Thursday, September 07, 2006

it's happened again. my Endless Quest For The Perfect Facial Hair Configuration has unexpectedly taken me from one extreme to another in the space of a week, for no good reason at all - from the full beard I've been sporting since about January (and all the variations-on-a-goatee there were for years before that) to the new, completely clean-shaven Allen that just backed away from the shaving mirror about three minutes ago. Well, okay, I kept the sideburns, but still it's the most exposed my face has been in years. and it's STRANGE for me. Feels strange, looks strange. looks young, like me from a different time. which I guess isn't bad. it's just such an odd feeling when your face in the mirror doesn't match your self-concept, the image you have of yourself in your mind. there's an odd disconnect, a de-identification of self, a point where you're not who you were - even if only by virtue of that very superficial change. a minor re-invention? bah. i'm overanalyzing.

we'll see how long it lasts.

Monday, September 04, 2006
g'bye, steve irwin. as celebrity, larger-than-life personalities go, he was about as authentic and courageous as they come, and he went out doing the very thing that made him famous. sad day.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006
it's been a year. i don't know what to tell you. i still cry a lot. like everyone else here, i witness, live, and struggle with what happened every. single. day. i am forever altered; the thirtieth year of my life can be described, very simply, by the name given to one storm.

i lost friends and family (but only to other cities.)
i lost my dog (but to a good foster home where she has stayed since, and is happy.)
i lost my vehicle to the flood (but got enough insurance money to lease a new one.)
my grandmother and two of my aunts, and several of my friends, lost their homes and belongings to the flood; i lost a lot of the tangible artifacts of my childhood and the history of my family in that water.

and i was so fortunate.

i'm okay, a year later and i'm okay. but it's still a tentative okay, an "okay-for-now": wobbly and precarious and contingent on factors far beyond my control. to be honest, that's the best i can hope for at the moment, and i'm good with that.

new orleans is not even okay yet, but it is surviving. new orleans is still gut-shot, hemmoraghed, disfigured, torn and anaemic... and yet very alive. mending. healing, slowly, at the same langorous pace at which it has always moved. it will take decades, lifetimes, perhaps - but this city is coming back. it's something you can feel more than you can see; and it will be despite ourselves, despite our immense and embarassing failings, despite the ridicule and criticism of the rest of the country and despite criminal neglect by the federal government. new orleans is an irrepressible, elemental force of nature, and one year later new orleans is rising.

ya'herd me?

if you haven't, and you care at all, watch spike lee's documentary. it's not perfect, but it captures a lot of what the past year has been for many people here.

also, if you want to see some stats on the recovery (and some of my most recent design work) you can download this PDF: "New Orleans - One Year After", compiled by the urban planners at my office.

Saturday, August 26, 2006
ernesto? bah.

i ain't skeered.

what's it gonna do? destroy lakeview and the 9th ward?

Thursday, August 10, 2006
i'm a bad blogger. i have amazing, wonderful life experiences and i don't even blog about them for days. weeks sometimes. i used to be good at this...

last weekend i did something i was pretty sure i'd never get a chance to do - i got to see tom waits in concert. He's still one of my favorite musicians, and i own pretty much everything the man's ever put on wax - but in college, at Rhodes, i was a devoted - no, an obsessive - fan. so it was strangely fitting that his first real tour in decades brought him to memphis. long ago i resolved that if he ever toured, i'd find a way to be there, and consequently last friday found me on a journey north through the delta to memphis, for the first time since the turn of the century.

memphis hasn't changed. sure, there's a stadium, and an arena, and a big mall downtown. sure, Rhodes has installed an insanely over-sized library smack in the middle of campus. but memphis hasn't changed a lick. it still feels like memphis - still rusting away slowly in the sun, like an old truck in a driveway, overgrown with weeds. behind the thin veneer of hip new clubs on Beale street, the city is still holding on tight to the spirit of the mid-century - doughnut shops and greasy-spoons. still memphis.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006
Tuesdays, for me, are often tinged with excitement - because they're when new CD releases come out and if I'm lucky, I can pick up whatever new album I've been wanting for months to hear... Today, though, things are different. Today, it's a DVD set that I've been waiting for for YEARS. Yakko, Wakko and Dot Warner are back, and this makes me very, very happy.

also, props to (best-friend-since-forever/current tenant-roommate/newly-minted political consultant) Rod for getting his candidate a very favorable interview (and himself a name-check) on well-read political blog wonkette.com...

Saturday, July 15, 2006
apparently, as of today, i'm 31.

i don't know if i have anything to say about that. doesn't seem too important. which is why i'm spending my birthday alone - everybody seems to have skipped town this weekend, even my parents... meh. i certainly don't feel forgotten - i've had plenty of calls and e-mails. it'd just be nice to have some company. anyway, won't let that depress me until it depresses me. maybe i'll go buy myself a red velvet cake from sav-a-center or something.

has anyone noticed that the world is going quite to hell at the moment, with israel and lebanon leading the march? it's fucking frightening. and what's scariest is that it looks like our government no longer has the international political or moral objectivity/clout/wherewithall to help defuse the situation. god and the UN help us.

update, 7:30pm: i wasn't kidding about the sav-a-center red velvet cake. pretty gross though. other presents to myself: a muddler, a bottle of rum, some limes, and a bottle of my all time favorite white wine, Caymus Conundrum. just to have around. now i'm sitting here, working, and listening to Beirut - oddly fitting,i suppose. anybody want a mojito or a mint julep?


illustrations from kids drawings of winnie the pooh. some of these are amazing in their awesomeness.

everybody loituma!
also live and gwb.

reason enough right here to get a new macbook or a macbook pro.

wanna see something funny? the onion was dead on. farce becomes prophecy. okay, so it's not funny. it's just sad.

listening to:

gulag orkestar

regina spektor
begin to hope

the essex green,
cannibal sea

go here: