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Four parades today: Okeanos, Mid-City, Thoth, and Bacchus tonight. I am not even remotely as tired as I was yesterday morning; the fact Endymion takes a different route, which allowed us to take the rest of the day off after Tucks yesterday probably helped a great deal. I woke up this morning feeling rested. Spending the evening getting caught up on our television shows helped a great deal as well. And the left-over Deep Dish pizza from That's Amore? It ensured there was no hangover last evening after the effects of the day drinking wore off, which was truly lovely. So a deep-dish pizza is definitely going to have to be on the prep list going forward.

I do enjoy Thoth. Paul wants to take the day off and rest up for Bacchus tonight; I don't know whether I will skip any parades. We usually don't go to any on Fat Tuesday, so that would mean all we have left to attend would be Bacchus tonight and Orpheus tomorrow. And since I am feeling rested...we shall have to see, I suppose.

Of course, I could just spend the entire day inside relaxing and reading. Maybe even doing some writing. There certainly is some cleaning necessary, I've let the entire apartment slide these last few days, and usually it's the weekend where I make up for my lack of cleaning during the week, or the things I let slide. But I am going to try to get the laundry done this morning, and maybe some of the kitchen. But relaxing in the easy chair also sounds terrific. We shall see. I do want to finish my Lori Rader-Day novel, and I think I've chosen my next book as well. Tomorrow I am going to walk about ten miles again for Lundi Gras outreach (yay), so maybe resting today isn't such a bad idea. I don't know. We'll see how I feel. But as I glance around at the mess in my kitchen, I know I probably won't let that stand.

I have to say yet again how much I love Carnival. It occurred to me last night that probably the reason New Orleans is such a progressive city in a sea of red is because of Carnival; when you're standing out on the parade route, you see everything: people of every size, shape, color, ethnicity, sexuality; probably the most diverse of crowds, and everyone is getting along, hanging out, talking, chatting with total strangers, hanging out and just having a good time. It's very hard to 'other' people when you are around them all the time. Don't get me wrong, it's still possible to do so, of course; racism and sexism and homophobia certainly exist in New Orleans, but somehow it doesn't seem as ingrained here as it is in other places.

Then again, I'm a white male, so I tick two of the boxes on the Privileged Card.

In other hilarity, one of the reasons (there are many) I've not started working on the new Scotty book (tentatively titled Crescent City Charade; that may not last) is because I start each Scotty book by satirizing the opening of a famous book (my favorite was Mardi Gras Mambo: "Last night I dreamed I went to Mardi Gras again.") and I've not been able to figure out one that would work. Yesterday morning, as I sipped my second or third coffee and Bailey's, it hit me like a 2 x 4 across the face, I looked it up, and it's perfect.

So maybe this week I will get started on it. Who knows?

And now, back to the spice mines.

Here's a shot from the parade route yesterday:

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I wish I had some Bloody Mary mix in the house. That sounds absolutely perfect this morning, but alas, I am making do with Bailey's in my coffee. It's IRIS SATURDAY, Paul's and my favorite parade day, and it is stunningly beautiful outside already, 63 degrees with a high of 79, not a cloud in our gorgeous sky, the sun is shining--how does it get better for standing out on the street screaming for beads while day drinking?

It doesn't.

Last night I was so tired I almost wept out there on the parade route--despite being that deep tired you can feel in your bones and joints, I was out there till the bitter end of Morpheus last night. Despite the agony, though, I had a great time. I love Carnival, I truly do. It just amazes me that every year we have this ENORMOUS event, and even if they didn't throw anything (as if, who am I trying to kid) it would be fun to people watch, if nothing else. And there's no escaping Carnival; even if you don't want to participate, it's so ubiquitous you have no choice: you have to just give up and go with it otherwise you'll make yourself crazy. I walked over ten miles yesterday, between going to and from work as well as walking around in the Quarter passing out condoms, and I'll have to do that again on Monday. Sigh. At least Fat Tuesday is a holiday and I don't have to work; and it's a short work week. Huzzah!

I also heard from an editor this morning I submitted an essay to that she loved my essay, which was finished while I was in Kentucky and so I wasn't sure if it was any good or not. YAY, ME! I am very excited about this, as you can probably imagine: good news about writing is always welcomed in the Lost Apartment. Being a writer is so bipolar, really; you go from highs of "wow I am really good at this" to horrifying, depressing lows of "why do I bother I so clearly suck at this." It's undoubtedly why so many of us drink.

Xanax is also helpful, I find.

I am going to try to get all this laundry done and finish cleaning the kitchen before Iris arrives...and I already have a lovely, pleasant buzz from the Bailey's. Huzzah!

But I still wish I had a Bloody Mary.

Here's an Iris memory for you:

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The streak is alive! We got another shoe last night at Muses! Although, truth be told, Paul gets the shoes for us. I don't think, over the years, I've gotten more than two total, if that. Paul is a shoe monster, though, and this year's is an LSU shoe!



It will go nicely with our Saints shoe.

It is incredibly beautiful today; the high is going to be 80, the sun is out, it's only slightly humid and there's a lovely cool breeze as well. There are three parades tonight, and I am doing condom duty at the table this afternoon (again on Monday; with the weekend free for parades and so forth). I hate having to walk home up the parade route; I don't know if it's the weather this year or what, but MY GOD is it crowded on the parade route this year. There were so many people out there last night for Muses that the street couldn't even be cleared for the high school marching bands. I can only imagine what this weekend will be like out there; particularly for Bacchus on Sunday night. We will definitely be out there for Iris and Tucks tomorrow, and will again skip Endymion tomorrow night; I haven't seen Endymion since we stopped walking up the parade route to the Quarter during it. Saturday night we'll just hang out at the Lost Apartment and catch up on our TV shows and get rested for Sunday's all day debacle.

I am so tired already.

Marathon, Greg, not a sprint.

I was so tired yesterday. I had to stock the house since I can't use the car again until Wednesday (and won't be able to get to the grocery store until Thursday, since I have a long day on Wednesday) and by the time I got back home I was so tired I could barely function. I did some laundry and the dishes and repaired to my easy chair, desperate to read my Lori Rader-Day novel but I was too exhausted to focus and only got only thirty pages done. Then I walked to my favorite pizza place in the world--That's Amore in Metairie OPENED A LOCATION IN MY NEIGHBORHOOD--and got us a Chicago-style deep dish pizza...ate two pieces, and actually took a NAP before Paul got home.

But we're almost there...the finish line is in sight.
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Memories lie.

There are things and moments from my childhood I remember completely differently from my parents and my sister, for example, or moments from early on in Paul's and my relationship. My memories differ from those of kids I went to high school with, and those of my fraternity brothers. Memory and experience are always, of course, colored by our own internal beliefs, values, fears, and opinions; which is what makes being a crime writer interesting.

I remembered, for example, that we moved from the city out to the suburbs in the winter of 1969. I've always thought that was the truth; we moved to our house in Bolingbrook that winter and would have sworn on a stack of Bibles that was the truth. Imagine my surprise, during my recent visit to my parents, to hear both of them insist that wasn't true and we moved out there in either the winter of 1971 or 1972; and I sat there, confused, and then a key piece of my history snapped into place in the jigsaw puzzle that is my memory: you were ten when you moved; your eleventh birthday was your first birthday in the new house so it had to be 1971. I'd always remembered that we'd lived out there for much longer than we had. We only lived in Bolingbrook for four and a half years; I was in the sixth grade when we moved and we moved to Kansas after my sophomore year ended.

Interesting, isn't it?

I was rather startled the other day to hear that David Cassidy is in early stage dementia; David Cassidy was a part of my childhood, and it's hard to remember the years when The Partridge Family aired without hearing their music in the echo chambers of my brain. The Partridge Family Album was, in fact, the first album my sister owned. She had one of those little portable record players that either ran on six enormous batteries or could be plugged into the wall, and she played the album over and over and over again. I didn't mind because I kind of liked the music myself; and we watched the show religiously every week. My sister, of course, was madly in love with David Cassidy, who did nothing for me. (Even as a nascent gay child, my crush was Kurt Russell.)




Before buying that album my sister primarily bought 45's; it amazes me that there are any number of people who don't know what those are, or how you used to stack them on the record player, so the next one would drop when the previous one finished playing and the needle cleared out of the way, or the scratchy sounds from collected dust and/or scratches on the record that you could always hear in the background. David Cassidy replaced Bobby Sherman in my sister and her friends' affections; Bobby Sherman replaced Davey Jones of the Monkees.

The show itself was pretty dreadful, really. The idea was derived from the Cowsills, an actual family musical group, and it was designed to appeal to young girls and hopefully sell some records; another prefabricated music group along the lines of the Monkees and the Archies. They'd never intended for "Keith" to sing lead vocals on the music, but David Cassidy auditioned and got the part and to their surprise, he could sing and had musical ambitions. (Alas for him, he became a huge teen idol but never got the rock stardom he always dreamed of.) His stepmother in real life, Shirley Jones, was cast as his mother, widowed Shirley who worked in a bank to support her five kids. (Jones was actually an accomplished singer herself, and had an Oscar for playing a prostitute in Elmer Gantry.) Even at the time, I didn't think the show was funny, but it wasn't as bad and corny and hokey as The Brady Bunch, which was admittedly a low bar. But I was delighted several years ago to discover that the Partridge Family's music was on iTunes, and I downloaded some, out of a sense of nostalgia.

And it wasn't bad. I downloaded more, and still listen to it from time to time. It's glossy, well produced, and slick pop music, but it's not terrible. It certainly holds up better than Shaun Cassidy's hits or New Kids on the Block.

And am I ever glad I didn't have to go into the office today. I am worn out, frankly, not sure how I am going to survive tonight's parades.

Heavy sigh.
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So, I went to see my doctor for my annual check-up and I am HEALTHY. My blood pressure is good, heart rate good, I've lost a total of nine pounds since the last time I saw her (and I only started trying a few weeks ago, with time off for Carnival, of course), I'm sleeping well--everything is remarkably better than when I last saw her six months ago. She also gave me a referral to a cardiologist, since we have recently discovered, thanks to the hemorrhagic stroke my mother had just before Christmas, that a congenital heart defect runs in her family (and may be why her father died in his sleep when he was in his late thirties). If I do have it, they may have to to preemptively put a stent in to correct it and prevent me from eventually having a stroke. Yay. But hey--it's better to know so you can do something about it rather than just having a stroke, right?

I am going to give full credit to my good health to NO DEADLINES.

After work tonight I will have to walk home up the parade route--always fun--and tonight's parades are Druids and Nyx. Druids is kind of dull, but Nyx is usually fun. I also have tomorrow off so I can run errands and stock our larder since I won't be able to move the car again until next Wednesday, and of course, tomorrow night is Muses, after two others. Will this be the year our shoe-streak ends? I am a little concerned that it may be. We've had a really great run with shoes, though, so can't really complain too much should a drought occur. But since I can't move the car, I took the streetcar to see my doctor and then took it all the way back to the Quarter so I could walk the rest of the way to the office. It was a lovely ride--I really should take the streetcar more and go explore, just you know, go see things and play sight-seer in my own home town--and I got to read some more of my book (seriously, peeps, I know it's taking me a long time to finish it but Lori Rader-Day's Little Pretty Things is REALLY GOOD), which I hope to finish tomorrow. I'm not sure what to read next; I will certainly keep you in the loop, Constant Reader.

I have been obsessed by a true crime case lately; one that I am peripherally connected to (a friend knows one of the people from the case); which is kind of weird, when I think about it--I also have a connection to the whole Bobby Durst The Jinx mess; again, through some friends. I won't talk about the case much--it involves a closeted millionaire/entrepreneur being brutally murdered, and the police had arrested a gay porn star for the crime...only to release him recently. I don't want to write it as an actual true crime book; I'm not a good enough journalist to do something like that. But I think it's an interesting basis for a novel, and I am chewing around ideas on how to do that--because there are several different angles to take and all of them, at least to me now, are fascinating and interesting. I'm just toying with it for now--I have a couple of other books I'd like to write first--but this part of creating a book, brainstorming and thinking and wondering what point of view you want to have, what you want the book to say--is so much more fun than actually writing it.

Ah, well.

And on that note, back to the spice mines.

Here's today's hunk:



Seriously, why has no one done a Bjorn Barrefors calendar?
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Well, in very short order after my post yesterday, the subject not only lost his book contract but his job, so that's something.

It rained all night last night, which meant I had trouble getting out of bed this morning, and of course I have to work late. The weather today, after the night's rain, is absolutely stunning; that kind of spring day (yes, I know it's February) that makes you feel lazy, the day you shouldn't spend in the office but lying in a hammock with a good book and a bottle of wine. But that's fine; I have a shorter work day tomorrow and am off Thursday and the parades start rolling again tomorrow night; I know Nyx is tomorrow but I can't remember the one before it; Druids? Yes, it is Druids. Cool. I should be home before Nyx gets to my neighborhood. It's always fun to walk homedown the parade route, and I will most definitely get my Fitbit steps in. Woo-hoo! And my favorite pizza place--That's Amore out in Metairie--just opened a new place on St. Charles a few blocks from my house. Woo-hoo! I think I might have to go over there and get us a pizza on Thursday.

Yeah, the diet's going well, thanks for asking.

I'm enjoying the not-writing time very much, I might add. I am starting to worry that I may not go back to writing at all.

Ha, like that would happen. I still have lots of ideas, and get more every day.

All right, that's enough for today.

Here's a hunk for you.

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