Why is anyone talking about anything other than Taylor Swift’s Giant Pony Boots from the three-ladies-in-white-visors scene of “Bad Blood?” Have they not seen the video yet? Are they yet too stunned to speak? I’m still seeing news articles about, like, ISIS and stuff. Why isn’t ISIS talking about Taylor Swift’s Giant Pony Boots? My institute has not yet been renamed “The Institute for the Study of Taylor Swift’s Giant Pony Boots, Culture, and Public Life,” and I’m also confused by that. I mean, of course I knew how strange and new the whole world would be after Taylor Swift’s Giant Pony Boots came into my life, but I just didn’t expect it to be like THIS. Then again, how could I have? How could any of us have predicted the radical effects Taylor Swift’s Giant Pony Boots would have on our lives? How could any of us have known?

On my birthday, I subscribed to dictionary.com’s word of the day email.

On my birthday, even. It was a whole thing. Like, I would use it that day in a sentence, I thought! (I never, ever, EVER once remembered to do this. Ever.) They would be like little horoscopes each morning! It would be a fun conversation piece! Something-something something something!

Well, I am officially unsubscribing, today, 50 days in to this grand experiment. Because today’s word of the day is:

Frabjous is SO MUCH not-a-word that it literally comes from the poem “Jabberwocky.” As you may know, dictionary.com, a word that comes from the poem “Jabberwocky” IS NOT A REAL WORD!

The words of the day have tended generally to fall somewhere between “wacky-sounding / -meaning thing that isn’t a real word” (bafflegab, grubstake, boodle, fucking frabjous) and “wacky-sounding / -meaning thing that is a real word but everyone already knows” (globular, malarky, schlemiel, pepper-upper, forsooth). Also, NO ONE THOUGHT YOU WERE CLEVER with that whole “paramnesia” thing, dictionary.com.

(Well okay yes but the second definition, I mean.

Okay and so fine but to be fair, a few useful exceptions that I admit to appreciating having learned: Dendrochronology. Oology. Verdical. Funabulist. Formication (which came before I signed up, but I happened to notice it now, as I was looking back through my old words).

I complained about this often enough at work that one of my students, who is from India, started giving me alternate words of the day – Briticisms and Hindi words, mostly. His were indeed better: Barmy. Chamchagiri. Douche duty. Chauncey.

But anyway. I am grown malcontented, dictionary.com! This a thing up with which I will not put! I am hereby unsubscribing, jerks!

Sry and gubbye!

Awww, but PS, though –

I just looked back to check and see what the word of the day was on my birthday, and realized that because I had SIGNED UP on my birthday, I hadn’t actually RECEIVED a word until the 23rd. They still list all the past words on the website, though, so I was able to check. As far as horoscopes go, or whatever, this was kind of a wonderfully accurate prediction of the experiment itself, right? I should have known. The word of the day was:

oh my gorg

Okay the Nellie Bly google doodle is great all around and everything, but is it bad that the article I most want to read is “The Rules: What Is Proper” in the Gentleman’s Perspective section? (I’m trying to think of which section of the paper that has evolved into these days, but I think actually maybe it’s just left the daily paper and evolved into GQ? That dude on the right definitely keeps up on all the latest ascot trends. I think I rode home with both of them on the L yesterday.)

Oh hello. I didn’t see you standing there. We were just here, about to play another installment of…

CHRIS HASN’T SEEN MOVIES.

It’s the game that’s sweeping the nation, where Chris and another person, who both have not seen a very popular obvious movie that everyone in the world has seen, watch that movie, but only after telling me what they THINK it’s about. And then I kind of, like, take notes, and hopefully it’s funny, and then at the end I arbitrarily declare a winner. Episode 1 featured Chris v Tom on The Craft. Chris won that one, by staying awake. Can he hold on to his title??? Who’s to say!? Oh, right – me.

Well let’s do this shit.

Chris Hasn’t Seen Movies, Episode 2: Chris v Jorn on Jaws

So, contestants: What is Jaws about?

JORN
So, there’s a shark that has been spotted off the coast of some touristy beach, and the authorities are like, “Holy shit, we have to save people.” But there’s this other group that wants to keep the beach open because of money, so there’s conflict. And there’s a ragtag group that goes out to stop the shark, and they have a boat, but it’s not a big enough boat, so they have to get a bigger boat. And then they go out again to stop the shark and they kill it and then everybody wins.

Jorn gets 5 points.

CHRIS
I always think the town in Jaws has the same name as another movie, but I think I’m thinking of Amity Island and Amityville. The shark’s name is Bruce. That’s the name of the mechanical shark that they built that didn’t work very well, so I’m going to be looking out for how they had to work around that. I also knew that they needed a bigger boat, and I think there’s also a cage at some point, and the cage goes in the water, and the shark’s in the water. That’s a reference I’ve heard. There’s a “Brody” in it – maybe that’s the police chief? And I believe Richard Dreyfuss plays an oceanographer and Roy Scheider plays either the police chief or the grizzled dot-dot-dot person.

CHRIS
I know there are three protagonists. Oh, and I know that there are going to be scenes of Richard Dreyfuss trying to warn the townsfolk, but they don’t believe him, and they use that in all of the South Parks about disasters.

Chris gets 5 points.

Anything else to add before we begin?

CHRIS
Also, I would like to add that I know the score was done by John Williams, and I further predict that there are no popular music songs in this thing. Possibly some diegetic ones on the beach, but not ones associated with Jaws.

Chris loses 2 points for trying to talk about the soundtrack. Okay, everybody ready for the movie?

CHRIS
Give me one second to move Digby and think of other popular culture references to Jaws. Also, is this Erwin?

It is not Erwin. Chris loses 1 point for thinking it might have been.

CHRIS
Oh, also there is a license plate in the shark’s belly!

JORN
How do you know all this if you haven’t seen it?

CHRIS
Trivia and podcasts.

(Long digression between the contestants about “Doug Loves Movies” and “How Did This Get Made,” neither of which are podcasts that the scorer listens to. Both contestants loose 10 points for being boooooooring.)

CHRIS
Salsa shark.

Chris gets 8 points.

CHRIS
Robert Shaw is the other one! He’s the grizzled fellah!
We should turn it up. I can’t even hear the iconic score. I’m going to say “iconic” a lot.
Did Peter Benchley write that book about the bear that’s referenced in the Dark Tower series?

He did not, but still: Chris gains 1 point, then loses 1 point, then gains 2 points.

CHRIS
It sounds like the guitar that guy is playing is the truck driving song “That’s Truck Drivin’,” by Coleman Wilson, but I don’t think it is.

Then Chris talks about that song and that singer for a long time and gains 2 points because I am fickle.

CHRIS SEZ: Oh man, “That’s Truck Drivin’” is by Slim Jacobs! There are THREE iconic truckin’ troubadours who do folksy guitar songs without a backing band. This is especially shameful because my blog is literally the first hit if you Google “That’s Truck Drivin’”. It’s Slim Jacobs. I’m so sorry.

CHRIS
Are there boobies in this movie?

JORN
Those are definitely boobies.

CHRIS
But it’s not full-frontal nudity. That was like TV-14 boobies, not HBO boobies.

JORN
Those are diegtic boobies.

Jorn gets 2 points.

CHRIS SEZ: Have there ever been non-diegetic boobies in a film? Not being snarky, I really want to know.

CHRIS
I also know from trivia that there’s fewer than like 4 deaths in this movie. I’m gonna put it at 3. 3 deaths. Maimings don’t count.

JORN
Of course not! Why would maimings count? I bet there are way more than 3 deaths.

CHRIS
I’m going to predict that that dog has no confrontation with the shark.

JORN
Yes, obviously. I don’t disagree.

That’s RIDICULOUS! Of COURSE the dog is going to have a confrontation with the shark! It’s going to like bark bravely at it in a comedic David-and-Goliath manner, or the shark will surface in front of everyone and the dog will be the only one who sees it and it will turn around with a “Hey guyzzz” look on its face and whine a little bit to get their attention or something. OBVIOUSLY this is a thing that is going to happen FOR SURE. Both contestants lose 6 points for not realizing how totally obvious it is that this is DEFINITELY going to happen!!

Amity is the town! Chris gets 1 point.

And Brody is the chief! Chris gets 1 more point!

CHRIS
Did he just find a body, or is he the town drunk? …The FORMER. Possibly both. “Well, it’s a mannequin, chief. I don’t know why I get fooled by those darn mannequins every summer.”

JORN
That is just a PILE of crabs.

It is indeed a pile of crabs. Jorn gets 1 point.

CHRIS
Hey, he misspelled “coroner!”
Dogs are almost certainly an invasive species on this island.

JORN
I mean, so are people.

CHRIS
You don’t know that!
Who is that guy? I mean, the actor. I assume the character is, like, the mayor or something.

He was totally the mayor. Chris gets 1 more point!

JORN
Oh! And I predict that the reason it’s too hard to close the beach is because of there’s EVENTS going on! The Sheriff’s going to try to close the beach, but his boss is going to say: “NO! You can’t close the beach!”

All of this IMMEDIATELY happens, seconds later, almost verbatim. Jorn gets very excited. Jorn is very drunk. Jorn gets 3 points, because it’s the nice thing to do.

Okay, well THAT dog is going to have a confrontation, though, right?

JORN
No, that dog’s just going to straight-up jump into the shark’s mouth. That’s all that’s happening there. That’s the last stick that dog’s ever gonna fetch.

CHRIS
If the shark eats the dog, does that count as a death?

SUDDENLY CONCERNED MOM
“Alex?”

JORN
Yeah, no, I mean, your kid is dead.

CHRIS
“Alex, you’ve ruined your floatie AGAIN. I’m not buying you ANOTHER one!”

JORN
She doesn’t have to.

Chris gets 1 point. Jorn gets 2 points.

JORN
Three thousand dollar bounty?? That’s nothing! That won’t even buy you a car!

CHRIS
It will for island folk! They’re not buying nice cars.
[Very sarcastically, in a whiny mocking voice, to the kid who is in the boat:] Ooooh, but what if sharks eat boats?

Then, immediately:

Holy shit, sharks eat boats!

Chris gets 1 point, but only sarcastically.

CHRIS
I think I really lowballed how many people Jaws eats.

JORN
HE’s gonna die.

CHRIS
I think this guy survives.

That guy survives. Chris gets 1 point.

CHRIS
Look at this motherfucker!

CHRIS
You know, though, I’ve thought that about fully two-thirds of the people in this movie. If I didn’t say it out loud, I definitely thought it about, like, the mother, and the mayor, and half the people at the town council meeting.
Is Richard Dreyfus tiny?

Yes, Richard Dreyfus is tiny. Chris gets 1 point.

JORN
I think Richard Dreyfus is going to say: “There’s no way this was the right shark!”

I don’t even bother writing that down, because, DUH, it’s so totally completely obviously correct that I’m going to politely ignore it and poor ol’ drunk Jorn won’t ever know the difference.

RICHARD DREYFUS
“It’s very very likely that this IS the shark…”

Damnit, fine, Jorn gets 2 points just because I was making fun of him.

CHRIS
I think I preferred doing this with The Craft. This is…too good. I want to actually watch this. I’m sure I missed entire scenes of The Craft debating points and just didn’t notice.

CHRIS
Someone drank a lot of milk. Hey, license plate!

2 points to Chris!

Man, the truism that “Sharks DO INDEED eat boats!” has been confirmed SO MANY TIMES OVER now.

JORN
[Singing:] Maresy dotes and dosey dotes…

OMG I REMEMBER THAT SONG!!! 11 points to Jorn!

Are those balls???

CHRIS
That could have been his flesh-colored underwear.

PISHAW. That was obviously balls. Chris loses 2 points.

CHRIS
What’s with the Good Humor Ice Cream Teens pulling people out of the water?

Excellent observation. WTF ARE those teens doing? Like…I suspect that whoever organized that open call for extras kind of rolled their eyes and was annoyed about this, but just figured, well, fuck it, let them stay, nobody will notice. Anyway: 1.5 points earned for Chris!

CHRIS SEZ: I mean, Good Humor ice cream men probably littered the beach like so much literal driftwood in the 1970s. I don’t know. I think this might be good and real.

CHRIS
Hey! They’re drinking Narragansett!

That’s not what’s in their glasses!

CHRIS
No, that’s moonshine or something. He just said.

Are his hands covered in BLOOD??

CHRIS
Well, how do you think you MAKE moonshine?
Whoa – check out that pantry! Yes. That is EXACTLY what Quint eats. Mincemeat, corn, Morton’s salt, ketchup, beef soup, turkey soup, lima beans. Fruit cocktail?

CHRIS
I had glasses like that! Those weird hexagons.

I guess Chris gets a point for that?

CHRIS SEZ: I also had Roy Scheider’s glasses! PICTORIAL PROOF:

JORN
Uh-oh…something ominous is happening…

CHRIS
He’s eating a cigarette! Oh. I guess that’s a cookie. I thought: Well, he’s a real salty dog; he’s just gonna eat a cigarette.

CHRIS
“Guys! GUYS! What if the shark’s ABOVE us?”

JORN
What if we ARE the shark?

CHRIS
Well, everybody’s SOMEBODY’S shark.
I am genuinely confused about the percentage of Quint’s dialogue that you’re SUPPOSED to understand. Quint, how many ‘Gansetts you had today?? I’m also having a hard time figuring out how much of Quint and Dreyfus’s interactions are them following each other’s orders or not.
Wait, DO they need a bigger boat? Is that, like, the secret of the movie? They need a bigger boat, but they never GET a bigger boat?

Chris gets 23 points.

IMDB
Yeah, that shooting star behind Brody’s head was totally real and unplanned and coincidental.

I don’t believe it! -14 points for IMDB!

CHRIS
In the era of CGI, I really like that the shark is just sort of toodlin’ around. Like, it’s really not all that crazy-looking, for a jaws. It could be bigger. It could be more monstrous. It could be voiced by Danny Trejo. “Ay, Quint! You ain’t got me yet, homeboy!”

Chris gets 10 points, but only for calling it “a jaws,” like referring to vampires as “draculas.” He loses 2 points for his crappy Danny Trejo impression.

CHRIS SEZ: Look, it’s hard to skirt the line between not-being-racially-insensitive and not-doing-a-recognizable-Danny-Trejo. I also think I used a less coded term than “homeboy”. Like “buddy” or “kid” but this was pretty late in the night. Maybe it really was a bad impression? Who can say?

JORN
[Is asleep.]

Jorn loses 18 points! THERE IS NO SLEEPING IN THIS GAME. (Actually, there is lots and lots of sleeping in this game, judging from experience.)

The dog loses 40 points for not having a confrontation with the goddamned shark. (Monumentally STUIPD, Dog.)

Chris is once again our WINNER and UNDEFEATED CHAMPION!! It is probably a clever move to only ever play against opponents who are two or three steps drunker than he is. Acceptance speech, Chris??

Once again, my ability to stay awake while drinking proves more invaluable than any deep well of cinematic insight. My main takeaway from Jaws is that the bar was set very low for “summer blockbuster” in the 1970s. To these jaded modern eyes, Jaws is a quaint little movie with an enjoyable, marginally action packed setpiece at the end. Given its reputation as “the first summer blockbuster” I expected far more pyrotechnics, more run-ins with the shark, and a much higher body count. Not even getting into the modern superhero CGI era, Star Wars kills more people in the first two minutes than Jaws does the whole movie. Plus I agree with Jessica, a real modern summer film would have had that dog FACE OFF with that ol’ Jaws.

I am gracious in my victory, and look forward to the next iconic film I’ve never seen that Jessica chooses to make me watch. Will it be The Breakfast Club? Goodfellas? Beauty and the Beast? Or more likely, The Net or Showgirls?

OH. MY. GEE. YES. Either! Both! DOUBLE-HEADER!! Who out there wants to volunteer to skype in for this one???

inquiries

I just found a note I wrote to myself in the airport while waiting to go home from New Orleans. I was very tired. It says:

Can you die peeing on an electrified third rail on the subway? Would the electricity travel back up your pee stream to your body and kill you?
Can a plane flip upside down in flight (and keep flying that way)?

So.

Anybody know?

Day twooooooo of Zine Fest. Good fucking balls I spent too much money on this stuff this weekend. But so here’s some things…

I feel like there were more “famous” people there today than yesterday. I, um, mean no offense with those quotes, obviously, just saying…maybe the Barnard Zine Library librarian is more famous to me than to other people.

“Are You There, God? It’s Me, Menopause” and “Menstruate: Librarians and Archivists Keep the Information Flowing” – (edited and co-edited by) Jenna Freedman, who is a librarian, so I figured I should be specific…but I’m also lazy, so I’m not going to bother looking up / linking to her co-editor, srrry….

“Stranger Than Bushwick” – Jeremy Nguyen, who was wearing EXCELLENT glasses, and who Chris is totally going to accuse me of mixing up with Fred Chao, which is FAIR, YES, and I admit that I have done this before and that is super-racist of me and I am admitting it in order to shame myself about it, but also they are both Brooklyn cartoonist dudes who make fun of hipsters and stuff and anyway I totally ALSO know this guy separately, too, damnit, and I was NOT mixing them up THIS time.

“Scavenger” and “Writing in Public” and a couple old “East Village Inkys” – Ayun Halliday, who I sort of accidentally said a half-dirty thing to, but she was all super-funny about it, and then we made each other feel old by talking about what age her kid was when I first subscribed to Bust magazine. The whole thing should have been the usual awkward-Jessica story, but she was GREAT.

“Cats Hate Cops,” which, arg, I didn’t bother to get a card for and I can’t find any fucking contact info for in the book itself! It was pay-what-you-want and the whole table was protesty type stuff. Very, like, zine-y, or whatever.

“People Say I Look Like Zooey” – Anna White, who was very charming, and who is JUST mean enough in this book.

“Consumption” – Jensine Eckwall, Ray Ray Books – Suuuuuper pretty book. I love this kind of printing. I asked a couple of different people how they had printed a thing that looked kind of like screen printing but wasn’t, and they all said it was this one kind of machine that’s some kind of middle-ground between screen printing and copy machining, and every single time I asked, I immediately forgot the word. It starts with an R? It’s…rastersmashersomething?

“That’s Not Okay” – Breanne Boland, which is basically a self-help thing, but it’s also very clever and very cute.

“Crying Frodo!” – Lee Houck. There were a TON of these, and many of them were cute, but the thing that finally convinced me to purchase a whole pile of them was that ONE of them came with a reply postcard which you were supposed to fill out (about your first experiences with the Indigo Girls) and mail back to the author. “Why?” I asked. “So I can put it into the archive I keep in my apartment,” he answered. I interpreted this to mean that he will keep it forever in a shoebox at the very top of his bedroom closet and I LOVED IT SO MUCH. It’s also a subscription thing (“Prescription,” he corrected me, for…some reason.), which I also love. I really like the idea of a subscription to a zine. I might do this one. (East Village Inky does it, too.)

These three were all from the “Student Room” – which…I don’t really know what that was? But they were nice!

“Ugly Girls Fight Back” – ARRRRRG. Why on earth didn’t I get a card or something on this one!? I LURRRRRVE this one!!! It’s maybe my favorite one I got all weekend? And there’s no contact info on it! If anybody knows, tell me plz! Suuuuper beautifully printed (that rastablasawhateva machine thing again) and great lettering and great illustration and great content and she actually used the inside / backside of the folded-up booklet, which is a thing I haven’t seen the other people who use this booklet format do. Anyway, it’s super-great and if anybody knows who did it, let me know!

“Important Things to Know” – Anna Maize, who lists an email address but not a website. The book includes things like “There are 16 tablespoons to a cup” and “‘The winners write the history books’ is a terrifying reality of historiography not a motivational platitude.” Anna told me that she had tried to make some hard truths a little easier to take by interspersing them with some soft truths.

“When Night Comes” – Deth P. Sun. Is this person famous, too? Why do I recognize this stuff? Where do I know it from? I really, really, really love it.

And THIS PERSON! Omg. Jannese Rojas. I didn’t buy any of her stuff but I wanted to include it here anyway. She was VASTLY under-selling her stuff – she made these AMAZING fucking HARD-BOUND BOOKS – teeeeeeny-tiny and with MAGNETS in the sides to keep them closed and SO professional-looking and obviously insaaaanely time-consuming and super-duper-duper hand-made and they were only like $7 or $8 or something – and the contents were great and all, too. Yadda yadda, her stuff was great, just sort of super-twee and not quite my bag, but YOU should definitely buy the shit out of it.

Ugh and I don’t knoooowww I bought other things too and am very poor now and etc etc etc the end, EXCEPT: If you print this out and then fold it up into a little square and photocopy it and stuff, then it’s basically like I wrote a zine, right?  NICE.

Brooklyn Zine Fest – day 1!

I shuurrrrre did spend too much money on this thing today, and it was kind of fucking GREAT, and there’s a whole new line-up of people there tomorrow! Stupid Zine Fest, taking all my money.

One of my favorite authors (and an obvious crowd-favorite) was Edison (who totally lists his full name on his zine, but somehow I feel weird doing so on my own blog, for a small child? Erm. No judgement or whatever. I’m just old and crazy). I didn’t want to have to ASK him, but thankfully he freely offered up the translation of his title “My Mashunere Frers Book” (issue 1 and 2): It is apparently pronounced “My Imaginary Friends Book.”

“I wrote most of these when I was little,” he explained. If this is not a line he had already used 100 times and had been encouraged by his mother to use, it definitely fucking should have been.

Other titles I also got from him: “Thoughts on Anglerfish,” “These Creatures Have Teeth!!” “Lots of Zombies,” “The Telltale Phone!” and “How to Raise a Monster.” (“Poe is big in our house,” his mom said. So were exclamation marks, I noticed.) I gave his mom a copy of my “Zombies of North America” zine, because I wanted her to give it to him (Because we both like zombies and monsters and things with teeth and Poe and zines and stuff!! But I also don’t know if it’s too…I don’t know…scary or weird or grown-up for a kid? I mean, it’s obviously not, but…also, is it totally weird for a grown-up lady to give gifts to an stranger who is, like, 7 or whatever? Look, I don’t know how children or humans or social interactions WORK, okay??) (Also, YES, I WAS carrying around copies of some of my zines with me, WHY DO YOU ASK?) with an awkward, mumbled apology, and said that I wasn’t sure if it was “appropriate,” but that I had a zine about zombies, too, and maybe, like, I mean, I don’t know if you want, but, like, a present, and – and then I ran far, far away. I have no idea what she thought I was giving her or why or what she did with it.

Other awesome things I got:

“Red–Lip Clas-sic: A Taylor Swift Fan-zine” – Rellie Brewer, Clown Kisses Press (I bought one, then wandered away and read it over lunch, then came back and bought a second one because I wanted to give it to someone.)

“Fig 1″ and “Fig 2″ and “Winona Rydehair” – Kseniya Yarosh (Mostly, I admit, the title of that first one is just wildly clever. Her “I Love Bad Movies” zines looked rad, too, but I wanted ALL of them, and then I didn’t want to PAY for all of them, and then I couldn’t DECIDE, so…I just skipped them altogether.)

“Scumstache” – Tyler Boss (I bought his cheap one – super-neat illustration, super-neat story – but he had these super gorgeously printed other ones that were just, like, a dollar too expensive for me, including one magic fortune teller foldy thing that was screen-printed and packaged in this cute way by hand. Totally worth $7, but somehow I cannot bring myself, under basically any circumstances, to pay more than $5 for a zine.)

I bought other stuff, too! I’m all excited and inspired! I want to make zines! I’m going back tomorrow! You should go, too! Exclamation!

no?

My Mint account is going kind of nuts with all these (frankly pretty judgey) emails about: “Unusual Spending on Food & Dining” and “Unusual Spending on Travel” and “Unusual Spending on ATM Withdrawals” and “Unusual Spending on Ghost Tours & Small Bone-Shaped Voodoo Store Trinkets with Claims of Magical Powers of Doubtful Veracity.” Yeah, well, bite me, Mint. I get to go to New Orleans sometimes, too, you know.

The last time I was in New Orleans I was like 12 years old? I had beignets at Cafe du Monde and went to some pretty cemetery to take a meeeeeeelllion photos (on FILM, because it was the Olden Times) and went to Brennan’s, where I had turtle soup, which is the thing I always cite as the single best food item I’ve ever eaten in my whole life. I bought a tiny bone-shaped charm at a voodoo store. I mispronounced the word “bayou” in front of a waitress, who literally had no idea what I was even attempting to communicate to her, and everyone at the table laughed at me, and I pretended to laugh, too, but I STILL REMEMBER THAT SHIT AND IT STILL HURTS, YOU GUYS.

But I still like cemeteries and voodoo and spookiness and fried dough! And I hypothesized that I would like those things especially if I was of drinking age and not accompanied by my parents! And I have learned how to pronounce the word “bayou!” Sooooo…I went back to New Orleans, I guess. AND HERE IS WHAT HAPPENED OH MY GOD:

So okay, the first thing you should probably know is that magic wishing beans are three-for-$1 at the Voodoo Spiritual Center way up on North Rampart, but they’re three dollars EACH literally everywhere else in the city. Also, the lady who works at the Voodoo Spiritual Center is WONDERFUL and exactly what you hope a Voodoo priestess will be. (Well – you’re either hoping for her or for the kind that would be super-sexy and mean and wear amazing haute couture turbans and put on red lipstick SUPER RIGHT, but if you’re looking for the OTHER kind of one, then this one is the perfect example of THAT one.)

Let’s see, what else, what else, what else? Not much else, other than that, really.

Doop bee doooo.

Okay, but:

The French Quarter is actually really really really fucking tiny. Like, you’re looking at a map and you’re trying to maximize the number of voodoo shops you can go to on each day (like you do) and you’ve got it all planned out and everything, and you set out on your first day and you realize that you’ve accidentally just visited each of them twice and it’s 3pm and NOW what are you going to do until the 8pm ghost tour oh right drink a million drinks. I kept passing the same people over and over and over the three days I was there. It was sort of not-anonymous-enough and embarrassing and weird. Maybe people who like friends would enjoy this aspect of it? But it just made me anxious and embarrassed about everything, obviously.

But so the place was small enough that I certainly got an oddly thorough experience in three days. I mean…a thorough experience of the bits I was interested in, anyway. I only ever saw live jazz accidentally (though that does not mean infrequently) and I drank shockingly little. But I tell you what: I learned some shit about motherfucking Marie Delphine LaLaurie, and that’s the truth.

I went on three ghost tours in three days, all covering the same topic over the same small portion of this already-small neighborhood. I got the same story a bunch of times (but always told in amusingly different ways), but it was mostly different stories each time, too. Or, anyway, I was different levels of drunk for each one, so I remember them in different ways. Most of the tours began at a bar. All of them had a stop in the middle at a bar. One of them also ended at a bar. People in New Orleans drink a lot. They also love their fucking ghosts. I went on three tours, but there were ten or twelve more available that I did not have time for.

Oh, what’s that you say? You would like a ridiculously over-detailed description of each tour? OKEY DOKEY HERE YOU GO!

Anyway, here’s some other stuff, which is not about ghosts (except probably some of it is):

I went to the Pharmacy Museum! It was neat.

The St. Louis #1 cemetery wasn’t as cool as I’d hoped, I guess. You weren’t allowed to go inside unless you were accompanied by a licensed tour guide, which I didn’t find out until I was standing there at the gate, so I joined a random crappy tour and didn’t like my guide much. Still – there’s a bunch of stuff I wouldn’t have known if she hadn’t been there. Like, the MAAAASSSIVE gleaming-white pyramid-shaped tomb in the middle of the cemetery is going to hold Nicholas Cage some day. And Marie Laveau was (well – probably) buried in a tomb with her daughter’s name on it, to prevent her fans from defacing it or grave-robbing it or something. That plan hasn’t worked too well. It looked like the photo on the left when I was there, but sometimes it looks like the photo on the right, I guess (or at least it did before they stopped letting people in unaccompanied):

This was not Marie Laveau’s tomb, but some people think it is:

(I asked for a favor from the spirits inside BOTH tombs, just in case.) Marie Laveau, incidentally, was a fucking feminist badass, ran a couple of businesses, had 15 fucking kids, and is the only person who has ever been granted permission from the Catholic Church to perform voodoo ceremonies on Church property. Also she may or may not have had a pet boa constrictor named Zombi. I love Marie Laveau.

The Hotel Monteleone was some schmancy hotel bar shaped like a carousel, where a bunch of famous writers drank sazuracs. I went there and drank Lagunitas, because I’m a rebel. It was maybe four minutes after I sat down at this round bar that I said to the bartender: “I just realized that I’m turning.” He said: “Yes, ma’am, you are.” And that was that.

I met Ginger there at the bar. Ginger is from Columbus, Mississippi, and she is 79 years old, which is younger than all of her friends, who are all in their 80s, but she is not as old as them. Ginger drank (quite a few) champagne kirs. She has five great-grand-children (ONE of whom is very cute and she wanted to show me THAT one’s picture) and five grand-children (one of whom went to Ole Miss and became LIBERAL; one of whom is half-Italian and about my age and lives in Monterey, where there is no crime, and she wanted to show me HIS picture, also). She also had some VERY glamorous photos on her phone of her and her husband in the 60s when they were in New Orleans. She had sewn the dress she was wearing in that photo! “Ah,” I said, “I sewed THIS dress!” She leaned back a little, looked it up and down, and said: “That wasn’t the FIRST time I was in New Orleans, of course; I went as part of my high school senior class trip, as well….” Ginger was staying with a friend in a house which used to be owned by Delta Burke and Gerald McRaney. Ginger SAID that she thought it was admirable that I was travelling alone, but she seemed a little sad for me, anyway. Ginger was the best. I would kind of like to take my next vacation with Ginger. I think I’d be a good wingman for Ginger.

I ate some stuff. I went back to Cafe du Monde for more beignets. They were fine. I’ve had better fried dough at Worlds of Fun. I think they probably go through a LOT of powdered sugar there. If you see little white dusty bits on the pages of my cartoons anywhere, that’s what that is.

I went to a place called Central Grocery for a muffuletta sandwich. It was pretty fucking great. Worth the line.

I also went back to Brennan’s! I had a really excellent bloody mary, and the turtle soup, and something called rabbit rushing, and then I had kind of a psychic breakdown slash existential spiral of despair.

God, I don’t know, probably other things happened, too. I certainly have all sorts of super-cute photos claiming so. But I’m pretty sure it mostly boils down to my (FUCKING AMAZING) ghost tour comparison chart and that muffuletta sandwich. (No, really – have you looked at my chart yet? Go look at my chart.) My cats missed me. I have good cats. I’m going to go eat some ice cream now. And that is that.

I believe I have previously gone on the record as claiming that my current #1 Super-Duper Top Favorite Beer is Stone Enjoy By. Today was the last day of 4.20.15! …And also we still had a 3.14.15 left, too. Sooo…taste test!

LET’S FIND OUT WHAT HAPPENED!!!

4.20.15
Chris: “It’s good!”
Jessica: “Yeah!”

3.14.15
Chris: “Hmm!”
Jessica: “Yeah!”

Tags:

GAH.

I ate lunch here on Friday.

IT’S FUCKING HORRIFYING.

It’s called the Children’s Sculpture Garden [of Horrors].

WHY IS THERE A HEAD DANGLING THERE UPSIDE-DOWN LIKE THE FUCKING HEAD FROM THE THING??

Is it supposed to be attached to this horrifying uber-muscled strangely-proportioned twirly-floppy body that’s sort of sticking sideways up from the rim of the fountain?? Or…WAS IT, at some point? And why is it THE WERST?? And will my nightmares ever stop?

« Older entries