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Lit Geek 2.3 November 8, 2011

Posted by The Typist in Garden District, meme, odd, Odd Words, oddities, Toulouse Street.
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Tomorrow Odd Words is off to the first day of the Pirate’s Alley Faulkner Society Words & Music Festival carting this 7″ Coby Android Tablet doohickey instead of the laptop.
I also have this nifty faux leather stand/case/keyboard thing with a very tiny keyboard, too small for real touchtyping but I think it will work out better than either carting the damned laptop
or last years attempts to post from an Android phone, which nothing for my spelling and made my thumbs ache for a week.

It has an out-of-date touch screen that works best with a stylus isn’t much more responsive than the monster “portable” computer I used back in 1990 with the 7″ green screen and dual floppy drives but I think it will get the job done. And boy was it cheap, as it is clearly last year’s (month’s, you get the idea) model. The only thing its really lacking is that copy of the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy text RPG that the monster portable had on its capacious 10 MB (yes, that’s an M) hard drive).

But the Coby and this goofy keyboard were too cheap to resist, for all the infuriating qwerks I had to puzzle through to get the WordPress client installed and this post complete. Did I mention it was super cheap? Ipad users can mockmy little toy but I am getting what I need done for what: a thousand dollars less? More?

Empty Mirror February 25, 2010

Posted by The Typist in cryptical envelopment, oddities, The Narrative, Toulouse Street.

On rare occasions I find myself wandering the an empty upper floor of the Counting House tower, looking for the mail room. It’s a hidden window back down a disused corridor lined with disheveled training rooms I have only seen in use once. I usually find the mail drop without too much trouble, even if I’m forced to stand for a while in the lobby and wait for someone who routinely deals in antiquated paper to come by so I can follow them in. While I’m waiting I study this painting that graces the elevator lobby. At least I think it is a painting. It looks like the sort of vacuous abstract a corporate decorator would select, something intended not to unsettle the cattle. Some days at work, I wonder if it’s a window into something, the tabernacle of some secret Vision Statement known only to the Upper Floors. Or a mirror reflecting the interior landscape of the Counting House. And if it is a mirror (and I often think it is) why I am not in it?

Pedestrian I February 19, 2010

Posted by The Typist in cryptical envelopment, oddities, The Narrative, Toulouse Street.

…and there is no sharper point than that of Infinity.
— Charles Baudelaire, Paris Spleen

What use syphilis and opium if the supreme derangement of the senses is as simple as a stroll into work, the sensation I have standing at the entrance to Union Street that the diminishing buildings are not an optical illusion but instead a part of my daily progression into the office, that to walk down this street will gradually reduce me to a size appropriate to my beige cell in the corporate cube farm. How much larger my little box with its cloth lined walls will seem then, and my own insignificance in the trackless ant farm of the Counting House will be not a symptom of the modern disease but just a fact of what I become when I enter the building, a transformation as easily accomplished as putting on a tie.

If the fools had never given me a cell phone with a camera, none of this would have occurred to me.

The Gift November 28, 2009

Posted by The Typist in cryptical envelopment, Dancing Bear, oddities, Odds&Sods, Toulouse Street.
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OK, not exactly a holiday video for the increasingly infamous NOLA Bloggers War On Christmas, (aka The Hostilidays) but also because this is the piece I suggested Lou For A Day should stand up on the bar and declaim at Mimi’s if I can scrape off the right-channel music track. And hey, it’s all about the gifts, right? That and the food and the booze. In fact, I think I should make and give everyone bourbon balls this year, which seems the perfect expression of the holiday season.

HOME January 22, 2009

Posted by The Typist in New Orleans, NOLA, odd, oddities, Toulouse Street.
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Zardoz September 26, 2008

Posted by The Typist in New Orleans, odd, oddities, Odds&Sods, Toulouse Street.
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Cajun Crack August 11, 2008

Posted by The Typist in oddities, Odds&Sods, Toulouse Street.
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I could just barely resist buying a can of Adrenaline Chicken. After all, “Packed with Pure Adrenaline, Its Cajun Crack!” It sounds like something Hunter S. Thompson would insist on putting on his scrambled eggs, along with some tequila.

Damn, I just immediately fell in love with that name. I hope he makes his own TV commercials. Somehow, the quirky local pitchmen seem to have fallen off of Planet New Orleans, and we sure do miss them.

And get a close-up load of that chicken.

Lest you think I have falled into crass product placement, let me just say that if Nino Thibodaux wants to send me a can, I’ll take it.

The Lad Searches the Night for His Newts July 27, 2008

Posted by The Typist in 504, art, cryptical envelopment, Dancing Bear, music, oddities, Odds&Sods, Toulouse Street.
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We interrupt whatever the hell it was you meant to do when you stumbled in here to present this Important Public Service Announcement on the subject of Dental Hygiene.

But first, Motorhead must find his Newts…

Remember: as Theodore Bikel reminds us within the conceptual framework of this filmic event nothing really matters…

Who am us, anyway? May 31, 2008

Posted by The Typist in 504, cryptical envelopment, Dancing Bear, New Orleans, NOLA, oddities, Odds&Sods, Toulouse Street, Uncategorized.
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I write about myself with the same pencil
and in the same exercise book as about him.
It is no longer I, but another whose life is just beginning.

— Samuel Beckett (1906-1989)

I first posted this quote 8/31/06 without any comment, when this blog was lurking in a dark and lonely corner of the internets and only seen by spiders.

Who are we that write out our lives on these blogs? Some of us play out the Social Media or Citizen Journalist role, but what about those of us doing something at once much more personal and still very public? I once tossed out the term “narcissistic blogger” on a mailing list and recoiled in horror at the familiarity of the face in that mirror. Some treat these little stages we erect on the Internet as the set of the one person show of our fascinating lives (so we think, or why else would we be here?), while others take on a mask and become someone else, hiding behind the possibility of anonymity. In either event the act of public writing transforms us.

As actors of a sort who we are deep inside informs whoever we try to project on this stage–a public Self or a fabulous Character. (And our public Selves are certainly contrived Characters, keeping Mr. ID corralled and Dr. Ego’s social relationships in good trim, else the world would be littered with the bodies of murdered co-workers and a long trail of casually ravished lovers). Whoever we think we are in our blogs, the act of performing in words makes us someone new, something more than the simple sum of actor and character. “It is no longer I, but another who’s life is just beginning.”

As I said, I had posted this quote before without much comment almost two years ago. I found it online the other day while looking for something else, and chose to unearth and repost it. Do we repeat ourselves because we’ve exhausted other subjects, or because repetition is an irresistible part of life; not a circle necessarily but a spiral that clocks around an imperceptible center? I like to think the latter rather than consider myself a broken record, a tiresome bore sitting on the same stool day after day drinking the same stale beer and endlessly recycling the same stories.

I think Yeats had it wrong, at least in general. If the spiral gyre runs out from the center it is not a failure of gravity but instead the trajectory of something that has reached escape velocity, acting out a driving impulse but anchored by the mathematical center without which the curve becomes a line. Our personal trajectory through time and space is certain to be governed by some center as surely as the moon controls the tides. Toulouse Street itself is the center here, seems fairly fixed in space and time: an island in this stream we think we are admiring from the deck even as the current sweeps us away, the unseen captain spinning the unresponsive wheel and shouting frantic orders lost down the tube in the diabolical noise of engines run amok.

This is an adventure.

A Sense of Security May 30, 2008

Posted by The Typist in cryptical envelopment, Dancing Bear, home, New Orleans, NOLA, oddities, Odds&Sods, Toulouse Street.
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Since we seem to be on a run of Silly Sign posts and since Michael Homan got this one up before me (or was it Peter?), here’s another candidate from Bienville Street in Mid-City. This lone survivor of a long gone fence has been standing guard since I arrived home two years ago, all through the gutting and renovation of the house behind it. It has been kept faithfully closed and latched all this time, parked in front of the porch like an old but faithful hound offering at least the loyal pretense of some security.

One thing I like about Mid-City is the overall sense of funky, that ineluctable pinch of file or dash of hot sauce gives everything in New Orleans its savor, the disorderly perfection an organic neighborhood mixing all sorts of people and places with a tendency toward the Odd.

No Hunting, Fishing, Trapping March 28, 2008

Posted by The Typist in 504, CBD, Dancing Bear, Flood, New Orleans, NOLA, oddities, Toulouse Street, Uncategorized.
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How odd to find a Posted sign in the middle of downtown, on a building on the corner of South Rampart and Perdido Streets. No hunting, fishing or trapping? Once not too long ago fishing might have been an issue, when this building sat at the southernmost advance of the lake waters if someone had perhaps broken in and set themselves up for a nap with a cane pole on the balcony, but not now, not today.

I am not even sure how many people who live in town know what to make of a Posted sign. It put me in mind of the 10 years I spent in the upper Midwest, part of if in the small town of Detroit Lakes (the Waveland of the North, as I used to call it: a sleepy town of 3,000 that exploded to as many as 30,000 people at the peak of the summer lake season). Perhaps the owner is an avid sportsman, who knows what it means to find such a sign on a fence line on a country road: No Trespassing. Here in New Orleans, we tend to favor the simpler and more direct message: Keep Out, Bad Dog.

On this day it was served as a reminder that at about this place in August of 2005, the water stopped and went no further, that this was the edge of the watery wild.


What more can I add about Al Copeland’s passing March 24, 2008

Posted by The Typist in 504, cryptical envelopment, Dancing Bear, food, New Orleans, NOLA, oddities, Odds&Sods, Toulouse Street, Uncategorized.
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except, perhaps, this addy for Popeyes in Korea?

I think the giant yellow chicken is contemplating invading Japan and using his Fiery Cajun Breath to take on Godzilla while leveling half of Tokyo (The Model, 1:400 scale with child safe “no-sniff” cement)

Actually, I have a few things to say but that will have to wait for later.

We Have Come For Your Children March 1, 2008

Posted by The Typist in 504, art, cryptical envelopment, Dancing Bear, music, New Orleans, NOLA, oddities, Odds&Sods.
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We will set them free.

Dancing Bear February 10, 2008

Posted by The Typist in art, cryptical envelopment, Dancing Bear, oddities, Odds&Sods, Toulouse Street.
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Dancing Bear
A fellow New Orleans blogger left a comment asking about the Dancing Bear tag on my posts. It’s an old, old nickname, predating the adoption by the Grateful of the dancing teddy bear icon by several years, although I am almost enough of a fan to consider myself a head (notice “cryptic envelopment tag on some posts also usually tagged “Odds&Sodds”). While I am rather hirsute (except at the very top) I am straight, so it’s not about that kind of Bear either. It is instead a reference to Captain Kangaroo that I picked up in my early teens. (No, I am not about to tell that story, although it’s fairly harmless. No, Jeff, Bear will not dance.)

Strange how childhood nicknames stick. My mother-in-law used to be aghast when I called my son buddy. “That’s how people get those horrible nicknames,” she complained. Well, I rather liked the two Buddy’s I’ve known, so I wasn’t too worried about it. And it didn’t stick. Dancing Bear, however, has stuck for a certain circle of friends, and it’s usually shortened to Bear.

As to the picture above, if you’re thinking of getting me something extravagant for my birthday, I definitely can not afford one of these lovely Inuit Dancing Bear sculptures offered at Siverston Gallery, but after being Dancing Bear for a third of a century I’d love to have one.

Thoroughly Modern Monk October 15, 2007

Posted by The Typist in cryptical envelopment, Dancing Bear, New Orleans, New York, NOLA, oddities.
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Last night in Time Square, I saw a monk in full saffron and purple, head neatly shaven, walking into the Olive Garden carrying nearly half a dozen shopping bags with an Old Navy the outermost with a visible label. I tried to get the camera and run him down, but my wife and daughter thought better of it.

New York, like San Francisos (and New Orleans for that matter) has its compliment of professional or sem-pro oddballs haunting each places most public spaces, but New York so far seems to have a higher compliment of genuine, accidental oddities of the human species.

I seem to have gotten a handle on navigating the city mostly due to a remembered fragment of lyric: “New York, New York/It’s a helluva town./The Bronx is up/And the Battery’s down” which enables me to remember which train to get on. It helps that I can seem to get to just about anyplace I want on the Yellow line trains, and there’s a stop right outside my hotel at Harold Square (Broadway and 32nd). I have to get my daughter up to see Columbia tomorrow, but I’ve stared at the map long enough to figure out the main transfer point, the equivalent of DC’s Metro Center, where we can hop onto the red trains uptown.

If you’re wondering why I was near an Olive Garden, remember I’m travelling with kids and seem to keep tossing off 20 dollar bills like a drunk float rider unloading the last of his throws at the end of Canal Street. I’ve reconciled myself (or at least keep repeating to myself) that this is not an eating vacation. (This is not an eating vacation. This is not an eating vacation. Ok, that’s enough for now).

Today I will get into one of the recomended deli’s. And will make reservations this time for Carmine’s for my pasta and sauce obsessed German-Irish-French clan. I have to eat something decent, because tomorrow night is shows and I suspect I will stuff some Subway or something in the kids before we head out rather than try to squeeze in a proper meal, since the girl’s curtain time for Wicked is 7:30. Matt and I passed on that in favor of Spamalot.

Ok, enough postcard drivel. I need to get myself some coffee and a proper bagel somewhere