Wednesday, February 27, 2008
Monday, February 25, 2008
Saturday, February 23, 2008
•The game got off to a late start due to the celebration that included fireworks and Grammy winner Irma Thomas belting out the national anthem. The atmosphere at Turchin is nothing short of electric tonight. Once Shooter Hunt's first pitch crossed the mound, though, Tulane never looked back. Sure, fireworks are pretty, but so is a nasty curveball, right?
•Tulane looked a little jumpy early--but Shooter seemed to really get his bearing by the third inning.
•It's difficult to reconcile this Illinois-Chicago team with the team that upset Long Beach State in the 2007 Long Beach regional. To be fair, they have seven new position players and two new starting pitchers, but their veterans were even more concerning. Junior first baseman Brett Schaefer and junior catcher Kevin Coddington looked terrible for the first few innings. The fielding was horrendous for the Flames, and they had the errors to show it. It's only the first inning at this point, and Tulane is already out to a 4-0 lead. This is NOT the best start for UIC.
•Before I knew that Shooter Hunt's nickname comes from the eponymous "Hoosiers" character, I mused that either he was the most aptly named pitcher since FSU's Eddie Cannon...or his parents were really taken with "Happy Gilmore"'s Shooter McGavin. Fortunately, I was absolutely wrong on both counts.
•So, about the stadium...some might argue that the pretty chairbacks are the big draw. Others might argue that the fact that a seller walks around hawking beer is a sign of greatness. (I can't really argue that, as I'm still impressed that a college stadium sells beer.) Purists would no doubt point to the gorgeous turf or the crystal-clear, state-of-the-art scoreboard. Let's not take away from the nifty cupholders. As any Saints or Hornets fan will sagely note, it's unwise to take a quality cupholder at a sporting event for granted. I'm just sayin'.
•Seriously, though, the stadium is absolutely beautiful. Of course, it has the figurative "new car smell," but it's a wonderful addition to the Green Wave's baseball program. One thing of concern to me was that the grandstands only seemed about 85% full, while the bleachers were very full. To be honest, I expected a sellout. Here in the second inning, I'm wondering--are the amped-up ticket prices partially responsible? I hear that roughly 3,000 season tickets have sold, but as a NOLA.com commenter remarked earlier today, the single-game grandstand tickets are pricier than what you'll find at Zephyrs Field. Bearing that in mind, Tulane is dominating the error-prone Flames. While errors are common during the opening weekend every year--for every team--this just makes me wince.
•Hmmm...great musical choices so far. What's not to love about Guns n' Roses and the Rolling Stones? When I was in college, batters and pitchers had intro music. I guess I'm getting old, because that tradition seems to be nonexistent at Greer Field. Another curious thing: LSU put out a press release announcing their slate of 2008 bat girls. What's funny is that they apparently hold tryouts, and the competition seems almost Golden Girl tough. That's a decided contrast from Tulane's very laidback approach.
•Bonearama is playing at tomorrow's The Boys are Back in Town Block Party? If you're not a fan of funk and trombones, definitely plan on going to see former Tulane standout and American League president Dr. Bobby Brown throw out the first pitch at tomorrow's afternoon game.
•In the sixth inning, Tulane makes the very classy (and not at all unexpected) move of introducing and saluting their grounds crew. Very cool. And the crowd? Still loud and energized, despite no scoring since the bottom of the second.
•So it's the bottom of the sixth, and Flames pitcher Grant Kohlstaedt has...well...flamed out, leaving the bases loaded. There's a brief conference on the mound, set to The Chemical Brothers' "Galvanized." Ironic music choice, that, but a call to the bullpen is made, and in comes sophomore southpaw Don Phillis for UIC. Phillis made no appearances for the Flames in 2007, so it should be interesting to see what he does with ducks on a pond. Poor guy. I'm thinking he's a lamb to the slaughter. And down goes Seth Henry on strikes. While I'm rooting for Tulane, it's nice to see a kid get his first collegiate K. Prince singles and gets an RBI--man, Tulane already has TEN hits in this game! On Drew Allain's at-bat, UIC's Phillis gets nailed in the general vicinity of his intestines. Ouch. He recovers nicely to "Jesse's Girl" (I'm telling you, I'm loving the music choices), and is so apparently inspired by the immortal words of Rick Springsteen, he strikes Wave first baseman Sam Honeck out. Behold the power of the '80's, folks. But with two more earned runs on starting pitcher Kohlstaedt, his ERA is not off to a great start.
•The seventh inning strength. Egads. That was horrific.
•In the bottom of the seventh, the Flames make yet another pitching change. But Tulane is now up 6-0--they took control in the first inning, and never relinquished it.
•Illinois-Chicago's Steve McGuiggan fouls into the grandstand, and from my perch in the press box, I can hear the guys from AM 690 next to me chortling that the fan closest to the foul ball opted to save his peanuts instead of making a play for the foul ball. Heh.
•Wow--5,093 fans tonight! Great job, Wave fans. Keep it up--your energy is clearly motivating this team tonight.
•Here in the eighth, Turchin is more than half-empty.
•Jr. RHP Mason Griffin comes in for Tulane at the top of the ninth--he's TU's new closer, a transfer from Grayson Community College. Three outs later, I'm thinking UIC's got to be feeling hideous about getting shut out on opening night. Tulane should be feeling pretty great tonight--despite emotions running high, they settled down and got the job done in fantastic order, winning 6-0.
•So I hear more than 100 cars were parked on the Claiborne Ave. neutral ground tonight, and that virtually all of them were ticketed by the City at a cost of $75 per vehicle. Um, wow. I have things to say about that, but they're not very nice. Suffice it to say, I think it's unfair to Green Wave fans--it'll be a bit before the new parking lot is completed, and parking is already scarce. Ugh.
I'd say more, but I'm exhausted from my day sifting through the archives at the library and blogging college baseball. Tomorrow D. and I are going to sit through all five best picture nominees and try not to gorge on stale popcorn.
P.S. FSU's season opener against Duquesne was rained out tonight. Boooooo.
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
Yep, that's right. I'm blogging about my second-favorite sport. You can probably expect to see 4-5 entries a week. This week I'll be concentrating on season previews and ripping the NCAA a new one for backing up scheduling by a month.
(Please be gentle. Or not. Your call.)
Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Inc. is bringing in a new celebrity: popular TV chef Emeril Lagasse.
The New York-based media and merchandising company founded by domesticity maven Martha Stewart announced Tuesday that it bought the rights to the Emeril Lagasse franchise of cookbooks, television shows and kitchen products for $45 million in cash and $5 million in stock at closing.
I think I'm scared. Very, very scared.
And to bastardize Martha's catchphrase - that's (not) a good thing...kinda like Raul Castro taking over Cuba.
Monday, February 18, 2008
Friday, February 15, 2008
The woman was selling Spanish wines - like tempranillos - and was doing so, it turns out, because of the Writer's Guild strike. Turns out, she's a casting agent here in Louisiana, and has been effectively out of work for a few months.
Things are looking up for her, though - she just started background casting for...egads, this is so wrong...
...Final Destination 4.
(The first three weren't nearly bad enough, I guess.)
Nick and some friends barely survive an accident at a race track where the crash flies into the audience, killing those who remained. Now, those who survived are being killed off one by one in gruesome freak accidents.
Thursday, February 14, 2008
I love you.
When the world is wide, wicked and wild
and watching my every move
I gather thoughts of you and that's what lovers do
You've said before when every act is a war
and every shade, just another shade of blue
you'd have me walk with you and that's what lovers do
told you so, I'm in love with you....
told you so and I bet you love me too...
When you go walking away with the wind and the waves and
flirting with your feet,
you take a part of me and that's what lovers feel
And when you come upon a time and place sublime and it
shows you something real
you wish me there to see and that's what lovers feel
At a party I've thrown the morning has grown and
someone's going your way
you tell them you'd rather stay and that's what lovers say
So to the garden we go, quiet and slow and we
watch the world awake
you know I love you for love's sake, isn't that what lovers say?
Random aside - thoughts and prayers to the Northern Illinois University family today. D.'s brother-in-law is the women's tennis coach there, and I'm sure this has been a very difficult day for both Ryun and Deb. ::hugs to both::
Cate Blanchett appears lithe...yet terrifying. Perhaps it's her flapper-esque, ubersevere pageboy? Tres Javier Bardem in "No Country for Old Men." Muy Prince Valiant.
Thoughts on the trailer?
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
It was a blustery, nasty night, as evidenced by the fact that just before leaving the house, I had to run down the street after our peace lilies, which had flown off the front porch in a gust.
D. and I walked from his office over to the Wine Institute of New Orleans (W.I.N.O.), where we participated in a wine tasting/class on some of the more unique wines you can find in the New Orleans market.
When I first launched this blog, I recounted an anecdote about a very intoxicated woman screeching (at a bar, naturally) about how she needed "a d**k or a shrimp po-boy." Since then, a joke has materialized among D.'s and my friends. Two of our good friends are getting married this summer, and one of them, a New Orleans native, insists that he would easily choose a quality shrimp po-boy (probably from Verdi Mart) over sex.
Regardless, we thought it would be amusing to set up the test - the wines...or a shrimp po-boy from Mother's? Which would reign supreme? Were these wines better than sex? Would a shrimp po-boy be better even than that?
I'm getting ahead of myself, though. We had an amazing time at W.I.N.O. and learned a tremendous amount about some very unusual wines - from their history to how they're made.
M. Lawrence, Sex, Brut Rose Sparkling Wine, Michigan, Non-Vintage
So which was better - the wine? The shrimp po-boy? The other?
I'll play the diplomat and offer that most anything - wine, french fries, a Ferdi - was better than the brut rose from Michigan, "Sex."
I may well be the only person in the world excited about R.E.M.'s upcoming album, "Accelerate," but so be it. More Stipey for me!
I have been an R.E.M. fan for nearly 20 years (bearing in mind that I was 18 months old when they played their first show in Athens, GA), and even though the musical climate has changed around them, I've never lost my enjoyment for their music, old and new. I guess I'm in the minority that still finds them relevant. "Wolves, Lower" was one of their early singles:
I've always loved their ability to write lush melodies, and I adore them live:
("Green Grow the Rushes" is maybe my second-favorite single off "Fables of the Reconstruction.")
They've never shied from political dialogue:
No one comes near the melancholy of some of their work in the '90's...
...or even some of the whimsy:
And their love songs - "At My Most Beautiful," "Strange Currencies," etc. - ache with an earnest naivete:
Here's an underrated single, "Leaving New York," off the maligned (and undeservedly so) "Around the Sun:"
Do I really have to wait for April for the new album? Sigh.
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
...in 2004, the Jakeymonster was born.
...in 2008, D. and I will attend a wine tasting called "Better than Sex" (verrrrrry provocative title) at the Wine Insitute of New Orleans (more appropriately called "WINO").
Happy birthday, Jakeymonster! (Note: please do not wake us up every two hours tonight because you need to go out, okay? Muah.)
"The state party chairman sent out a letter saying don't bother," Huckabee said before a roundtable with reporters.This, from a man who believes that evolution doesn't exist and that people infected with HIV should be quarantined.
Huckabee defeated McCain in Louisiana, 43 to 42 percent. But under state Republican Party rules, none of the 20 delegates up for grabs are awarded unless a candidate gets 50 percent of the popular vote.
"It's goofy," Huckabee said. "Well, it's Louisiana."
The irony does not escape me.
BTW, folks, the vast majority of Darwinists have never argued that humans descend from primates.
Huckabee does make a point, though, as our friend Damien points out:
The fact that "Well, it's Louisiana" is one of more damning dismissals someone can make says more about Louisiana than it does Huckabee.
Monday, February 11, 2008
That's funny, Mayor Nagin reminds me of an untruthful bureaucrat.
(I was going for euphemism there. Did it work?)
Right Hand Thief has a blistering post on the Good Neighbors Program from over the weekend.
All in all, it's surreal to think that just 7/10 of a mile from our cozy little abode, espionage was being processed for the People's Republic of China.
Federal investigators said a local businessman, Tai Shen Kuo, 58, a longtime resident of Houma who had moved to New Orleans, was the point person who cultivated a relationship with the Defense Department employee. Yu Xin Kang, 33, a Chinese citizen who arrived in the city last fall, functioned as a "cut out," or intermediary, between Kuo and a Chinese government official.
Photo shamelessly borrowed from the T-P/NOLA.com
We got to talking, and she said, "You know, 40 years ago, I couldn't have sat next to you. I would have been arrested."
I replied that I was grateful, in a way, that I was not alive at that time, because my parents raised me to treat all people as just that - people. Humans. My fellow species. Yadda yadda.
As she recollected about segregation in New Orleans, I described to her some of the things I've noticed since moving here. Frankly, I told her, the most things change, the more they seem to change.
A cliche? To be sure, but the fact remains that when I walk my dog, or am sitting on my porch, inevitably someone will look at me uncomfortably. I'm fairly sure it's not because I'm particularly deformed or odd looking - I think it's because in many ways, race relations have a loooooooooong way to go here in the Crescent City.
When I moved here, I felt like I had entered a time warp back to the 1950's.
It still feels that way, nine months later.
Miss Mary chuckled and agreed with me. As the streetcar continued it's puttering trek down St. Charles and around Lee Circle, she started telling me her Katrina story. As it turns out, Miss Mary stayed in New Orleans when so many others evacuated. She's in her 80's, and most of her family is scattered around the U.S. She figured that with her dog as company, she'd be fine.
She thought she was fine, right up until the water started seeping into her house. She told me with something akin to awe that the entire time she was trapped in her house, she never lost the charge OR signal on her cell phone. Her brother, who lives in California, was so worried for her safety that he called CNN - and the next thing Miss Mary knew, she was being airlifted off her roof.
It broke her heart, she told me, to have to leave her dog behind. Later, she learned that her dog just stopped eating when she left, and eventually died.
I've met some amazingly interesting people on the streetcar. I've met a man who survived a shark attack. I've met World War II veterans with sharp memories and fierce intellect.
It's easy to conduct a love affair with the streetcar...even if they do periodically collide.
Sunday, February 10, 2008
Saturday, February 9, 2008
It's generally the first Saturday of each month (albeit pushed back this month due to Mardi Gras), and runs from 12-5 on Freret, just west of Napoleon.
Friday, February 8, 2008
There are 190 comments on NOLA.com about this very story...here's a particularly charming bit of the T-P's coverage:
West said the officer on the scene told him, "I opened the door and this Oompa-Loompa is standing there," referring to the brightly-colored characters from "Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory."
While searching the mans car, they discovered its trunk was packed with hay and contained two hula hoops and another whip, West said.
Wednesday, February 6, 2008
Yes, I know. I'm absolutely proselytizing. It's just that Lent is very pensive time for me.
So what did I give up for Lent, you might ask? Those who know me well will snicker with sheer mirth:
Relax, I don't generally patronize Starbucks - I'm a CC's kind of gal. But I did give up coffee for Lent - that's going to be a tough one for me.
The irony is that right as I left my house tonight for mass, a UPS driver hefted a box of Gevalia at me.
This is going to be a long 40 days.
Tuesday, February 5, 2008
Mardi Gras and its trappings have just overtaken my life for the past few days.
Congrats to Air Force Academy alum (and former Falcons AD) Randy Spetman - it's the best of both worlds for an FSU and Air Force fan like me. :)
Surprisingly, though, the Orlando Sentinel has the most sentimental take on the whole thing:
"I don't think I've seen anybody more excited to come to Florida State University since I got elected to come to Florida State University," Wetherell said. Moments earlier, Wetherell had told a story about when he called Spetman to inform him that he'd earned the job. Spetman, who replaces former FSU AD Dave Hart, nearly cried, Wetherell said.
There were no tears on Monday. Just cheers. When Spetman rose from his chair and walked behind the podium, he turned to Wetherell and said, "I can guarantee you, sir, I won't disappoint you."
Mayor Nagin, riding in Zulu
Near Louisiana and St. Charles, an NOPD officer took a few minutes to play QB for some kids - it was actually very sweet, and this is what I wish more people outside of NOLA saw of our city...not the drug-related violence, not the meter maids from hell - but things like this.
Just outside of Fat Harry's, we ran into a middle-aged woman dressed as Jamie Lynn Spears, complete with a t-shirt reading, "Zoey 101 Plus One."
Jake, with some of his throws
D. and me, during Elks
Monday, February 4, 2008
"We don't really conversate.''
--The real words of New England wideout Randy Moss, on his relationship with coach Bill Belichick.
Sanitized Quote of the Week
"We don't really converse much.''
--Moss, according to the quote sheet produced by the NFL, on his relationship with Belichick.
Why is it that I'm now reminded of Damon Wayans' infamous character on "In Living Color," Oswald Bates?
Runner-Up (thanks to Peter King):
I think Roger Goodell got off a good line this morning at the MVP press conference. "We're grateful to Archie and Olivia and hope they'll have at least one more child," he said. Probably not going to happen.
Bacchus was incredibly fun last night - we cooked out yesterday before the parade, and I left our house just before halftime of the Super Bowl (it was THAT boring until the end of the 4th) to go meet up with D. at Fat Harry's, where he and his coworkers were filming/photographing the floats and parade-goers. If you checked the streaming coverage on NOLA.com, you would have heard D.'s colleague, Meredith, and me drolly commenting on the floats and on the genius of 80's movies.
At one point, I had to explain to her why Jake Ryan is easily one of the best romantic heroes of the 80's. He might actually out-Dobler the eponymous Lloyd Dobler.
And that's sayin' something.
We stood on the platform and yelled at the marching bands and riders until the usual firetruck lumbered by, signaling the end of the festivities for the evening - the parade ended at 8:30, giving us plenty of time to slip on the beads covering St. Charles, weave through the throngs of drunken types spontaneously performing the Cupid Shuffle, and made it home just in time to watch the last 2 minutes of the Super Bowl - fortunately, they were the most important 2 minutes of the entire game, as Eli Manning completed a gorgeous strike to Plaxico Burress for the game-winning touchdown.
As the clock wound down, you could hear the cheers all the way down to St. Charles - an underdog city like NOLA is going to have to root for an underdog team like the Giants. And given that Eli is a New Orleans native, it's just an easy call to root for a Manning. (We still revere Archie here, you know.)
Like Spoon says, "You got no fear of the underdog - that's why you will not survive."
So in honor of the new Super Bowl champions...
See y'all at Zulu tomorrow!
Sunday, February 3, 2008
Still, it took the release of "Clerks II" in July 2006 for us to meet.
And today it's been 18 months since our very first date (which means it's now 6 months until D. turns 31!).
Since I know he'll understand the rationale behind this:
Saturday, February 2, 2008
Friday, February 1, 2008
Laissez les bon temps rouler, y'all! Happy Mardi Gras!
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 1st Orleans Parish
• Hermes - Uptown, 6 p.m.
• d'Etat - Uptown, 6:30 p.m.
• Aquila - Metairie, 7 p.m.
• Morpheus - Uptown, 7:45 p.m.
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 2nd Orleans Parish
• NOMTOC - West Bank, 10:45 a.m.
• Iris - Uptown, 11 a.m.
• Tucks - Uptown, Noon
• Endymion - Mid-City, 4:15 p.m.
SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 3rd Orleans Parish
• Okeanos - Uptown, 11 a.m.
• Thoth - Uptown, 11:30 a.m.
• Mid-City - Uptown, 12:15 p.m.
• Bacchus - Uptown, 5:15 p.m.
LUNDI GRAS, FEBRUARY 4th Orleans Parish
• Proteus - Uptown, 5:15 p.m.
• Orpheus - Uptown, 6 p.m.
MARDI GRAS, FEBRUARY 5th Orleans Parish
• Zulu - Uptown, 8 a.m. (We'll be there, definitely!)
• Rex - Uptown, 10 a.m.
• Elks Orleans - Uptown, follows Rex
• Crescent City - Uptown, follows Elks
• Grela - West Bank, 11 a.m.