Monday, November 23, 2009

This Date In History

I Didn't Kill James Carville Today

Not that I would have. But there he was, crossing Palmer as I turned off of Marquette. I said to myself "Hey! That can't be James Carville. Can it?" Then I said to myself "Who the hell else looks like that?"

He stopped when he saw me rounding the corner. My Honda Pilot does not pose a formidable threat, but as much as I didn't want to spend the day talking to the police and getting congratulatory calls from local conservative radio talk shows, I'm sure he didn't want to spend the day in a hospital bed. After all, he still had his coffee in his hand. Never interrupt someone in the middle of their coffee with an SUV. That's just good manners.

John F. Kennedy Is Finally Dead

For 45 birthdays I've been looking forward to my happy day with a reminder of who was shot and killed the very day before I was born. Mom would ask, "What do you want for your birthday, Billy?" And I would think to myself "To stop seeing the Zapruder film every year for my birthday." Well, this year, for my 46th birthday, I finally got my wish. Granted, I didn't watch much news, but I've tried that before. Something always slips through. This year I catch a break. I didn't catch wind of a single word associating my birthday with a bullet in the head.

James Carville Scares Me Into Locking My Doors

Security people were in the neighborhood when I got off work tonight. Cars were backed up to St. Charles Avenue. A big formal party was taking place at one of the huge homes near my work. Thus, I was paying more attention to the formal dinner than I was to my surroundings as I unlocked and entered my vehicle. It was only when I got into the front seat that I noticed someone was walking by. I quickly closed my door and locked it. It was James Carville. He was coming back from a jog. He passed me by, trotted across the street, bypassed the front porch and went around back. I guess he didn't want to be in his jogging clothes and run into Governor Bobby Jindal who was standing on his front porch. (At least it LOOKED like Bobby Jindal. It was dark. I had my camera out, but couldn't squeeze off a shot in the low light.)

Don't go looking for shots of James Carville here. I'm not stalking him. I just park in his neighborhood.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Saints And Sinners

Down And Dirty In The Big Easy

God bless those New Orleans Saints. They've pulled off a 7-0 start for only the second time in their history. I've been a Saints fan for as long as there have been Saints. Somehow the stars have aligned and we're watching one of the best teams ever to play the sport.

And they're all ours!

(and now for something completely different)

"Dear God, Please Get Me Out Of Here!"

During the school year, the stars rarely align for my family when it comes to scheduling. Sunday was no different.

I decided that a beautiful Sunday morning is a wonderful chance to tear down and rebuild a fence. Indeed it was. However, as my father once told me "Projects are always more complicated than they seem; are more expensive than you expect; and take longer than you hoped." Each of my home projects seem to fall in line with that simple expectation.

The wife took the youngest off to church while the older hellions slept off Saturday night. I took crowbar to board and uncovered one setback after another; crooked posts, rotten wood, and sub-standard construction are all hallmarks of any project completed by the previous homeowner. This was no exception.

After working all day on removing the old fence and acquiring the supplies to build the new one, 5pm was creeping up on me fast. The last church mass of the day would see me packing up my tools and looking at 7 original fence posts without a single piece of new work upon them. What made me think I could do this in one day?

Mrs. Bayou's prior commitment to the local school's fund-raiser had her out of the house at this time and our youngest could not be left home alone. I told her so. "BUT I ALREADY WENT TO CHURCH! I DON'T HAVE TO GO AGAIN! I'M NOT GOING!" was her thundering reply. The oldest kids smirked and headed off to church on their own. I'm not sure if they were behaving properly or jumping ship. Kicking and screaming, I threw the little monster into the car and we made it to church on time.

5 minutes into mass and an angel appeared. Mom had stopped by the church on her way home and picked up The Sulking One. I would later find out that while she did not want to go to church, she was a firm believer in prayer. "Mom, I knew you would come," my wife said, retelling what she heard. "I was in church praying to God. 'Dear God, please get me out of here,' and you came!"

I'm learning things about the youngest kids in wide age-span families: They quickly learn how to work the system. Apparently, this one has learned how to work God.