Saturday, May 31, 2008

My Bachelor Mockingbird really needs a date!!

It is 2 am. I am not asleep, I am instead listening to the cheep cheep whirrr chirrup chirrup of a mockingbird. During daylight this sounds is mystical, virtuosic and maybe even fascinating. But at 2am I feel filled with a desire to ring the neck of the little warbling bastard.

Resisting the urge to do just that, coupled with my eternal disdain for climbing trees - day or night - I resorted to google to try to find out why this little bugger is torturing me so. Google turned up trumps. I found this article explaining that my night visitor is a lonely pitiful bachelor trying with all his might (and lungs) to lure a female mockingbird to share his empty nest. I feel sad for the little fella. Yet I am wondering where the hell are all the female mockingbirds in this town? If I can't sleep through all this racket how the hell can they AND they actually have the power to shut the wee bastard up and let the rest of the world get some sleep.

Not that I wish any harm to come to him ... but where the hell are all the stray feral cats when you need them. I'd quite happily pay one to climb that feathered menace's tree right now!!!

chir chirrup cheep squeal .... can't even decide on a tune ... sheesh ... is there no end to his mockery

Tuesday, May 06, 2008


Looking at the pics below made me think of talking to my Mum on the phone. In Britain and particularly in Scotland, there is a general preoccupation, some would say obsession, with talking about the weather. It is normal, almost expected, that somewhere in a conversation the question shall be asked 'So, what's the weather like with you today?'.

When my Mum asks me this on the phone I normally chuckle and give my rote answer - "Oh, same as yesterday, warm (or hot) and sunny". Don't get me wrong, sometimes New Orleans can have stunningly dramatic rainstorms that flood the streets, or thunder storms loud enough to wake you in the middle of the night with your heart in your mouth (and we all know about the "H" word), but generally the weather is hot & sunny.

When the weather is generally the same (and generally nice), no one really becomes obsessed with a daily discussion on the weather. But in Scotland when horizontal freezing rain can greet you outside the door for a week its no surprise that it should become a daily topic.

Oh, its warm & sunny today [again] by the way!!

Monday, May 05, 2008

N'awlins Hoosies Uptown

This blog has become rather negative of late and I don't like that. New Orleans is a very challenging place to live but it still has so many wonderful unique and startling things to be grateful for. The hoosies are a good place to start.
My favourite row of hoosies (above) .... they are so cute.

I like how this hoose appears to be growing out of the swamp ....
There is a huge variety of style of N'awlins hoosies.

The gingerbread details is gorgeous.

This one may very well be my absolute favourite.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

War Zone

I am amazed. I live in a town where a residential street in a "good" part of town, can be a scene in a war zone with bullets flying up the street and then it is not reported the next morning!!!!! I must live in a war zone for this kind of thing not to be in the news the next day!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008


OK, I'm still shaking. I was just going to sleep when I heard approximately 20 gunshots outside on the street!!! Yes, that's right OUTSIDE my house!!!!!! Shaking, I immediately called 911 and told the police.

My neighbors all cautiously came out onto the street to find out what was going on. One person witnessed it and said they saw two cars shooting at each other. The witness had just got home with his girlfriend and they had to hide for cover behind their SUV. The police are now there and are identifying gun casings outside on my street!!! I'd never seen a gun casing until tonight!!

I know there is too much crime in this city. I know there is no "safe area" of town. I now REALLY know it can happen anywhere, including my front porch.

I love New Orleans but with both our cars being hit by a drunk driver, two car accidents (neither my fault) in which I've been hurt and its affected my career this year, and now THIS ... I'm not sure if I can be here anymore. And I say this having lived in the ghetto in Cincinnati (opposite a crack house for a year!!). We could so easily have been walking home from the bar.

A small house in the Scottish Highlands sounds like heaven right now.

Friday, April 11, 2008

RIP Ashley

I am so sad to hear of Ashley Morris's death. Ashley was one of the most colorful characters in the NOLA blogosphere and he will be sorely missed. His blog was one of my most frequent stops and I can't believe I won't be reading more of his witticisms. He was one of the larger than life New Orleans characters and this city was the richer for his presence.

I am so sad for his wife and children. I know from personal experience how hard their road is. There is a fund set up to help his family.

I am sorry I didn't get online and see the posting regarding his funeral. It is taking place as I write this. He is to have a jazz funeral procession at St Louis cemetery #3. I know that is exactly what Ashley would want.

I am so sad. I will miss you Ashley.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

I had a nagging feeling

I log on to the Times-Picayune website nearly every day top read local news. I have even been known to buy a copy at my local coffee shop and peruse the articles. I have never really got a grip on this paper. I know too little, I am ashamed to admit, of local politics to fully get a handle on the quality of reporting from the paper. I did not know how much I should believe of the stories of pumps being fixed, flooding levels etc. But it all seems very rosy ... perhaps too rosy.

The kicker came today. And not from the Times-Picayune. But from this article in the Guardian. It describes the demolishing of the public housing in New Orleans and the political machinations going on behind it. I have always felt uneasy about the demolitions and the claims that these housing projects would be replaced with mixed income housing (that would take a LOT of mixed income housing projects to equal all of those low income units). My uneasy-ness was not reassured by the Times-Picayune articles and even with my poor local political knowledge I sensed that the paper had a bias towards the demolition of the housing projects. Where was the investigative journalism? I sensed that many stones had been left unturned.

I am ashamed that it took an article from a British newspaper to confirm my suspicions. The Times-Picayune cannot be trusted to do the investigative journalism that the people of this city deserve and need. I was extremely pleased to read in this article that it is the NOLA bloggers that fulfill this vital need. This article quotes Dangerblonde!! Yet again survival and information are left to the people of this city to do for themselves. The professionals are incompetent, inadequate and ineffective. It really is pathetic. There are two levels to how things run in this city. One is the official level where very little gets done mixed up in mediocrity, cronyism and bureaucratic bungling. The other level is grass roots where amazing projects sprout and people with passion get things done.

This situation in this city is infuriating. Whilst the grass roots people are inspiring and I am amazed by all they accomplish, it is wrong that it should be this way. Try going to get anything official done in this town. Sure they'll be nice and call you 'baby' or 'sugar' but you'll be led on a merry dance of incompetence.

So it is not surprising that the local paper is infected with the same culture. I hope that more journalists from elsewhere come to help give us a true perspective on what is going on here. I shudder to think what the end result of demolishing these projects is going to be. I find myself in agreement with Ethan Brown in the Guardian:
"The mix of crony capitalism, tasered protesters and a complacent corporate media is sheer Shock Doctrine. " and "For New Orleanians suffering from woes ranging from a sky-high murder rate to a bulldozed public and private housing, it seems, unfortunately, that the post-Katrina tale of hardship and struggle has only just begun."