Louisiana

Sep. 3rd, 2008 01:07 am
yrmencyn: (Default)
I teared up when I read [livejournal.com profile] rnbowpixy's "I'm alive and well" post.  I didn't realize how worried I was about all of my Louisiana folks.  I know that my friends are smart and safe, but it's a fucking hurricane, and I can't get out of this weird flashback to frantically searching the internet for one of my coworkers who I knew was still in NOLA when Katrina hit.  I love you all, and you're in my prayers.
yrmencyn: (bananas)
Well.  Jeez.  It's been almost a week since I wrote anything here, has it?  Oy.  Let's see.  I spent a lot of time in the last week watching the Democratic National Convention, which was mostly boring with brief interruption of stirring/exciting (I actually haven't yet watched Obama's speech; it's DVR'd).  I don't know if I'll be watching the RNC.  On the one hand I kind of want to, just to know what's going on (and to see if/how Hurricane Gustav affects their discourse), but on the other hand I think I might try to rip my eyes out and puncture my eardrums.  It's not that the Democrats don't say ridiculous, out-of-context, entirely unfair things about the Republicans, it's just that, uh, I tend to agree more with Democratic rhetoric.  On the third hand, I really do want to see this out-of-nowhere woman that McCain has chosen as his VP.

Anyway.  I didn't see the Obama speech because I went with some members of the New Things Club to Cocktails at the Conservatory.  The Franklin Park Conservatory has started this new thing where they open up the rooftop gardens on Thursday nights.  Wine, beer, cocktails, hors d'oeuvres.  Drinks are pretty reasonable, and there's no cover.  All in all it was a nice change of pace to stand around in the cool evening, watching as the sun set and "Light Raiment" (James Turrell's changing-colors light installation in the Conservatory's glass roofs) powered on.  They're going to keep doing these events through the end of October; I suspect I might end up back there.

There was a whole debacle with post-cocktail noshing, wherein only half of us ended up at Tip Top, but that did lead to a magnificent moment wherein David knocked over a large water glass, and we all watched, immobile, as a good pint of water sluiced across the table and into Lauren's lap.  Because really, what is there to do except accept your watery fate?

I spent Friday with [livejournal.com profile] moomoogal87, who was up from Louisiana visiting a grad program here at OSU.  We did lots of driving around and talking, doing our best to reconnect.  It's so much more convenient to have personal conversations at a coffee shop than in whispers at the end of the hall, trying not to wake up the [young] Session A campers or be overhead by the [teenage] Session B campers.  We also spent some time hacking away at half-frozen ham, andouille, and vegetables the better to make a nice big pot of red beans and rice, which I'm pleased to say was mostly consumed by about 6 people (of course, there were still probably 5 cups of beans left -- a pound of beans makes a BIG pot).

On Saturday I sat around in Mac's ignoring OSU's ritual slaughter of Youngstown State before retiring to Jess and Jen's for a viewing of Divorzio all'italiana an Italian film from the 60s that was... eh?  It was ok?  It had its moments.  The baroness was extremely annoying (and yes, she was supposed to be, but good GOD).

Finally, yesterday I went to Kevin's brother's wedding in Dayton.  It was really good to see John and Erin again -- their wedding was simple and sweet (it reminded me a lot of rosepurr/thunderstd's and purple_phys/tbec's), and I was glad to be able to celebrate their love along with their friends and family.  Erin made me promise to stay in touch, and I hope I manage to.

And now here it is Labor Day, and I need to do laundry.  Unfortunately my washer's been broken for a couple weeks now, so I guess it's time to schlepp my clothes across the alley to Elisa and Francis' place.  They're out of town, but I need to water their plant anyway.  Might as well abuse my laundry access at the same time :)

------------------

On a more serious note, I'm worried about all of you down in Louisiana.  I'm glad to see that Gustav has decreased in strength, but it's still a good-sized storm, and it's coming in at a totally bizarre angle.  At least it trended a little more west; at one point the projected path showed the distinct possibility that the eye could go right through New Orleans and manage to clip both BTR and Lafayette (like I said, bizarre angle).  So, I guess, be safe?  It's a little late to be getting to higher ground (and hell, there's a good chance you won't see this until after the storm's gone through, if at all), but I hope you're all well.  You're in my thoughts and prayers.
yrmencyn: (Default)
Hi folks!  As some of you know, I've been off on a whirlwind loop through Louisiana and Texas, visiting family and friends.  I flew down to New Orleans last Monday, rented a car, and drove to Baton Rouge.  Let's pause and give that act its due.  I felt like a Real Live Adult what with the whole renting-without-a-surcharge and signing-off-on-hundreds-of-dollars and not-having-anyone-meet-me-at-the-airport.  I've done parts of that before, but not all three at one fell swoop.  Anyway, I ended up with a Saturn Aura, which was larger than I expected, since I requested (and paid for) an economy car, and that's a midsize.  I've actually grown to like it, though, so that's nice, since I've put over 500 miles on it already.

Anyway, I crashed at Mandi's house in BR, where we feasted on chickpea salad, buttermilk curry, and tasty beers (I had Tilburg's Dutch Brown Ale, which is just lovely).  After watching the Olympics for a while (I suspect we may have watched Phelps massacre one of his own WRs, but I've really lost track at this point), I went to sleep so I could head to Nacogdoches the next day (after chatting with Carla for a while at her new place).

And that's where I've been for the last couple of days.  It's been a fun time, busy in a good way.  Hung out with Megan and Kate Tuesday night, which included some tipsy Facebook messaging by committee, saw Therese and Ann-Marie on Wednesday and then hung out at the Kulhavys' for, yes, more Olympics, and drove down to Lufkin today to see Cliff before coming back home for dinner at Clear Springs and (you guessed it) more Olympics.  What can I say?  I'm happy to be part of the Olympic mania.  (I mean, what about Nastia Liukin tonight: she's amazing!)

So tomorrow it's off to Lafayette to meet up with the CBC folk, and then on to BR for the weekend.  I already feel like I've gotten my vacation's worth, and I've barely hit BR at all.  It's been really nice to see people, and I hope it continues on through the weekend.  If you're down in the pertinent areas and haven't talked to me... do so!
yrmencyn: (qc - drunk)
OK.  So.  For my Cajun class, I have this assignment.  I have to interview a speaker of Cajun French and then transcribe a ~2 minute portion of speech, which will be, ideally, the interviewee talking with a minimum of interruption.  Now, I had thought to get Andrea's dad to be my interviewee, but I was a moron and kept forgetting to ask him about it, and so what with my trip to Alabama on Sunday-Wednesday, it wasn't going to happen, to my great despair.  So I showed up in class yesterday all "whaa my informant went go poof," and Ancelet suggests I just head down to the Bayou Pigeon or to Pierre Part and trawl for Cajuns at the grocery (most of them speak French there).  That's all well and good, and really sounded interesting, except that that involves placing myself in a completely unknown situation, which I try to avoid at all costs.

So, unrelatedly, Marianne had sent me (and others) an email tonight advertising the American Legion Post 38's weekly Cajun dance tonight.  She and Tom had been last night and had a lot of fun.  So I figured I'd go tonight, because they have some free basic Cajun step lessons and $1 beers, plus I like Cajun music.  Well.  During the lesson, I partnered up with a lady, Cathy, who's part of Post 38's dance troupe.  We chatted while going through the practice steps, because I can do a basic waltz or two-step without difficulty, and I mentioned that I was in the Dept. of French Studies at LSU.  So later, during the dance proper, she introduces me to a number of Cajuns, in that sort of "You speak French, here, talk to them!" sort of way.  Long story short, I'm going to talk to Harold Daigle tomorrow here in Baton Rouge, and I don't have to drive down to bufu!  Woohoo!  Also Cathy et al. think I'm the best thing since chipped beef, but that's pretty much par for the course, innit?  I'm adult candy, so damned personable.  Oh, plus, my line dance skills are to be reckoned with.

The group actually abandoned me while I was talking to the Boudreauxs (Boutreauxs?), but that's ok, since they thought I had just left (when in reality I'd been dragged over to the other side of the floor to talk to more Cajuns, heh).  Met up with them at George's under the overpass, then retired to Tom/Marianne's.  I appear to have joined Le Club Pétanque Louisianaise, the pétanque club/league that Tom started, so that's good (for pétanque, read: French bocce).  I had a good night.  Now just to sleep so I can go talk in French tomorrow, woohoo!

BTW: I mentioned the "French problem" in Louisiana yesterday, which I think had unintended Nazi overtones (I blame the Kurlansky book I'm currently reading).  The French problem/question actually refers to the effort to reinvigorate the French language in the state of Louisiana.  This effort has gone through many iterations which I will not bore you with, but suffice it to say that the problem really boils down to an infrastructure problem coupled with a chicken-or-the-egg issue: there are good ideas that haven't the infrastructure support to be implemented, but the ideas are almost necessary to create the needed infrastructure.  Fun times, no Gestapo.
yrmencyn: (qc - drunk)
So, guess what I did tonight in my Medieval Occitan class.  No, really, guess.  OK, I'll give you a hint:  I brought up a completely incongruous comic personality.  Give up?  I brought up Eddie Izzard.  In a class on Medieval Occitan poetry about courtly love (which, if I may add an aside, is the emoest thing ever, 750 years before the advent of emo itself). 

How, you ask?  Well, in Bernart de Ventadorn's poem "Can vei la lauzeta" ("When I see the lark"; text and translation), he uses the verb 'chaptener', 'to defend' (ln. 27).  A line later, he uses the derived verb 'deschaptener,' and we were hemming and hawing as to how to translate it.  Carla suggested "undefend" and I started giggling.  Class ended about 10 minutes later, and before anybody had even gotten up, I explained my giggling.

You know that bit Eddie Izzard does, where he's talking about the queen?  "Why do we sing God Save the Queen?  Have you seen Buckingham Palace?  That is one saved queen!  I say we sing God Attack the Queen: o/`Oh, God, attack the queen; send big dogs after her; to bite her bum o/`"  Yes, I sang the song.  Course then I had to explain who Eddie Izzard was, and how I knew of him (people don't?), which led into the admission that I'd seen Dress to Kill on the free motel HBO en route to backpacking in the mountains for 11 days.  Yes, I saw an erudite multilingual transvestite comedian for the first time on a Boy Scout trip.  Je suis un scout... executif.  Un scout... d'action!

Anyway.  We solved the French problem in Louisiana in Cajun class today.  Pity it was all in our heads.  I can't believe what I'm typing (well, am about to type), but I would not be adverse to being involved in the question for real.  It's fascinating, and it's something that has real practical application.  Not that I'm really considering dropping the Creative Writing idea, of course, but it's so intriguing.  Let's face it, I'm gonna be a career student anyway.  <sarc> After I'm done with my DMA in music history (which I'll work on in between bouts of preparing my critically acclaimed and best-selling (take that John Grisham) first volume of poetry), I'll just go and get a PhD in Education.  And then I figure I'll fix the entire American educational system while I'm at it.  No use doing half a job, right?

Right. </sarc>
yrmencyn: (Default)
Teehee.  Often it's meteorological in nature, the thing that makes me laugh.  The news is on in the background, and the weather guy comes on.  I glance over at the TV where there's a full-screen graphic saying tonight's low temp forecast.  27°, it says, and clear skies.  Below that it says "Bitterly cold..."

Heh, 27 degrees equals bitterly cold.  I mean, yes, we're below the freeze mark there, so it's definitely cold, but if 27 is *bitterly* cold I give up.

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