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Twenty Nine: Onward Through The Fog February 15, 2014

Posted by The Typist in 365, cryptical envelopment, New Orleans, The Narrative, The Typist, Toulouse Street.
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It’s Krewe du Vieux day, but my enthusiasm was last seen struggling in the third Valentine’s martini and is now listed as officially missing. So goes a strange but ultimately happy Valentine’s Day, in which a letter from the Louisiana Workforce Commission informed me I had been disqualified for benefits because of some obscure requirement missed in their twelve pages of instructions. This was the secret signal all of my tiny demons had been waiting for to come out and do their fire dance of inner torment, which I attempted to douse with Jockamo much to early in the day.

So it goes.

Is there any better way to start this day than a hangover, an unfinished costume and incomplete throws? Final touches to costumes, makeup and of course drinking starts at three at the Hidden Rendezvous of the Secret Sub-Krewe of Sugar Skulls. Lately I’ve been seen struggling in confused seas, trying to make the riptide shore, so best to put on my costume in the way only Orleanians do, somewhere between method acting and trance, and lose myself in the rush down loud and crowded streets, surrounded by brass bands and friends, and the devil and the Pizza Sluts take the hindmost.

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The Octo-poca-lips February 4, 2012

Posted by The Typist in New Orleans, NOLA, The Odd, Toulouse Street.
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Mankind has paid for its Crimes Against Nature (leaving us at least the fun ones).

The Octopocalypse is upon us as the ancient calendar foretold.

We shall be among the survivors

It is eat or be eaten (or both which is particular fun).

Come with food or fuel or take your chances in the Go Down Under Dome for our perverse entertainment.

We are the Seeds of Decline which shall sprout in the wasteland, watered by the Holy Distillates

Float Eight. Don’t be late.

Octo-Hey-poca-wey.

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Sugar Skulls Rule Krewe du Vieux January 31, 2010

Posted by The Typist in Carnival, New Orleans, NOLA, parade, Toulouse Street.
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Pictures by Grace and Adrastos, with lots more here. More when I have revolved into something more fully human. Doctor John with the 911 Band was fantastic.

Hoo Doo Flambeaux January 30, 2010

Posted by The Typist in New Orleans, NOLA, Toulouse Street.
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Well Krewe du Vieux comin and it won’t be long.
I been making my suit and singing this song.
Hoo Doo Flambeaux gonna come on strong.
Gonna Keep on dancing till the morning come.

Hoo Doo. Hoo Doo. Hoo Doo Flambeaux gonna get them Colts!

Fantabuloso cart art by Sam Jasper.

Are you ready to stumble!? February 6, 2009

Posted by The Typist in Carnival, cryptical envelopment, Dancing Bear, Mardi Gras, New Orleans, NOLA, Toulouse Street.
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Don’t miss Krewe du Vieux this Saturday, starting at 6:30 pm and being frog marched through the quarter by the cranky N.O.P.D. along the death march route shown below. Your humble narrator marches in Seeds of Decline, and our theme this year is Fanny Mae Goes Down on Wall Street. We’ll have some surprising Community Chests, so take a Chance with the Monopoly Man cause he got the dough-rei-me for you.

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Welcome to Seeds and to the secret sub-krewe of the Benevolent and Lewd Order of the Garrulous (B.L.O.G) fellow bloggers Liprap and Micheal Homan, who join Adrastos, Matri, Hana, Dangerblond and who all else am I forgetting? (Um, Alli, Ray and Karen is who). Let the absinthe flow and the good times go rolling along.

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Krewe du Vieux Soldats: Fading, fading… January 20, 2008

Posted by The Typist in Carnival, cryptical envelopment, Dancing Bear, Krewe du Vieux, Mardi Gras, New Orleans, New York, Rebirth, We Are Not OK.
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This morning’s exchange of emails among the New Orleans bloggers who march in Krewe du Vieux:

Me, 9:32 am: Subject Line: Ughhhhhh Message: Who turned on the sun?

Maitri, 10:10 am: Just woke up. Hobbling around kitchen in search of coffee and bloody marys. Oy.

Karen, 10:20 am: My fallen arches are killing me.

Peter, 11:29 am: My feet are still cold and my legs are in need of an amputation or something.

Kim, 11:41 am: Can ya’ll please keep your voices down? It’s making my head hurt.

On another note, my last blog post was perfectly prescient: two years running now I’ve managed fabulously drunk and I managed to not find several of the bloggers in a space of a few thousand square feet. That tiny space was packed, however, with the skimmed cream of New Orleans insanity. I tried several times to get back to Mama Roux’s table to try to cadge a jello shot and find Kim, but it was simply impossible to squeeze back there. (I finally got one from my co-worker, L.H.; questioning him and his charming wife still didn’t uncover the secret of how two newcomers to New Orleans managed to get into MR).

Peter, Grace, Lisa, Ashley and his bride looked fabulous in their seersucker robes and cocktail hats honoring Lafacadio Hearn. I also never managed to squeeze my well-lubricated body into C.R.A.P.S’ tight cranny (now cut that out, filthy minded old sot), and so I never did see Matri, either. I did see Ray, who walked with C.R.A.P.S. as security. Bec of New Orleans Slate marched with us and shared our throws since she rejoined our Krewe at the last moment when the captain sponsored her to march. (Hurray for Billy). She’d been out of circulation mostly taking care of her husband after his terrible accident involving his mule and carriage.

I lost my flask of Absenthe somewhere early along the parade route. (Dude! I’ll give you a hundred dollars if you drink the greed shit in that bottle in the street). This was probably a good thing, as a little absinthe goes a long way. Thankfully d.b.a was close to hand, and in spite of their sociopatheic manager-cum-bouncer we finished up the night with a raft of good German beer. I didn’t know a single name on the band list but spent an hour or more scrunched up at the front of the stage and had a blast. It was all good.

Coming to Take You Away January 19, 2008

Posted by The Typist in Carnival, cryptical envelopment, Dancing Bear, Debrisville, French Quarter, Krewe du Vieux, Mardi Gras, New Orleans, Rebirth, Remember, Toulouse Street.
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The Magical Misery Tour is coming to take you away (coming to take you awaaayyy….). Perhaps, once you’ve seen us all out on the streets, you’ll think they should be coming to take us away. No matter. It’s time for the Krewe du Vieux to once again stain the shiny, Sidney-Torres washed streets of New Orleans and once again diminish the city’s magical brand as They City That Forgot to Care.

Our King is Ronald W. Lewis of the Lower Ninth Ward in New Orleans: Director, House of Dance & Feathers and President, Big 9 Social Aid & Pleasure Club.

The secret sub-subKrewe of B.L.O.G.* will once again celebrate by getting notoriously drunk and failing to each other at the ball. Our featured drink will be Absinthe. As the self-appointed captain of this nearly non-existant group, I proclaim Bec our Queen, since I’m so pickled she’s going to make it and march. Not as pickled, however, as I will be later tonight. My personal theme this year is Getting L.H. Really Drunk and Taking Embarrassing Pictures I Can Use To Advance My Career at the Bank. My costume is titled: Oh! Wendy? but only someone who thinks Capitol when they hear “hill” will figure out how the hell it fits into the Seeds of Decline’s theme of Fools on the Hill.

Don’t forget the new start time–6:30 PM–and the new route. route08.gif

And don’t forget the Krewe du Vieux Doo, at 2121 Chartres St., featuring 101 Runners (Mardi Gras Indian Funk), Juice with Special Guest J.D. Hill, Honey Island Swamp Band, and Late Night Trip by Quintron and Miss cat (whatever that is). Tickets are advance sale only at:

  • Mardi Gras Zone: 2706 Royal Street
  • Louisiana Music Factory: 210 Decatur Street
  • Up In Smoke: 4507 Magazine Street
  • Miss Claudia’s Vintage Clothing and Costumes
  • *B.L.O.G. is the Benevolent and Order of the Garrulous.

Stringing up dozens January 13, 2008

Posted by The Typist in Carnival, cryptical envelopment, Dancing Bear, Debrisville, French Quarter, Mardi Gras, Mardi Gras Indians, New Orleans, NOLA, Toulouse Street, Uncategorized.
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In a world where all of our holidays come cleverly packaged on the shelves–Christmas trees with embedded lights decked and holiday cookies ready-made at the local grocery’s bakery–most people no longer have the simple traditions long ago. I once cut my own tree, wading through a foot of Minnesota snow at 20 degrees to do it, but I can’t say I’ve ever strung up popcorn. Holidays like Halloween are much the same. Our children’s costumes come in plastic bags and no one dares put out a homemade treat since we now another parents will just dump it in the garbage.

Mardi Gras is one place where the handmade is still valued. Yes, the parade floats are largely mass-produced and much recycled by a handful of shops, the stores are full of kitschy decorations and of course there will be lots of people roaming St. Charles Avenue and the French Quarter in costumes from some store named The Party Pit. That is part of Carnival, but not the heart of Carnival.

On the big day, hundreds of African-American men and women will step out of their houses in costumes like these. The Societé de Sainte Anne and all of the other small marching groups will step out in elaborate costumes made by hand, either by themselves or by seamstresses. My own costume for Krewe du Vieux is still forming up, but it’s fairly simply and mostly conceptual. I may find it easier in a busy life to dress my son store-bought, but I’ve always tried to assemble my own costumes. I don’t got to the lengths of Danger Blonde, who yearly makes custom beaded-object throws and fabulous bustiers for the Divine Protectors of Endangered Pleasures, but if you’re going to dress you might as well be do it right. Every year around this time, I head in my head the admonishment of one of the Mardi Gras Indian chiefs being interviewed on WWOZ sometime back in the 1980s: Don’t be fallin’ out of your house with no needle an’ thread in your hand. I wish to hell I knew who had said that, but it’s stuck with me forever.

One thing we must do every year at our house is collect all of the caught beads we’ve saved up (and my son and I are dogged parade goers, working the neutral ground from morning to night all the week-ends before Carnival), and begin the slow process of untangling, matching up by size, and making up new dozens to toss back out when we march through Marigny and the Quarter.

Stringing up dozens is one of those tasks like cleaning out the attic that is often is slowed down by “remember when” moments (wasn’t Chaos funny last year? Remember the guy we saw….), as well as interrupted by comedy: finding that whoopee cushion, or the little foam rockets you can launch with a rubber band on the tip that turns our bead stringing party into a temporary war zone.

My son groaned this year when I told him it was time to string up the beads into dozens. He would rather hang out with a friend and play his WII. For him, Carnival is mostly new. I am a native with thirty years of Carnival under my belt before we came back to New Orleans in 2006, but this is really only his third year and his second as an Orleanian. It was not, for him, a tradition but a chore like cleaning up his room: until we got started, and found the whoopie cushions and rockets.

As long as I have legs to march I will look forward to stringing up the dozens, especially the few years I have left before my 12-year old boy is either too damn busy to help (like his socially swirling 15 year old sister) or gone from the house. For me, it is not the arrival of King Cakes in the stores (and most places were putting them out with red and green sugar in December), or the first time I open the paper and it falls open to the débutante pictures of Krewe’s ball, or even taking down the Christmas decorations with Mardi Gras Vol. 1 blaring on Twelfth Night. Carnival begins at the Folse house when I start to haul in and down the bags of tangled baubles and dump them out onto the table, and we closed the circle that connects the last Mardi Gras to this year’s Carnival, one string at a time.

Krewe du Vieux Goes to Hell February 8, 2007

Posted by The Typist in Carnival, Catholic, Dante, French Quarter, Hell, Mardi Gras, New Orleans, NOLA, satire, Toulouse Street.
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Ed Note 5-13-08: Sorry, kiddies but, no, I don’t have a cite for these. Perhaps you should try looking in that big building behind the student union, you know the one with all the books in it that doesn’t sell t-shirts?

As a first-time marcher its probably way out of my league to make suggestions to the assembled captains of the sub-krewes that make up the Krewe du Vieux, but I think the appropriate response to the trumped up protest by an out-of-town group against the parade’s past themes is to adopt the theme:

Krewe du Vieux Goes To Hell

Think Dante and the circles of hell. Think of all of the wonderful examples of sin that could be represented. Imagine Bill Donahue clutching his chest and turning purple. I think this is far superior to my original idea of Great Popes of New Orleans (as I hum the jingle to the old cooking show, sung I’m pretty sure by a girl I had a terrible crush on when I was 11).

No, I think if these guys are right and we’re going Down Under–sans koala’s and Fosters–I say we ought to go out in style. And Heck, looking at these maps of Hell (its been a long time since I crack the Inferno), it looks to me like those of us who Choose du Vieux get the good seats, with an excellent view of the hypocrites and pretty much everyone in local government down below.

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Sure, it may seem a bit harsh to pick on these pathetic protesters, but this isn’t a devout group of local churchgoers. This is a group protesting the 2005 parade in 2007, a group that comes every year to try to save us all from the debauchery, the heirs to the Grape Force whose real mission is to abolish Mardi Gras as we know it. Look closely and you may see a few of them on Circle Six.

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Again, it’s probably not my place as a first-timer new to my krewe to propose themes. But, I’m just saying…

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