“I’ve gotta say, I am irrationally excited about a man in my woefully poor home state keeping his $4 mil per year job. #GeauxTigers” ~ Me on Twitter last night after LSU AD Joe Alleva announced Coach Les Miles would keep his job after reports to the contrary the past few weeks.
As a Louisiana native, I watched the Les Miles saga unfold throughout the day Saturday with an interest and obsession I would imagine people in newly democratized countries feel on their first election day. In the early morning, I took note as the TV demagogues denounced LSU officials for wanting to fire a coach with a national title and a 77-percent winning percentage, not to mention a $15-million buyout. As the day progressed, I gorged on stories and rumors Miles might keep his job, contrary to earlier leaks, if he defeated Texas A&M later that night. I followed Saturday’s game with a mix of fear, anxiety and ultimately pride, as LSU secured a victory with a punishing eight-minute, clock-killing, will-breaking drive. Yet, I had no idea what result the final polls, so to speak, would yield for Miles.
Last night as I walked through Chelsea Market’s narrow strip of shops, past a bakery, a charcuterie, and a clothing pop-up, a disconcerting question grabbed my mind. Where is the nearest exit? Twin bolts of urgency and paranoia thundered from the deep recesses of my subconscious. To my left, down a ramp, a door to 15th Street stood a 20-yard dash away. The thought of a situation where I would need to dash to the door seemed absurd, and yet somehow it didn’t. People walked past me, talking, observing the art on the walls. Others sat eating. No one made any sudden or loud movements. I continued on my mission to find my parents an anniversary card. The thought of sprinting, while under attack, disappeared all together as I stared at books I wished to buy.
U.S. Senator David Vitter (R-La.) promises not to suck as bad as Bobby Jindal once elected governor, and we wholeheartedly believe and support him in his quest to, uh, not suck.
There. I just gave you the Cliff’s Notes version of the Times-Picayune’s second endorsement of Vitter’s Louisiana gubernatorial bid – an editorial encore that calls into question whether this once vaunted New Orleans institution should be entrusted to pontificate about anything more substantive than the Saints’ desperate need to fire defensive coordinator Rob Ryan. (He still has a job?!)
I discovered the severity of the ISIS attacks in Paris Friday night while sipping a whiskey and ginger inside, of all places, the United Nations. A man sitting next to me on a couch informed a friend of his, “They killed everyone in the theater.” Prior to entering the UN, I read reports of a dozen or so casualties in coordinated restaurant shootings. Now Agence France-Presse’s official Twitter declared around 100 dead. The mostly young, mostly well-dressed contingent in the UN continued talking and laughing – their chatter creating a buzz across the expansive, open room that resembled an airport terminal minus the pretzel stands and news hubs. Amid the caterwaul of a thousand conversations, the plight of France, my ancestral homeland, weighed heavy on my heart and mind.
“The night is alive, it’s loud and I’m drunk.”
As opening lines go, James Alex’s intro on “Noisy Heaven” is sublime – a blurry-eyed, present tense reverie whose veins run with 80 proof punk rock. The surging guitars that follow Alex’s opening salvo serve as tribute to the night’s total victory, any and all imperfections be damned. The sonic sum is like stage-diving into the waiting arms of the best night ever.
Since moving to New York City from the West Coast in late summer 2012 I’ve enjoyed Mets games for the following reasons:
- Food (i.e., Shake Shack, Two Boots, etc.)
- Bobblehead giveaways (i.e., Doc Gooden, Nolan Ryan)
- Matt Harvey circa 2013
- The faithful’s chill vibes
- Watching my then-girlfriend flip out about Stephan Jenkins during a Third Eye Blind (!) post-game show
Maybe it says something about New Orleans’ Voodoo Fest that I forgot the three-day event centered around Halloween was this weekend until a friend asked me who she should see on Friday. Maybe it also says something about me that I have no idea what day of the week it is most of the time.
Voodoo Fest aka Voodoo Music + Arts Experience traditionally features a handful of acts I want to see and a barrel full of acts I don’t for the $235 three-day admission price. This year’s lineup leans a little more toward my preferences in hip hop and rock music. No lie, I am kinda sad I am a pauper and unable to fly down on a whim for Voodoo. (Also: I am kinda sad I am a pauper, period.)
Below are my Voodoo Fest 2015 picks for those lucky enough to score passes.
New York City is teeming with roaches, rats and other mutant pests looking to heist pizza crumbs around every dusty corner. Leave it to a ginger to kill these tiny evildoers with laughter. No, not this ginger.
My friend and Original Ginger (O.G., for short) Taylor “Tay Tay” Coriell is co-creator and one of the stars of Bite Me, a web series that follows two friends as they take over the family extermination business. Bite Me focuses on the lives of women in their 20s, the evolution of friendship and the eradication of vermin in a humorous way that is Tay Tay to a tee. (Sorry Tay Tay, I’ll stop writing Tay Tay now.)
Midway through his book talk at St. Joseph’s College in Brooklyn last week, the Atlantic columnist and MacArthur Genius Ta-Nehisi Coates described his need to understand as much about this world as possible while he lived, having no expectation of an afterlife. Coates, whose work highlights the evils of past and present American racism and the need to right these wrongs, described understanding as a “gift.” In turn, Coates’ gift – or at least one of them – is his innate ability to make others, myself included, understand the world in a radically different way, a more informed and nuanced way, than I had before I encountered his work.
Grant “G-Ratt” Gautreaux, my friend and noted Bayou Book Club founder – yes, this is a thing because I just wrote into existence – asked a question about reading David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest today on Facebook that turned into an avalanche of discussion about seemingly 100 different authors and books. Books and the ideas they present, it turns out, continue to hold weight for Reagan babies, like us, who are accused of no longer giving a damn about literature. So put that in your pipe, think piece writers, and smoke it!
The conversation’s far-reaching appeal made me ponder books I’ve read this year and books I aspire to read in 2016 – hence the tagline five classic books on my 2016 reading list. The books I am listing below are books I own that I haven’t completed yet – shame, shame. I hope they inspire you to read that unread classic on your shelf, as well.