I was stressed about a job interview I had that morning. On the way home, as I made a wrong turn onto Claiborne Ave from Napoleon, the DJ on WWOZ interrupted--yes, interrupted--the set to announce that a plan had just flown into the World Trade Center. "I don't normally do news stuff," he said, "but this is something really serious."

6 years ago today, I went on that job interview, terrified, horrified, and visibly shaking, and demonstrated uncharacteristic restraint when the woman conducting the interview--who would later become my boss--looked at me and asked "Is something wrong?" and I said something like, "Um, yeah, those buildings in New York just collapsed and all these people have died and are dying" and she looked at me kinda funny and said "Oh. Yeah. That."

6 years ago tonight, my roommate and I ate dinner at Mona's on Calhoun. We ate silently. The place was deserted.

Back at home I talked to my mother, who told me that my sister's surgery had gone off without a hitch, she was doing well. I clutched the phone and again, invoking that utterly uncharacteristic composure, just barely refrained from begging her to come (back) to New Orleans, to bring me home. The weekend before she had driven with me from Orlando to New Orleans, my old Toyota crammed with a lifetime of crap, across a few state lines to the city I had decided to love as my very own. We caught the remains of Decadence, ate a fine dinner at Venezia's, and when I dropped her off at the airport I remember feeling very strongly that this was it, this was where my childhood ended and my real adult life began. Maybe that sounds silly. But I was 25, and that's not that old these days, and when I saw my mother off at the airport that day I suddenly felt very afraid.

But not as afraid as I felt 6 years ago today.