I'll go with thee to the lane's end... I am a kind of burr, I shall stick. Shakespeare, Measure for Measure
I write not to teach but to learn. Rebecca West
- "Hating the Lovers," and "Pipe Down!" Geez Magazine: Thirty Sermons You Would Never Hear in Church
- "Another Night With the Henriksens," Player's Theater Halloween One-Act Festival NYC 2008
- "The Accomplished Birder's Guide to Overcoming Rejection," Last Drink Bird Head, editted by Ann and Jeff VanderMeer
- "Copper Heart," Polluto Magazine issue 5, A Steampunk Orange
- "Beth/slash/Nathan," Paper Fruit Blogiversary Contest
- "Black Sun," Black Static # 32
Monday, March 25, 2013
My father, brother, and niece. These photos are from a second-line parade my sister-in-law and brother took us to. We had my mother-in-law along also—her dad, my camerado's grandfather, wanted us to go to a second line parade in New Orleans, so we were glad we could fulfill his hope. (My grandfather-in-law is a sun of radiant goodwill, our pope.)
Social Aid and Pleasure Clubs sponsor second line parades; two clubs were in this parade, one wearing purple and one wearing yellow. The purple club went by so fast I could take no photos. Above is the best photo I took of the band for the yellow club. Storm clouds threatened and the wind was swift and ominous, catalyzing the parade and making it hard to photograph.
I was only able to get this shot because I cut across a parking lot while the parade made a turn. I had my niece and at one point we found ourselves in the direct path of the group following the parade. I sandwiched my niece between my camerado and me; the crowd flowed around us, making us a sandbar in a stream. I thought my sister-in-law would be mad we had drifted into the parade's tail, but she laughed and said, I thought I better come rescue you.
People bake and wrap snacks to sell; others vend beverages from wagons with ice chests. According to my sister-in-law stylin is another aspect of a second line; this man styled in steampunk mode.
New Orleans has good art museums, I've enjoyed NOMA's collection before; this time we saw the Ogden Museum of Southern Art, and, across the street, the Contemporary Arts Center. The Ogden has a room of Howard Finster, including a peaceable kingdom of sleek, Godzilla-sized cheetahs pulling chariots of toddlers that in our world would be their snacks.
The Ogden also had Mardi Gras Indian costumes made for the show, Tremé; my mother-in-law is an interior designer with a Medici idiom, Henry James would hire her to do his summer home, so I did not expect her to be so taken with the Mardi Gras Indians costumes. But she savored them as she savored the interiors of the Garden District house tour we took her on.
Because she is knowledgeable about decorative arts, fashion, materials, and workmanship, I was proud to show my mother-in-law something that was new to her, and that she enjoyed so much.
The building that houses the Contemporary Arts Center is beautiful, though its scale is too grand for me. But the exhibits, even when thematically very serious, shared an engaging, playful spirit. For example, below is the interior of a sculpture, The Lion, for Slightly, by Eliza Zeitlin.
The Lion, for Slightly is an immense lion of car parts and old wood dedicated to "comrades crushed by automobiles." The Lion sits in a huge corner window, looking terrifying from the street, and inescapably intriguing for anyone who loves monsters (me). Inside, The Lion is an earthbound treehouse. You climb to a middle level and upper deck; hanging pipes invite music-making.
Eliza Zeitlin is part of the Court 13 artists who made Beasts of the Southern Wild; the museum had props from Beasts, along with videos showing how the effects were done. Like Coppola's Dracula, they looked all or mostly in camera, not post. This made me want to see Beasts of the Southern Wild.
The awesome pig beasts that looked so magnificent in Beasts previews were Vietnamese pot-bellied pigs shot at low angles and wearing monster gear!
Age has not withered my love for monsters.
Or fairies. With black nylons, glitter, and coat hangers, a friend made these fairy wings for my niece. She is a fan of Abby's Flying Fairy School. I told her Uncle Andrew also likes fairies and trolls. She was like, okay.
This visit was the first time my niece was walking and talking. She is 2.5, speaks in complete sentences, and says thank you, always. She also knows all fifty states by their shapes, so I taught her the planets, with facts about each one. Among other things, she can tell you that Saturn has rings, Jupiter has the red spot, and Mercury is the smallest.
But we did not discuss Pluto, planet of exile, where the lonely Brontosaurus roams.
My brother and sister-in-law are vegan and I am vegetarian, so it is hard to eat out in this meat-loving town with my dad. He reduces animals to vapor with lasers from his eyes and inhales their smoke as Zeus inhales hecatombs.
My sister-in-law stir-fried tempeh, onions, and mushrooms and brought them in a metal bento to Mothers, the famous New Orleans restaurant, so we could eat more than fries and pie. I can usually eat anywhere, but in New Orleans even "rice and beans" is meaty.
I liked seeing a Toynbee tile on Canal Street, a gothic postcard from my home, the Quaker City. I did not know Toynbee tiles were made from the ground bones of dead journalists!
at 2:38 PM
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