Friday, August 22, 2008

Tossed from Nagin's party by the NOPD

As many of you know, Mayor Nagin's friends threw him a party this evening, to honor him with an award for Excellence in Recovery, a phrase I generally associate with Lindsay Lohan and Brittany Spears. When people began to express their outrage, the awards committee (a photographer named Bernardo) specified that the party was really intended to honor everyday survivors. The owner of the Penthouse (in the Ritz Carlton) where the party was to take place announced that he considered it public space. I guess I missed the day when he handed out keys.

So, people gathered at the hotel, with signs, and with a box of fake Oscar statuettes, which I somehow ended up giving out. I gave them to bloggers, to women with strollers, to people who are actually trying to find reasons to continue contributing to New Orleans. With one award left, a party guest traded his engraved invitation for a statue. Go up, he said, adding, I'm just going for fun. In fact, the small sample of people I talked to admitted they were only attending for free food and drinks.

I went around the crowd, trying to get others to use the invite, which specified no dress code, no rsvp, and admitted two. No one wanted to go. I ended up in the elevator with Chris Rose, a local columnist, his date, a friend and a random couple, who, like most, admitted they were in it for the drinks.

We rode up the elevator taking bets on who would be tossed first. I flashed my invite, walked in, looked around and then was notified by an NOPD officer that my friend had gone to the bathroom. I've been at many functions, both high and low, and never had the cops tell me with my companion was peeing. So I went out to look for her and then began to wonder if something had happened to her. When she reappeared, so did the cops, who told us we needed to leave immediately. Who instructed them, I asked. Bernardo, I was told.

So, I guess the fact that I teach high school, and college, and volunteer on several nonprofits, and recently bought property, and frequently encourage the support of outside agencies and volunteers...etc--all that is just proof that I'm impeding the recovery. Meanwhile Nagin's bogus award is somehow a sign of progress. I guess there must still be some NOAH designated federal funds to squander. Good luck guys!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

There will be puppies

Tonight at Canine Culture, 8110 Hampson Street, New Orleans, from 6-8pm, you can meet Jean-Pierre (pictured here) and his two sisters, all of whom are looking for homes.

Also, dog baths for $10, and beer!

Honoring Ray Nagin at the Ritz

Many of you may know that on Friday at 7pm, Ray Nagin will be honored at the Ritz Carlton with an award for "Excellence in Recovery." And, if you didn't already know that, I'll give you a few minutes to recover.

How did this happen? Well, some wealthy friends got together, created a committee and an award, and then planned a big party to match. Why? Because they are all out of touch, and maybe because there are a few favors Nagin can still do for them before the uprising...well, I was going to make a reference to the French Revolution here, but I don't want to get too specific. Because certainly a sarcastic comment on a blog could inspire legal action, even while people openly dealing drugs, running people down on the street, and killing each other is greeted with a collective shrug from law enforcement.

Do I sound cranky? I am.

So, just for fun, it appears that a group of people will be gathering at 6pm. Just for fun, mind you.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

An unusual cameo appearance in the film "Marley and Me"

A couple of months ago I received a release form from Fox 2000 requesting permission to use my work. What was most exciting was they wanted permission to use my collection of short stories, The Kind I'm Likely to Get. Did someone actually want to adapt my stories for the screen? No. They wanted to use it as a prop. And so, in the scene in which Jennifer Aniston finally agrees to let Marley sleep in the house, she is seen curled up in bed reading my non-dog stories in The Kind I'm Likely to Get. I've been told that the scene is so pivotal there is little chance of it being cut. (Wouldn't it have been even cooler if she'd been reading The Dogs Who Found Me?)