Monday, October 20, 2008

Playing with the GreebleMonkey!

The lovely and talented Aimee over at GreebleMonkey is at it again with her monthly GreeblePix Contest. Here is my entry into the fray:

Lily Light

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Transitions, Challenges and Such

So much going on, so little time to put it all together in posts - so, forgive me if I empty the gullet here in one post. It's all got to come out.


I lost a friend last week.

Not someone I'd call at 3 in the morning, crying on his shoulder, but a long-time theatre friend, a Mardi Gras friend, a coffee-with-whatever-bunch-showed-up-that-morning friend - and that rare person who was far-more outrageous than I could ever dream of being.

You always knew when Steve was in the room.

Or 3 blocks away.

Steve's bicycle was festooned with odd (read that as borderline NC-17) ornaments and geegaws, garlands and bells - and when he spotted you, you were greeted with a "Yoohooooooo!!" in a voice that could pierce the thickest New England fog.

Steve was a wonderful dancer, a strong singer and one of the most alive people i think I've ever met. One time at a party, he pulled me aside and said, "Come on, we're gonna put on a show." He pulled me upstairs where he threw a wig and scarf at me - having already selected his own impromptu ensemble - and then jumped out on the balcony overlooking the courtyard where our friends were partying, and started belting out "Let Me Entertain You." I followed up with "Nowadays" from Chicago.

Now that was a party.

Steve was also a great costume designer - here's the photo I snapped on him in 2004. Outrageous to the end, Steve finally succumbed to leukemia after a more than 2 year battle.

I will miss him - and New Orleans is a little less beautiful and delightful for his passing.


Yesterday, I learned of another passing: my friend Coleen Salley, storyteller, author and bon vivant extraordinaire. Coleen was the Distinguished Professor of Children's Literature at the University of New Orleans, wrote many children's books and taught future generations all about the joy of reading and sharing books. My dear friend and fellow book-lover Susan Larson writes a wonderful tribute to her here.

"I don't want children to read just to perfect their reading. I want them to love books for the joy of it."

Coleen Salley

Coleen smoked and drank for most of her life until doctors told her to (um, strongly recommended thatshe out to) shape up. I don't blush at much, but she swore like a sailor and saw and did more in her life than most of us can imagine. I was fortunate to live in her neighborhood, a stone's throw from St. Louis Cathedral, and get invited to many of Coleen's infamous parties - Christmas soirees before the Caroling in Jackson Square - author parties with Hudson Talbot and others I cannot even recall, due to that fourth Brandy Mild Punch.

New Orleans is a helluva lot less fabulous with Coleen's passing. She's telling wicked and wonderful stories to the angels now.


Life is too short to be angry all the time or to read bad books - or to tell other people what a bad book is. Coleen's passing only more dramatically points to last week's Banned Books Week.

I had every intention of posting a long diatribe on the virtues of reading banned/challenged books, and the evils of censorship, and blah blah blah. Truth is, the real world intruded. So, do your homework, check out sites like this and talk to other folks about why you think certain books aren't right for YOUR kids - but support people's choice to read what they want.

NOTE: during my research on banned books, I stumbled across this blog site. I've posted about books and some of the (perhaps) misguided challenges to them, but I had never encountered anyone who was against one of my all-time favorites, Guess How Much I Love You. The rationale? It bothered her that the parent always has to out-do the child. Really? That bothers you? Did you really read the book? What say you, parents?


Other than that, I had planned on writing an Elegy to the Letter G. Thanks to Governor Palin, the final G - which until now been on life support, but still doing moderately OK - slipped away quietly on Thursday evening, never to heard from again.

Folks, please do your part. Don't let final G be forgotten. Let us not become a nation that is merely runnin', walkin', hopin' and wishin'...but please, remember the G.

Dreaming is not just a thing of the past.


One final thought: I am willing to bet that Sarah Palin was “that girl” in High School - not exactly pretty or smart, but aware enough to see where the power lay. And just charming or shrewd enough to know how to play people to do things for her, to subtly bully people out of the picture - making others’ lives a living Hell for crossing her.

If a real poll could have been taken of her peers, I would bet they’d vote her Most Feared.What training. Now, she’s just a small town bully who never left high school, never learned anything that wasn’t advantageous to her assent, no critical thinking skills and no awareness of the world around her. A brainless bully.

A dangerous bully. A bully who aspires to Cheney-like bullying. And if that doesn't scare you, I doubt little will.

Thank you, John McCain, for Sarah Palin - the gift that keeps on giving to the Barack Obama Campaign.


A Belated Singular Saturday: Please - I cannot put up with 4 or 8 more years of


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