Wednesday, September 28, 2005

breakfast this morning with my best friend, who sets off on friday for her big journey abroad...

six weeks in amsterdam/northern france/the uk. my eyes are a nice shade of spruce, but i am also giddy with excitement, as she's doing it totally on her own.

happy trails, kat!

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

no more bread, no more coffee, no more beer... seems so sad...

but not really so much.

when i lost the bulk of my weight a couple of years ago, a lot good came out of it. some bittersweet good... but good nonetheless. not just the general look better, more energy that weight loss begets, but my body had apparently been telling me things for years that i guess got muffled under all that flab and insecurity.

anyone who's sat across from me at the dinner table knows exactly what i am talking about.

once upon a time, i endured tummy problems after almost every meal. one would have thought it was just the abundance of junk i was eating, but the more i tried to "eat right" - getting a turkey sandwich and a cup of soup instead of a #8 from mcdonald's with strawberry soda - the worse it got. after four years or so of bloat and lethargy, i finally decided it was all linked to my girth somehow and decided to take drastic measures. while i do not advocate it for everybody, nor do i intend to create a shrine to the no-carb gods, atkins was the road i took and that begot more than some shed poundage.

when after a week i noticed that my meals were pain-free and my tummy wasn't violently resisting me any longer... it occurred to me to try an experiment.

at a comfortable point with 20 pounds off, i bought a sandwich. on whole wheat. imagine being rudely awoken from the most pleasant, dream-filled sleep you've ever experienced. yeah, that's what my stomach said too!

no bread. baby don't tolerate wheat or gluten. oh, well. hooray for rice.

and now thai food has become a dietary staple; i cannot begin to imagine why it never was before. and my honey makes some mean fried rice. the loss feels less and less. the only time i truly yearn for bread - poached eggs. they just aren't the same without buttered toast.

same with coffee. frou-frou $4-latte coffee is not so much a problem, as long as i keep it tall. but your run-of-the-mill employee-hallway stuff... uh-uh. not havin' it. not even the weakest of crappy office coffee is weak enough for the likes of me.

thus what was once a love cultivated across the pond has of late become daily ritual. when i am feeling sluggish, it's time for my morning/afternoon tea. the desk drawer immediately down and to the right of my head is packed to the gills with numerous varieties of the black stuff. maybe no one else gets why they drive on the other side of the road/car or put "u"s where they don''t seem necessary (colour) - but there's no denying that the english have it down when it comes to two things: breakfast and caffeination.

ok - well, i like to think i get the left-side driving thing... oh, nevermind... that's a whole other post all to itself.

i do miss beer, though. there is no decent substitute for a good ale or especially for a good stout (guinness=life). my appreciation for wine has increased immeasurably, but it still just ain't the same (and it always gives me a headache if i have enough to invoke tipsiness or beyond... no matter how schmancy the label is). plus you can never look cool at a show hanging on to a bottle of cider or a glass full o' pink stuff...

but at least i can't get a beer belly if i don't drink it...

so with my cup of vanilla infused black tea and a pizza in my sights that i intend to relieve of its cheesy-topping goodness, i say, "this ain't so bad."

Monday, September 26, 2005

no rest for the wicked, i suppose...

tonight i have a date with my hussy, friday's birthday boy, and four lovely young british men.

tomorrow a former co-worker and fellow anglophile and i have a date with the brothers unibrow - here's hoping those pangs of suspicion are just in my head... but something tells me i should be concerned if they chose imposters of themselves to open...

wednesday i have reserved a day for a hellish game of catch-up where my prop work is concerned.. but won't it be nice when i can say i am done done done.

thursday the hussy and i are back together to visit our future object of polygamy, and re-experience one of the best live shows ever... me heart the dekabreestee !

and then my weekend begins... already jam-packed with even more projects.

and a happy early birthday to my favorite man in the whole world... (my daddy!)

Thursday, September 22, 2005

it is with both smug satisfaction and utter incredulousness that i say to j- all your chidings of "click it or ticket, heidi... click it or ticket!" over the three and half years you primarily occupied my paasenger seat... they were totally in vain.

apparently, as i learned this afternoon, seatbelt laws do not apply to me. thanks to those big fat good ole boys i knew so well in my grammar school years and that have somehow infiltrated government of late, there's been a loophole on the books for years that if you own a pickup truck in georgia (as i so proudly do - hey, it makes me feel like a badass) you are exempt from the state's mandatory "click it or ticket" crusade...

how fucking stupid is that? and it would seem this is reaking(sp?) havok on the state's budget. screw those millions in grants we could have access to. we don't want those fat country fucks having to experience the discomfort of a silly safety device cutting into their beer and cornbread bellies when their taking their F150 out to their rallies. to hell with that.

and as one raised in a north georgia town ending in "-ville" (and thus a hillbilly in my own right) i have every right to speak of my own kind this way... so no name-calling or stereotyping accusations. i grew up with these people. sadly, i know and understand how their minds work. well, understand is a strong word. let's say i know the inner workings, but i don't comprehend them to a point that i am willing to or able to defend them... anyway, off that soapbox and back onto the first one...

i reiterate... how fucking stupid! how could that have been an exemption in the first place? what, accidents don't happen on farms? has anyone noticed that pickup trucks aren't just for farmhands anymore? funny, mine was on a major interstate not 20minutes ago... gees people.

no wonder this country loves the effin' president so much. he's proof that stupid and rich can co-exist.


and while i am ranting... sorry i seem to do this a lot lately...

you might recall a post from a year back or documenting my manifesto common courtesy of concert-going. well, let me present a second volume, this time dedicated to theatre-/movie-going:

1. while it should go without saying, shut off your cell phone and your mouth. no really. especially in live theatre. the people around you paid for their seats too. and do you think the actors can't here you?
2. if a house is not sold to the ceiling, and in fact has many many empty seats, don't ever sit directly in front of someone. it's just damn rude.
3. don't clap during scene changes if it isn't a musical. it's just silly.
4. if you can hold your bladder, you should. if you don't need to pee before the show/at intermission, try anyway.
5. as a general rule in life, but particularly when you'll possibly be this intimately close to strangers, do not bathe in your cologne/perfume. if you can smell it, it's gonna give some poor guy a migraine or an asthma attack. your scent should not linger 60 seconds after your absence... especially not if it's a chemical.

i am done bitching now. i promise to think happy thoughts tomorrow.

two of my favorite boys (or men, if you'd rather) have birthdays this weekend. mix cds are currently being compiled in my brain and in ilya's hard drive, soon to be delivered into their hands (by my own or the postman's)...

in the meantime, however, in salute to each of them on their 28th year of existence, here is a small list of the reasons i love them so much. some of you may be able to tell whom is who (hopefully the boys themselves at the very least), but if you can't... well, that's part of the fun.

-defying a hussy and getting me a ron weasly t-shirt anyway
-"watching heidi dance reminds me of just how white i am"
-making sure i got home on bastille day
-the promise that no saturday night in atlanta has to be boring as long as there's c and maryoke - we're gonna sing leather and lace one of these days, boy
-literally ordering me a second and a third margarita when i wasn't looking
-being the gift-giving king (or... queen?) -instictively knowing concert for george would be a good gift
- asking to make my weeding cake
-never letting physical distance seem like distance
-paying me the single-handed greatest compliment a guy who's not your boyfriend could ever pay you... and sincerely
-the knowledge that if either one is around, i will never need for a dance partner
-slipping up and saying, "i love you too" ("i was in the bathroom. you caught me off-guard!")
-making me enjoy the new gwen stefani album
-appreciating hair metal. i bet he would've gone to see la guns with me, dammit!
-and hanging out with either/both of their fine-ass selves always makes me feel like a hot mama

happy birthday, my darling ch---(x2)

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

i think it's time for a new photo... who's tired of looking at my ass?

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

sick makes me feel fat and lazy. boooo!

however, i think i have finally managed to figure out how to pronounce ilyinishna (il-yee-nish-na - seems easy, right?) which is a good thing, since if i ever have a daughter, it will most likely be her middle name.

and while we're on the subject, don't say pizdets (peas-dee-ets) around any ruskis you respect. the comrade's best friend found out this is the only thing he's taught me, and i thought she'd slap him. hee hee.

Monday, September 19, 2005

a bad case of the crud has had me floating through the last few days in Robitussin haze... i think i grasp why it once so popular with my parents' high school peers... that stuff can make you feel pretty trippy and jittery.

so i have been absent for a couple fo days in spite of my birthday resolution topost at least something every day... so as to avoid overwhelming my reader(s) with acerbic and/or cracked-out, illness-related crabbiness-induced ranting.

but here's a little something i find myself wanting to say... this should probably be reserved for my music blog, but it relates to post from "chronicles" past - one where i went ballistic because commercial radio is this close (fingers make less than inch gesture) to making me hate snow patrol... well, sometimes the sun shines and commercial radio suddenly forgets bands as fast as they snatched them up like an overtly spoiled brat with christmas toys... and they have. and i can love them again.

this realization came to me as i was listening to travis the other day - a band which i adore and certainly lose hipster points for doing so - and i remembered when this happened to them. and how happy i am that they had their mild american success and yet didn't get flogged about like a coldplay (next U2 my ass... we'll see wher they are in 25 years and then determine that)...

so this my "i love you" to those bands whose brief american triumph brought them into my life, and for whom my adoration did not taper off when their u.s. popularity as a whole did...

to my travis, my placebo, my catherine wheel. to my beloved supergrass (especially). to suede. even to the smiths... to badly drawn boy and manic street preachers and even to radiohead, though they may seem bigger than life still.

this list is not limited to those born across the atlantic, either. to jason falkner, mark kozelek, and our dear departeds jeff and elliott.

underappreciated and yet appreciated moreso for it.

Friday, September 16, 2005

am i correct in assuming that michael jackson still owns the rights to all the beatles' catalogue? because whe i heard "the long and winding road" undescoring a GMC commercial, i saw red...overscoring that fucker's face.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

something i experienced my senior year of college - the greatest concert experience of my life, hands down - was something i thought would never happen again.

especially after david j himself told me that due to daniel ash's physical condition (in turn due to numerous motorcycle mishaps), that love and rockets were not planning on any touring as part of their own reuniting... (and then HUGGED ME - sorry...)

but yesterday i heard it. and yesterday i spent money i don't really have in celebration of it.

not just david and daniel and kevin, but peter too!!!!!! BAUHAUS - touring again. and coming to my precious ATL.

granted, it can never surpass the Gotham show, as it was also the loss of my bauhaus virginity, but it may damn well come in second and dethrone those radiohead people.

here's a giddy girl. a broke giddy girl.

last night we were watching public television - my place of employment was being featured on a show about local arts organizations - when i saw an ad for one of the many brit shows that they run regularly. immediately, and ironically considering yesterday's post, i recognized a brighton setting.

i'd also like to point out my most recent enounter with Mr. Murphy and his laws. three weeks ago, i finally purchased a much coveted iPod. i settled on a mini, as deciding on anything larger/looming marriage expenses/certainty that a bigger one would be available three months later at this rate just seemed to overwhelm. and now, less than a month later, i have what is days away from being a piece of obsolete technology thanks to the arrival of the tiny new nano.

i was mildly irritated at first. then yesterday i actually looked at one of these little buggers. they are so tiny that, much like a newborn, i find myself terrified of even touching it. like a huge cutlass juxtaposed with a geo metro, i feel safer with my "bulky" lil mini.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

for no good reason that i can conjure up, i always think of the city brighton when i hear supergrass. nevermind that they are from oxford.

brighton is by and large one of my favorite english cities. it doesn't offer much in the way of tourism except the beautiful Royal Pavillion and sightseeing for Who movie buffs.

nevertheless, like salisbury (yet completely different), it's a perfect place to just experience a living, breathing english town. if you've ever seen Quadrophenia (and if you haven't you should)- it does not paint an altogether inaccurate picture. not that mods and rockers are thrashing each other in the streets or anything like that, but even walking the streets at 7 in the morning with shops just starting to open for breakfast and little more than the sound of the surf crashing on the coast and the clanking of tea cups and silverware, you can still feel a distinct pulse beneath your feet. school nights don't stop teenagers and college kids alike from gathering on the rocky beaches at sundown with blankets and pints to watch the lights from the pier's amusement arcades until late into the evening.

i remember our visit there vividly. our chatty, efficient, and incredibly sweet cabby who got us from the station to our b&b by way of all the pubs she felt we shouldn't miss and the look on her face when i tipped her (i didn't read the part in my travel books where it said people don't really do this in the uk)... an afternoon in the park watching the skater kids - i had never seen ramps and fishbowls designed for a park like that and i was so in awe... my first taste of mushy peas from a chip stand on the pier and the love affair (with mushy peas)that ensued after... justin being asked for directions by a brit on holiday and the look (of mortification) on that guy's face upon discovering he'd just asked an american... and the best english breakfast i ever ate outside of the penny lane pub in liverpool. doesn't sound that excitin, really, but to me it was probably the equivalent of paris to most people.

maybe it's just an english city, but it's a great one. and a youthful one, no matter how old it gets.

and maybe supergrass is like that too. those guys are getting older, but they are still, in my humble opinion, the most fun and gifted at making being so, rock and roll band from great britain thus far. never taking themselves too seriously and yet never dispassionate about what they are doing.

yep, maybe they're from oxford (which we bypassed on our rock and roll tour of england in favor of swindon, and even we aren't sure why - well, that's a lie...), but when i hear supergrass i still pine for brighton.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

my best friend.
i love her.
she has agreed to become ordained... just for me.
my wedding gift from her will be - my wedding.

Monday, September 12, 2005

as a rule of thumb, never call a place of business 3 minutes before closing time and expect to get good service. bad karma will find you and tie you to your office chair to sit long after all your coworkers have made their way home.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

as far as the gas panic in atlanta is concerned, a word of warning:

if you live AND work within reasonable walking distance of a train station - say a mile or so approximately - know that you will get no sympathy from me in our current situation. sometimes driving is simply unnecessary. and marta really is pretty decent public transportation if you can rely solely on trains.

on a separate note:

i have recently begun reading Nickel and Dimed. it still never ceases to amaze me that, as this book is in large part about the lower middle class - or more appropriately working poor - that my parents belonged to for most of my childhood and only in recent years managed to escape, what a damn fine job they did holding it together and raising me all the while. AND they're still together and going strong. it's not that they didn't want more than one kid, it just never happened that way... guess fate was looking out for them. and i guess that's part of why, though i still have my related complexes, i am for the most part not the stereotypical self-centered spoiled only child.
if i had a drink, i'd toast them right now.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

as happens once every six months or so, heidi has found herself in prop hell. i spent a large part of yesterday doing these things:

making cakes out of styrofoam and caulk
chasing down acrylic canisters
digging at the goodwill for dessert glasses and sundae spoons
getting my hair cut even shorter
trying to figure out the best strategy to convince my best friend to become ordained and perform my "wedding ceremony"

those last two really have nothing to do with the rest of it.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

monday - find dress
wednesday - buy dress

i had been describng it as a jackie o cut... then i saw an ad today with a photo of jackie o wearing a dress of the same cut. guess i called that one accurately.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Funny how things always come to me as I lie down to sleep at night, not quite able, with just the sound of ilya's breathing to surround me.

Wound up from this insane book I am reading, and inundated with thoughts of the looming (yet beautiful and glorious) marriage that is now a mere 4 months away and counting? I began to trace my steps and figure out - as mr. byrne so eloquently puts it - "well, how did I get here?"

Me, the girl who - and this blog is most likely your best evidence - swore off relationships and just wanted to explore the wide world of sexual freedom... engaged to be married, willingly, and not to a rock star or a tortured artist as one might guess, but to a lovely man who's about to have his doctorate in MATHEMATICS! (Sorry, comrade. I meant STATISTICS!)

Let me tell you how. That other world can be really fun to visit, but you get tired of it after a few months...

What will follow is yet another open letter, composed mentally, to a few past - let's call them acquaintances. I'll try not to make this abhorrently sex and the city-ish, but I have to say, these boys taught me a lot I didn't know about men, both good and bad. And they sure made me grateful for what I got waitin' for me at home every night - that is, a lover, a friend, sometimes another momma, and a man completely obsessed with computer games that simulate WWII but will forsake them all to come brush his lady's hair when she has a headache.

(If you're reading this, comrade, I love you. But you might want to stop reading now.)

Dear #16 and #9:
(come to think of it, #s 10, 11, and 13 you might pay attention to this too)

Whether you like it or not, you are all hopeless romantics. And that is not always to your benefit or to your advantage, as it's not that looking for love kinda romanticism. Rather it's that expecting it kind accompanied by the misconception that all women want the same thing. Sorry, boys not always the case.

I tell you this not to sit and admonish or pass judgment or point fingers, nothing like that. I simply wish to let you know, you?re totally making it harder on yourselves.

This issue has been addressed here before, but for your sake and those of sexually liberated and simultaneously frustrated women everywhere, here it is again. Pay close attention, boys.

Just because a woman sleeps with you does not mean she wants more. It occurred to me throughout my brief experiment, the one I refer to as seeking out a f*** buddy, that it was simply unfathomable to any one of my subjects that I could ever just want to sleep with them. Or much less that once I had that I would not fall immediately and madly in love with him.

Quite the opposite, I am afraid my lovelies, is true. Just ask #17. I was nuts about him UNTIL we had sex. Sadly it was all downhill from there (and after that there wasn?t much further downhill to fall, to be honest.) And you Mr. 11 - I almost decided that this didn't apply to you at all being as I was crazy about you - and I do mean crazy - for the 5 hours or so leading up to things, but boy did the next morning sober my ass up!

Sorry, now I am just being mean. I digress...

So it would also seem that you get agitated if we sleep over afterwards. As if you have this suspect notion that we're plotting to slip you love potion in your sleep or anticipating that all it will take to win your heart is to see us lying beside you when you wake from your slumber. Aware that I can't speak for all women, as some may very well have said motives, I going to admit that I just stick around hoping the morning might be seen as one more opportunity to get it on.

Except in your case, artist boy (#13) - you just wore my ass out. A girl cannot drive home like that. Yet in your defense, there was never a question as far as you were concerned that I should keep a toothbrush on hand. Eight years of waiting was pretty much worth it I have to say, in your case. We had some serious fun, and I commend you for that, but in your unique case, well, you snooze you lose. If you'd only taken advantage of the situation a little more often, but I also understand your position given our bizarre history.

To my primary addressees, however - yes, that would be you mr. rock star (16) and you mr. I-think-I-am-a-rock-star (9 - I believe Battle Royale has infected my brain) - seriously, boys? you two really mucked this up. If you've been out with a woman any number of times over the course of a few months and nothing much has happened beyond some beers and some naked, you'd have to think we were pretty stupid to assume it might ever be more than that. Trust me, if we want something else we'll either ask for it, hint for it, or just damn give up after a while and say no when you ask us over. (But don't get your hopes up. I told you each no that last time because I was either bored or involved or - well, read the next paragraph and that'll really clear it up).

And when you do finally clue in that if you're just having fun then she probably just wants to have fun, don't let that be your cue to start treating her like a whore. There is nothing wrong with a sexually liberated woman! Casual sex can be a beautiful thing if you let it be? requiring only that everyone involved understands that that is just what it is. Consider this a blessing. Treat it as an honor and a privilege and the goldmine that it is. Isn?t this like a man's holy grail? Sex without strings? Be appreciative and not condescending. Women who know what they want tend to be smart women, and we know when that switch gets flipped and for whatever reason you start treating us like we're filthy because we aren't trying to snag you in a relationship net. I am sorry if it bruises your ego, but well, you know what they say about having your cake, huh, baby?

It seems that in the 14 hours or so that have passed since I was drawing this up in my brain, some of it has been lost, but nevertheless-

Again, this wasn't meant to be a rant. Or accusatory even, for that matter. Just a ? let's call it a recommendation.

And a thank you.

A thank you for this: I spent four years (almost) with #8. And I loved him deeply, but I'd never truly been free to explore that side of myself. 1-6 were all pretty much serious relationships both requited and not, and #7 was just a dumb mistake. There was something in the world I seriously thought I was missing out on.

Now I know the only thing I was missing out on was a handsome comrade who likes Kurosawa films, playing with formulas, and who is indeed a joy to love.


PS - while I have you guys here, figuratively, of course, let me address a few others in my amends before marrying effort?

#3 - I am sorry I was such a shitty girlfriend. I really expected way more out of you than was fair. Might I add, you were an amazing lover for having never so much as kissed a girl before me? wow!

#8 - Thank you for still being in my life. I am sorry if I ever hurt you, but- well, you know all this. With the exception of my to-be husband, you really are the great love of my life.

#10 - Sorry about that stupid letter I sent. Hindsight being 20/20? damn, that was dumb. But thank you anyway for a lovely, lovely memory. And for letting me be te one to give you your sendoff...

#12 - I handled this very poorly. I know you claim there's nothing to be forgiven, but there really is and should you realize it, I hope you still can. It's nice to know some nice girl out there has figured out what needs to make you a happy boy.

#-1 - because it only happened in our heads, and in our hearts - and that I am sure has always been for the best, just as you said... None of this applies to you. You coulda schooled these boys - But I wanted to acknowledge here anyway, since you probably read this.

Monday, September 05, 2005

today i found the dress.
i also learned that andre3000 is a damn fine actor.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

does it really sound so unromantic that i didn't want us to waste money on an engagement ring? and that i am not changing my last name? does it seem less a marriage because we don't want a huge, formal ceremony and we aren't taking our honeymoon right away?

we're determined to make this commitment to one another before the year is out despite the finacial obstacles that prevent us doing so "tradionally." i think that's pretty damn romantic if you ask me.

and when have i ever been a traditional kinda girl, huh?

Saturday, September 03, 2005

ilya once told me of how he first discovered the beatles as a teenager.

funny how all those stereotypes in place about russian youth when i was a kid were not completely unfounded. they really couldn't get their hands on things like blue jeans or the bigger part of the rock and roll catalogue, as most anything to do with western culture was banned in the soviet union unless, of course, it was french. so this sort of stuff was honestly like black market gold.

he said he remembered being completely taken with it he was upon first listening - how even though he knew nothing of what was being said, the melodies still moved him in such a way.

and then as he began to learn english, how the songs took on a whole other life as he was able to piece those ideas together. he then had a rare and awesome opportunity in discovering them all over again, only to find what was already beautiful while ridden with mystery revealing itself as even more compelling or intriguing or lovely than imagined.

i truly envy him this experience.

even if it was "maxwell's silver hammer" that first fascinated him... yep. i love a sick-o.

Friday, September 02, 2005

to preface: i love spiders. they eat things that want to eat me, and as long as we don't mess with each other, it's a nice altruistic existence. they eat mosquitoes, i let them live in my bathroom.

the last book i finished, an eloquently written young adult's novel loaned to me by kat, contained a passage something like this...

to paraphrase philip pullman's words: the man who had rescued the bear from danger and fought beside himin his own world, had died. Iorek would avenge him. the good man's flesh and bone would both nourish him and keep him restless until blood was sspilt enough to still his heart... the sun set as the bear finished his meal and dropped a flower where the remains lay. the rest of the body was free to all who came and it soon would be nourishing all kinds of needful life.

i was reminded of this passage on my walk home from the station with the comrade. on the path we spotted a lovely fallen butterfly, almost crushed underfoot. once we'd reached the conclusion that it was beyond nursing and had, in fact, been long gone, the russian asked, "should we take him to spider?"

the speed limit sign at the nearest intersection to our place is home to a gorgeous writing spider whose spinning work we stop to admire on our morning trek. what also comes to our attention is that he never seems to have much in the way of food stocked up. confident that he's probably just finished something up, but never quite sure, we've strangely found ourselves concerned for his welfare. so with our last visit, we brought our arachnid friend an offering, that such a lovely creature as this butterfly - deceased - could continue to contribute to other life and not simply find its way trampled under someone's boots.

there's a lot to be said for a spider's craftmanship not only where their webs are concerned, but in the oddly elegant manner that it packages up an offering like this. seconds pass and what was once easily his same size is compacted and packaged in his silk spinnings and safe from the eyes of thieves. if only we had had the camera to document it.

sounds corny, but i'll risk it. i would explain the sentiment i take from these - the passage, the offering - but i think it's sufficient to say that sometimes when humanity lets me down, nature can be brilliant at restoring a little faith in the world itself. the rest pretty much speaks for itself.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

april 2000 was a rough time for me. one of the most difficult things i have ever experienced, and certainly the most dramatic thus far, took place within those 30 days. there's not a doubt in my mind that the decision i came to was the exact right one, but it was task nonetheless.

yet that's not the point of this post, and i do not wish to bog you down with details here. most of you were there for it anyway, and this is not where i like to hang my political laundry...

well, ok, sometimes, but only a little at a time.

nevertheless, it's a time that j and i oftened referred to as "the yucky stuff."

and when "the yucky stuff" was all said and done, what the two of us really needed was a brief escape from our atlanta lives. we were still a new couple, still discovering each other, our relationship... beyond the (not so) small rough patch, we were still in our honeymoon phase.

so we embarked on our first vacation together. i would never have guessed that that would be the last time i would see new orleans as i know it.

now that i am on this reflective kick, iniatiated by my impending huge, adult step in life (have i mentioned i am getting married in four months??? only a hundred times? right!)- now that evreything on the news is the decimation of a city that i have always held close to my heart- now that one my my most beloved has to sit by and see both his family's and his sweetheart's lives literally get washed away-

with it all destruction and grief right now, i am going to take this opportunity to relay some of the beautiful moments i have lived in n.o. starting with june 2000 and my trip with j -

- rounding the corner to meet our walking tour in Pirate's Alley. the guide asked where we were from. upon answering "atlanta," the guide pointed out his other group from georgia... and with them a long lost friend. another couple that were trailing behind a bit said they almost turned back, frightened by the squealing they heard when julie and i finally pieced the years together and realized who one another were. drinks at that rickety old shack on the corner of bourbon and st. phillip and remincing ensued. i hadn't seen the city since julie and i were 12 and thick as thieves.

- a gift from an adored coworker before we took flight (i left that job behind when we headed to the airport). two 20's and a set of instructions involving hurricanes and a piano bar. j stumped the evening's talent by requesting lady madonna, if i remember correctly, but the hurricanes hit hard and fast and so it's poosible i am mixing my beatles melodies. j kept photographic evidence of this night in a frame until i broke his heart years later: heidi wide-eyed, a crown of tiny braids amongst the rest of my locks, and two straws from two half-full hurricane glasses poking out from my mischeviously curled lips. when we finally managed to get my tipsy butt up the stairs to our suite, i threw j down on the kitchen floor. i daresay that boy had some of the best sex of his life (up until that point at least)that night...

- a haunted b&b, though we were unaware of the fact until she decided i was time to make herself known. it's one thing when you think the maids are changing the radio station on your alarm clock or the walls are so thin and boys those people in the next room are even more the night owl than we are. it's quite another when you realize, wait, we're in an attic apartment and light bulbs don't just explode like that- or smash themselves as it seemed at the time. what an adventure!

- people-watching in the square. a nice older lady stopping to tell us that seeing us there brought forth warm memories of her husband and herself in the days of their youth. there's still that lovely hospitality below the mason-dixon, even if a lot has left my own southern home.

- lunch at the gumbo shop. our first meal in louisiana, and the etoufee was so unbelievable, it was our last meal there as well. or was meant to be, except for that whole missing our flight home thing.

- which wasn't as much a hassle once we realized it was one more night we got to spend there.

- an awkward 12-year-old, setting foot in her first Hard Rock Cafe. seems silly now, but there wasn't a rock and roll hall of fame yet. imagine the awe i felt... surrounded by all that evidence of the beatles and zeppelin, etc.

- first sight of the mississippi. a riverboat ride where i was introduced to swing dancing. sitting on the pier at god knows what hour, 10 years on, watching those same riverboats returning to shore and telling j all about it.

- jamie's insisting he could get that mime to talk, even if it meant stealing his hat.

it's not a eulogy. the city isn't dead. but at the moment it's suffering and times like this warrant some good thoughts to put things in balance.

looking at line after long line of vehicles jamming the surface roads i take home on the few occassions that i actually drive to or from work, i felt two things: a sense of relief that my tank was already full and my rail pass was securely tucked away... and pure, unadulterated fury/disgust... three-quarters of those vehicles were single-passengered SUVs.

people don't you realize you're the problem?!

remember in 6th grade when we read that chapter in science class about natural resources... remember that? maybe you should see if you can locate that text book.

and now i step down from my soap box.