NOLA Notes Fri, 20 Jan 2012 01:44:30 +0000 en hourly 1 Red Beans and Rice-ly Yours /2012/01/19/red-beans-and-ricely-yours/ /2012/01/19/red-beans-and-ricely-yours/#comments Fri, 20 Jan 2012 00:17:07 +0000 Nola /?p=2840 It’s that time of year in New Orleans: CARNIVAL TIME! And with carnival (yes, I call the season “Carnival,” and the final day of the season only “Mardi Gras.” My Maw Maw taught me right, after all. But I digress…) comes KING CAKE! I am a purist and do NOT eat king cake out of season. I take it as bad form if not outright bad luck. And changing the color of the sugar to red and green does NOT make it NOT king cake. Sheese. Again, refocusing…

Haydel’s Bakery adds a ceramic doll to its king cakes. Each year, it’s a different set of dolls. When the Saints won the Superbowl, they had three Saints-themed dolls, including a flying pig. Post Katrina, a Captain Blue Tarp doll and a FEMA trailer float. The dolls are as uniquely New Orleans as the artist who creates them, Alberta Meitin-Graf. I had the pleasure of hearing her speak at last year’s Jefferson Parish Library king cake party. (Damn, I love this town!) She’s simply fascinating.

This year’s theme does not disappoint in its nod to Louis Armstrong’s famous expression when he ended his letters: “Red Beans and Rice-ly Yours.” I give you the Red Bean Lady and her Rice-ly Escort carrying a trumpet.

New Orleanians took the most mundane day of the week, Monday, wash day, and of course turned their attention to food. A pot of red beans slowly, cheaply, simmering on the stove as the laundry was done. Even today, with mothers working and not doing wash all day on Mondays, we STILL eat red beans on Monday. It’s like going home again.

Why would you live elsewhere than where Mondays are Red Beans and Rice-ly Yours?

Enjoy Carnival! And king cakes! And if you find a king cake offers you too much sugar, do what I do: tap it into your coffee.

/2012/01/19/red-beans-and-ricely-yours/feed/ 2
Creole Turtle Soup /2011/12/30/creole-turtle-soup/ /2011/12/30/creole-turtle-soup/#comments Sat, 31 Dec 2011 01:48:47 +0000 Nola /?p=2753 Every time I go to Galatoire’s, I find it hard to resist their turtle soup. My last bowl of it got me thinking about making it at home. So after talking it over with Pontchartain Pete, we decided to take it on.

Historically, turtle soup gained popularity with the European explorations of the West Indies, where turtles became an important food resource for sailors and pirates and a luxury item on English tables.

~ New Orleans Cuisine: Fourteen Signature Dishes and Their Histories, edited by Susan Tucker.

Turtle soup has been a New Orleans dish since, well, New Orleans has been peopled. New Orleans’ turtle soup is different from other regions’ soups by the inclusion of another Louisiana food staple: tomatoes. Elsewhere, turtle soup is a thin brothy soup; in New Orleans, it’s a thick, rich stew-like soup.

Pete learned that although there are as many recipes for Creole Turtle Soup as their are Creole kitchens, all of the recipes had these things in common: turtle meat,veal or beef stock, onions, celery, tomatoes, parsley, thyme, chopped hard boiled eggs, lemon, and sherry.


For the soup, I looked at several of the recipes available online. On his website Gumbo Pages, Chuck Taggert had two recipes, from Commander’s Palace and Arnaud’s. I also looked at Galatoire’s cookbook recipe and decided that I liked elements of all three.

I also wanted to make a lot of it to freeze for later and kept that in mind. Most recipes call for one and a half to two pounds of turtle meat, which, I learned, is carried in two-pound packages, frozen, at a few local seafood markets and groceries. It ain’t cheap; the two-pound pack I got in Covington at Pat’s Seafood ran about $30. I’ve heard a lot of people say that most restaurant turtle soup is not made with turtle meat but with veal and after spending that much on meat that isn’t filet mignon I can see why.

Turtle meat package.

Turtle meat package.


Arnaud’s recipe called for both turtle and veal, and since I wanted to make a lot of soup, I also bought two packages of ground veal, which, at $6.00 a pound, seemed quite reasonable.

As far as seasonings go, the recipes were basically the same, although in addition to the onions, celery and garlic Arnaud’s and Commander’s called for, Galatoire’s also called for a lot of bell pepper and paprika — three peppers and a quarter cup of paprika.

Commander’s calls for beef stock, Arnaud’s and Galatoire’s, veal stock. I took the expensive route. Rather than buy a couple quarts of Swanson’s beef broth, we went with frozen veal demi glace from Langenstein’s, at $14.99 per 2-cup package. I figured 4 cups demi cut with 12 cups water would make for a gallon or so of veal stock. I cooked that down a bit for about 30 minutes with bay leaves, thyme, garlic and two tablespoons–not a quarter cup–of paprika, before adding everything else and it worked out perfectly.

The “everything else” consisted of the turtle meat, veal, vegetables, tomato puree, salt, pepper, hot sauce, lemons and sherry.

I’ve never dealt with turtle before and if any of this required cleaning a dead one, we wouldn’t be here today. Not that getting what was labeled “boneless turtle meat” was a piece of cake. Boneless though it was, there was an awful lot of silverskin and connective tissue that needed trimming, which, with my unskilled knife work, cost about about a half-pound of lost meat.

Here’s the method.

1) Have someone else (Nolanotes) prep all the veggies for you. It ended up being a lot more than needed, but I was thinking big when telling her what quantities to buy and chop.

Nolanotes-chopped veggies.

Nolanotes-chopped veggies.


2) Brown the turtle meat. A little salt and pepper on the meat, a little vegetable oil in a hot pot, and brown the turtle meat on each side, just like if you were making grillades or whatever. After cooling a bit, I chopped the meat up in about 1/4-inch pieces.

Turtle meat browned and chopped.

Turtle meat browned and chopped.


3) Brown the veal. Same thing, it was ground already and I just browned it and put it in the bowl with the turtle until the stock and veggies were ready. I taste-tested some of  the browned turtle, which tasted more like beef than anything else. Alligator I find to taste like dry chicken with a fishy aftertaste and don’t care for it too much. Turtle tasted much better.

4) Make the stock. Next time I’ll probably start with some boxed stock. This time, though, it was $30 worth of frozen demi glace which I melted down and cut with water, added some bay leaves, dried thyme and oregano, salt and pepper, garlic, one lemon cut into quarters and the paprika and simmered all that while I…

Demi glace from Langenstein's.

Demi glace from Langenstein's. Expensive, but worked well and we didn't have to boil veal bones for two days.


5) Made the roux. All the recipes called for making a separate butter roux to add later on to thicken the soup. Two sticks butter, one cup flour, cook until light brown and set aside.

6) Sweat the veggies. I ended up measuring out two cups each of chopped onion, celery, bell pepper and one cup green onion. Sweated with a little butter until clear, then I added 3 cups of canned tomato puree to the veggies and let that simmer for ten minutes.

7) This is some really involved stuff. I’m taking a break now.


8 ) Add the tomato and veggie mixture to the stock and 1/2 cup of sherry. Get it back to a boil and simmer 10 minutes.

9) Add the browned turtle and veal meat and all the juices that were in the bottom of the bowl. Bring it back to a boil, let simmer 20 minutes.

10) Chop up the boiled eggs and add the roux. WHAT BOILED EGGS??? Alright, that was another step that Nolanotes had taken care of before I started. Chop up three boiled eggs, add to the pot. The roux was sitting in the pot and the excess butter floated to the top. I just poured it off and put the browned flour paste into the pot. It thickened fairly well, I probably could have used another 1/2 cup. Bring to boil and simmer 10 minutes more.

11) Taste and adjust for salt, pepper and heat. I added a few shakes of Crystal. I would have added Tabasco instead but couldn’t find it.

That’s it. Pour in bowl, splash on some more sherry and some more chopped eggs if you like.

Bowl of Pontchartrain Pete's Creole Turtle Soup.

Bowl of Pontchartrain Pete's Creole Turtle Soup.


A note on the sherry: I used Hartley and Gibson’s Amontillado from Martin Wine Cellar. I had chosen a Manzanilla but consulted with Steve Perret, who suggested a nuttier, more full-bodied, Amontillado for use with turtle soup. That’s why it pays to shop where people know their stuff. It was inexpensive, too–only about $12 for the bottle.

Hartley & Gibson Amontillado Sherry.

Hartley & Gibson Amontillado Sherry.


/2011/12/30/creole-turtle-soup/feed/ 6
This Is It /2011/12/05/this-is-it/ /2011/12/05/this-is-it/#comments Tue, 06 Dec 2011 04:25:24 +0000 Nola /?p=2744 It’s so easy
Too easy, often,
To say
This is it.
Three short words
To carry the day.
When sometimes
We need reminding
Just to breathe.
To breathe, after all, is to be.
And to be
In just this moment
Is all there is.

/2011/12/05/this-is-it/feed/ 1
Total Eclipse /2011/11/15/total-eclipse/ /2011/11/15/total-eclipse/#comments Wed, 16 Nov 2011 03:31:08 +0000 Nola /?p=2728 Today I did something so decadent, something so out of character, that I couldn’t help but relish it: I went to a coffee shop. Alone. To knit. For a whole hour before my appointment with a life insurance agent.


And as I was waxing philosophic in my moment, Bonnie Tyler’s “Total Eclipse of the Heart” started to play over the coffee shop’s radio.

Every now and then
I get a little bit restless
And I dream of something wild

Is my wild dream now of being alone in a coffee shop, knitting?

Every now and then
I get a little bit nervous
That the best of all the years have gone by

Wow. IS sitting alone in a coffee shop really my wild dream? ARE the best of my years behind me?

This damn song was getting under my skin. I put my knitting down and picked up my cell phone to catch up on Facebook. And I read the unsettling news that a friend who went in to have a cyst removed was informed it was not a cyst but a tumor for which they’ll need to biopsy.

Every now and then
I get a little bit tired
Of listening to the sound of my tears

And Bonnie Tyler was just getting to the part in her song where all her raw emotion flows from her voice with such palpable sadness.

Every now and then
I fall apart

Just like that. In the moment it took to read one short Facebook post, I fell apart.

Every now and then
I get a little bit terrified

My knitting stopped. My hands shook too uncontrollably to handle the needles, the yarn. My mind raced. I fought back tears. And I resisted the urge to call my friend and wake her from her fitful rest.

Every now and then
I get a little bit helpless

She won’t know whether it’s really bad news until later this week. But when one’s having a shitacular year such as this friend is having, this is almost more than even I can bear to think of her having to bear.

Every now and then
I get a little bit angry
And I know I’ve got to get out and cry

Life is a fickle state. Happiness and tragedy dancing on a pinhead ready to swap places at a moment’s notice. As I settled in to discuss my even more tangible needs for life insurance, my friend’s worries ate at the edges of my thoughts.

We’re living in a powder keg and giving off sparks

When it was time to pack up my things and head out, my wild dream of stability in life such that I can sit alone for one hour and knit with a cafe au lait as my companion no longer seemed pathetic or even tame. And I know I still have much light in my life. Enough even to shine some on my friend on her darkest days.

/2011/11/15/total-eclipse/feed/ 3
Gumbo: Yeah, Yeah! /2011/10/10/gumbo-yeah-yeah/ /2011/10/10/gumbo-yeah-yeah/#comments Mon, 10 Oct 2011 23:35:53 +0000 Nola /?p=2718 Chill in the air, check. Saints playing on Sundays, check. It can only mean one thing. Time to check the freezer for andouille reserves, the pantry for filé powder, and get to the grocery for all the fixins. Yup, this weekend: Operation Chicken and Andouille Gumbo!

I’m going to Baton Rouge at the end of the week, and it seems the perfect opportunity to do a side trip to LaPlace, Andouille Capital of the World.

One of the best, most joyous things about living in South Louisiana is the access to fresh ingredients to make gumbo at the first sign of Fall. And even if it ends up being 90º this weekend, it won’t matter. The sheer act of going all over town for the best ingredients, prepping veggies, getting that roux to a perfect chocolate color, and putting that pot on to simmer, it is always worth the effort.

If food is the religion of New Orleans, then gumbo is its God. And I’ll be bowing at its altar soon. Thanking my lucky stars for my Louisiana life.

Peace be with you.

/2011/10/10/gumbo-yeah-yeah/feed/ 1
My Inscrutable Smile /2011/09/25/my-inscrutable-smile/ /2011/09/25/my-inscrutable-smile/#comments Sun, 25 Sep 2011 21:56:12 +0000 Nola /?p=2701 Well, Sun has been perusing the costume magazines for 10 months now and has, at long last, settled on what she wants to be for Halloween: Cinderella. Now, usually I get a tad particular about a Halloween costume having to be scary. But she’s four. And determined.

So after the Saints’ execution of the Texans today, we went out to and bought Sun a Cinderella costume. But NOW she’s bent on her daddy and me dressing up too. And, sadly, much of what is available for adult women is on the “naughty” side. You know, naughty nurse, naughty witch, naughty Alice in wonderland, etc. It’s actually pathetic that plain ole scary witch outfits are so outnumbered by the naughty ones.

Then I saw this and thought BINGO:

I shall go as the Cheshire cat. Brilliant, think I, of its minimalist qualities. Slap some cat makeup on my face and voilà!

As we are driving home from the costume store, Sun starts in on me. “Mom, you can’t go as the Teshire cat. It’s NOT a tostume.” To that argument, I pointed out that in the book, sometimes the cat himself was nothing more than a smile. I’d draw that smile on my face and have it PLUS ears and a tail. Score: Mom 1, Sun 0.

Sun, undeterred, argued on: “But Mom. You CAN’T go as the Teshire cat. I am not going as Alice. [Sun 1, Mom 1.] And if you want to go as a cat, then you need to go as Lucifer, the mean cat of Cinderella’s stepmom.”

Well, now, damn. That has the one thing I cannot out-argue: LOGIC. Which brings the final score to Sun 2, Mom 1.

I simply can wear black ears and tail and snarl at people all night AND be in step with Sun’s costume. So even though Sun out-argued me this time, I get to dress as a scary (not naughty) black cat.

And if you look closely, you’ll see that I’m grinning like the Cheshire cat.

/2011/09/25/my-inscrutable-smile/feed/ 5
Katrina, Six Years Later and Still NOT Funny /2011/09/18/katrina-humorless/ /2011/09/18/katrina-humorless/#comments Sun, 18 Sep 2011 20:53:01 +0000 Nola /?p=2682 During today’s Saints/Bears game, Seymour D. Fair tweeted the following: “Katrina sign behind me. #saints #whodat” and linked to this pic:

And Saints fans far and wide came down like a ton of bricks about the insensitivity of Chicago Bears fans.

Until it was astutely pointed out that this sign is pro-Saints. Note the black and gold fleur de lis around the pathetic frowny-faced depicted Bears fan, and the sign-holder’s Saints shirt.

Apparently the sign was in response to this, a real sign from a real Bears fan in 2006:

What struck me today is how quick New Orleanians were to get our collective panties in a bunch all over again about a sign referencing Katrina.  If there was any doubt of the trauma that Katrina inflicted upon New Orleanians, let this incident erase it.

There’s something fascinatingly psychological going on here. It wasn’t one or two New Orleanians that misread this sign. It was, well, every one of them that initially looked at it. It took someone NOT from the area to point it out. And then for us to look again. And SEE.

My personal reaction was immediate. I read that little Bears fan’s shirt and saw red. That was it. I didn’t look further to see the facial expression of that Bears fan, or the black and gold fleurs. My anger rose in me as quickly as if I’d been slapped on the face. Why? Why didn’t I take in the whole image?

The reason is, I believe, that Katrina is still an open wound. And one that is collectively personal to us on the Gulf Coast. We are defensive about it STILL—the devastation; the bad government response; the judgmental SOBs telling us we were stupid to rebuild.

Bottom line? How DARE anyone EVER tease New Orleanians about such a tragedy. Yes, we can laugh and live and move on. But we will NEVER forget. And we will NEVER allow others to belittle what Katrina means to this region.

So forgive me, and other New Orleanians, for misreading this sign. Proof again that we are all too human.


/2011/09/18/katrina-humorless/feed/ 4
It’s in the Numbers /2011/09/16/its-in-the-numbers/ /2011/09/16/its-in-the-numbers/#comments Fri, 16 Sep 2011 16:14:44 +0000 Nola /?p=2666 This post has been brewing for a while. I finally pulled my old records to be accurate on my numbers. So let’s get started.

Nineteen years ago, I started law school. My parents paid my way through (state) college but I was on my own from there. So I opted for the state law school. The requirement back then was that you were not allowed to be employed your first year in law school. So I wasn’t bringing any income in until the following summer–and then it was more for experience than cash. My hours were generally 3 to 4 a day, max. That didn’t even cover rent, let alone food, utilities (minus cable), and other living expenses. I lived in the ‘hood so that I didn’t need a roommate. My rent was $250 a month. Cheap even back then.

The tuition at my law school back then was just under $2,000 for a full-term semester. I also took 6 credits every summer. That tuition, in rough numbers, was $5,000 a year, for a grand total, tuition only, of $17,500. I got out of law school, as memory serves, owing $32,000 in loans. The extra being for living expenses. Looking back, I could have lived even leaner, and should have. But that’s neither here nor there.

I then decided, well the market was in the toilet back then too–so that nudged me along, to go for a graduate law degree. There’s no such program in Louisiana. The top programs then were NYU, University of Florida, and Georgetown, in that order. I went to UF. Why? It was cheap. NYU and Georgetown were in the neighborhood, again, if memory serves, of around $30,000 for the year, and New York and Washington cost a lot more in living expenses, too. UF’s tuition for a non-resident was $10,000. I borrowed $18,500.

So, upon graduation and entering the work force, I owed in student loans just about $50,000. As it turns out, starting pay for tax attorneys in the NOLA area back then was just about $50,000. It took me ten years to pay off all my student debt.

Fast forward to 2011.

My law school’s current tuition for a year is about $21,750. And UF’s master tax program is $28,500. If I went to both today, I’d come out owing, IN TUITION ONLY, just over $100,000. Add to that living expenses for 4 years, maybe another $50,000 if you do it on the cheap.

And starting pay for tax attorneys in the NOLA area? Well, honestly, I don’t know. I’d guess around, tops, $90,000. Not anywhere near $150,000 (the least debt I’d have coming out today). So instead of paying on student loans for TEN years, I’d likely be paying on them, like many young lawyers I know, for THIRTY.

This boggles my mind. It really does. These are STATE programs. Take off the masters’ degree. For just a law degree, students graduating from state law schools today get out owing somewhere in the neighborhood of $100,000. To likely get a job earning at least $10,000 less than that.

I am not sure the point of this. Not sure if I am saying a law degree is no longer worth the cost. Or that government is failing us by charging such high rates. Or that I should be grateful for the degrees I have that I would not be able to afford today.

Maybe that’s the point. I went to law school so that I could work using my natural aptitudes; so that I could earn a living doing something I LIKE and that came natural to me (the process, not the knowledge). I did NOT go to law school to get rich or to spend my days in court. And so now, 16 years after graduating from law school, and five years out from having paid off all that debt, I have a good deal of freedom because of my degrees. I COULD earn a lot of money. Or I could spend more time with my family or tooling around New Orleans or encouraging the artist in me while I work less but still earn a respectable salary using those natural aptitudes.

And so for those out there today that want to be lawyers so as to earn a nice living doing what they like but are not intending to be high-powered litigators, good luck. Because they will NOT be able to change their minds to work less for any reason. Well, at least not for the first thirty years.

And who many among us is doing precisely what we planned to do even five, ten years ago? It all seems so onerous.

/2011/09/16/its-in-the-numbers/feed/ 2
Why the Silence, or, I Am a Mommy and a Blogger But Don’t DARE Call Me a Mommy Blogger /2011/09/15/why-the-silence/ /2011/09/15/why-the-silence/#comments Fri, 16 Sep 2011 04:36:11 +0000 Nola /?p=2648 It’s been a wacky transition for my whole family getting adjusted to all the new things that come with having Sun at a new school: new hours, uniforms, teachers, classmates, schedules, and systems. It’s not all been smooth nor without second thoughts. But things are calming down, and we are adjusting to the newness of it all.

I have hesitated to write in the moment of any particular upset because the upsets are not mine; they are Sun’s. Sure, they impact me, bear on me, effect and influence me. But I do not have the starring role in these dramas. And I know Mommy Bloggers the world over will snub me once and for all for stating that the details of my daughter’s ups and downs, as seen through my eyes, are not, in my humble opinion, blog-worthy fodder. Fertility treatment to get pregnant for Sun? Laser treatment for Sun’s birthmark? My woes with nursing? I don’t see these topics bothering Sun were she to read about them in ten or twenty years time.

But the particulars of why she struggled in her first days of class? And how that drove me off the cliff of sanity for a stint? I just don’t find that fair to her down the line. And although I have used this blog as a personal diary of sorts, it was of MY thoughts, fears, experiences.

I get that as a mother, I have my own thoughts, fears and experiences that relate to parenting. But it is a fine line between MY experiences as a parent and my daughter’s experience at, well, life. And me blogging about my parental observations of my child’s life experiences has been something altogether unappealing to me.

Maybe it’s the lawyer’s sense of client-confidentiality that’s kicked in. But as Sun grows and becomes more SUN and less MY DAUGHTER to the world at large, I find it increasingly more difficult to write blog posts, humorous or serious, about matters relating to her. And since my life currently is comprised of work and Sun with very little drinking-in-the-New-Orleans-lifestyle, I’ve found that I have less and less to blog about these days.

I’m not pulling the plug on my little corner of the internet. But I did feel it worthwhile to share WHY there’s less content on this blog for the time being. And although nothing would tickle me more than for this post to actually cause a dust-up among Mommy Bloggers, I know it won’t; they stopped reading me years ago.

/2011/09/15/why-the-silence/feed/ 5
Just Another Nervous Wreck /2011/08/01/just-another-nervous-wreck/ /2011/08/01/just-another-nervous-wreck/#comments Mon, 01 Aug 2011 22:29:42 +0000 Nola /?p=2628 I found my second-oldest brother in the garage filling a box. “Whachadoin?” “Moving out.” “No, really. What are you doing?” “Nola, really, I am moving out.” Back to that box being filled he went full of determination. He wasn’t remotely kidding. So what was an 11 year old girl to do? “Can I help?” He shrugged and allowed my help.

I never fully understood WHY he moved out. Something about disagreeing with my parents about religion and school and other teenaged-angst-filled issues. I remember most that no one in the family talked to each other about it. Just one day he was no longer living in the house. And I was the only one that seemed even affected by it. I am sure, in fact, I was NOT the only one affected. But with all that not-talking, it’s what it seemed like.

Weeks after he left, there were still things piling up that were his. And every so often, the pile would disappear as he’d return to claim those piles. One shoebox full of cassette tapes got added to a pile. In that shoebox was Supertramp’s “Breakfast in America” album. When he came for his latest stash, I asked if I could have the Supertramp tape. He shrugged. And I plugged into that tape and have never unplugged.

When I was young, it seemed that life was so wonderful,
a miracle, oh it was beautiful, magical.
And all the birds in the trees, well they’d be singing so happily,
oh joyfully, oh playfully watching me.
But then they sent me away to teach me how to be sensible,
logical, oh responsible, practical.
And then they showed me a world where I could be so dependable,
oh clinical, oh intellectual, cynical.

There are times when all the world’s asleep,
the questions run too deep
for such a simple man.

I listened to the tape so much that first year that my third-oldest brother would tease me that when I died they’d bury the tape recorder and that album with me. And for the past 30 years, the thought of me alone in eternity with just “Breakfast in America” has given more comfort than I can explain logically.

I listened to it through high school, college, law school; the early days of my legal career; every romantic relationship I’ve had (when things got to the “Casual Conversations” level, it was always over); and now as a mother.

Ah, lately, I’m like a watch that’s over-wound.

Does it feel that your life’s become a catastrophe? Oh, it has to be for you to grow, boy.

But the song that brings the very un-religious me to my knees, if I but let it, each time, every time is “Lord, is It Mine.”

I know that there’s a reason why I need to be alone
I need to find a silent place that I can call my own
Is it mine, Lord is it mine?

When everything’s dark and nothing seems right,
there’s nothing to win and there’s no need to fight

I never cease to wonder at the cruelty of this land
but it seems a time of sadness is a time to understand
Is it mine, Lord is it mine?

When everything’s dark and nothing seems right,
You don’t have to win and there’s no need to fight

If only I could find a way
to feel your sweetness through the day
The love that shines around me could be mine.
So give us an answer, won’t you,
We know what we have to do,
There must be a thousand voices trying to get through.

The song offers no answer. It’s really a cry for understanding. But there’s something immensely powerful to me—this collective need we all have to be able to claim a quiet place as our own; that we all get weary; that hope can be cut to nothing more than a sliver; that it isn’t about being right or wrong; that it’s just about getting through when everything’s dark. That really it’s about having the strength of harnessing all the love in this world that IS directed at us and allowing that to carry us through the darkness.

So as I struggle to find that strength to harness that love, folks, these days I’m Just Another Nervous Wreck. But that’s okay. Because I’ve got the proper theme music as my arsenal and I am armed to the teeth.

They’ll run for cover when they discover Everyone’s a nervous wreck now Life’s just a bummer; they got your number We’ll give as good as we get now

Rise from the gutter, stick with each other We’ll drive ‘em over the edge now They’re gonna bleed, that’s what they need We’ll get together and blow their cover

I’ve super-glued that little fuzzy square back to the tape a dozen times; the cassette has warped from the New Orleans’ summer heat and itself been super-glued back together a time or two; my car tape deck had eaten the tape another dozen times—and I devotedly straightened out the thin ribbon and rewound it back again and again. Of course, I bought the CD and then even the MP3 and now can listen without fear of needing to doctor the tape any longer. But that tape has endured. Yes, worse for the wear. But isn’t that what enduring is really about? Surviving upon great use and not staying pristine with non-use?

/2011/08/01/just-another-nervous-wreck/feed/ 1