Monday, August 11, 2008

New Years in New Orleans

Po-boy Views
Phil LaMancusa
New Year’s Ablutions
Tangled Up In Blue
Years have gone by since I’ve given a thought to changing my evil ways, especially as part of a ‘New Year’ ritual. Mainly my resolutions were to enact no resolutions whatsoever, “and far be it from me to change that now”, I would add. Although; I admit, recently I have been giving some thought to making a behavior modification or two. My thought was ‘exactly what forms would I take to better myself and my world around me?’ Usually my first reaction is…”hit the lottery!” But, as my ‘punish my enemies and reward my friends’ goal by way of the big payoff just doesn’t seem to be happening, I thought that maybe I should, like Fagin, review my situation.
Ah, a New Year is beginning. This old Earth has traveled 584,000,000 miles in the last 525,960 minutes. A time of reflection, contemplation …changes? Nah.
If you’re anything like me, (and believe me, we have more in common than you think) you’re already up to your butt in alligators. This is no time to try to drain the swamp (pun intended).
You and me/us (Yamus) either have or soon will realize that life is a series of events that challenge us not on a daily basis. We would be fortunate if, indeed, it was only on a daily basis. I’m here to tell you, brothers and sisters, the kibble hits the fan a lot more often than that, and Yamus usually get it full in the face.
Because there’s not enough hours in the day to get everything I need to do done, and I’ve divided my days in to three parts. One part scrambles to get my errands and obligations tended to. The second part is set aside to field all the weird stuff that comes up, and the third part is spent trying to forget everything that has happened that day, all the while avoiding that kibble and the ‘other shoes’ that keep falling.
I don’t know about you; but, I’ve been drinking a lot more now, since the hurricane recovery hasn’t begun. And my drinking (although I don’t approve) has taken on a savage quality. I purposely drink to get hammered as fast as I can so that I can go to bed and sleep. This, as I see it, is bad form.
Don’t get me confused with some kind of hardened sot; I’m more of a lightweight dipsomaniac. I don’t start drinking until my day of getting my ass kicked by life is over, but then, I go to it with a passion, nay, a vengeance. The pity of it all is that I don’t want to give up drinking; however, I do realize the need to alter my actions in this area or prepare for my liver to be sold as pate.
A gallon of beer a night is also not good for the waistline and neither are fried oyster po-boys, cheese and mini meatballs at happy hour or that baked potato and giant burger at Port Of Call late at night. Needless to say with gut bombs like these, consumed on an open pyloric valve, my reticence for frequent visits to the gym is understandable (yes, that would be me with a Lucky Dog light snack). Twelve-ounce curls does not biceps make.
The only excuse that I can come up with is that personal improvement motivation rings hollow compared with the political, environmental, socio-psycho-economic, ‘P.S. your cat is dead’ emotional quagmire that I find my impotent butt held hostage in.
I saw a tee shirt once (another “I saw a tee shirt” story). It said:
“Eat Right.
Die Anyway”.
There was a comic strip character named Joe Btfsplk (take that spellchecker!) who went around with a dark cloud above his head, no matter what the weather. He was, what is called, jinxed. I feel, a lot of times, a lot like that. Incidentally, do you know how to pronounce Joe’s last name? Hint: stick your tongue out of your closed mouth and blow (A.K.A. Bronx cheer, raspberry).
I guess that it’s a case of sunken heart, or a total eclipse, or like the title implies a tangling of the blues. Girlfriend likens it to the feeling you have when you wake up after being fired from your job, your lover dumping you and being evicted rolled into one…btfsplk.
I started reading The Murder of Christ by Wilhelm Reich, you know, the guy who had his books burned in the 1950’s by the FDA? It’s incredibly depressing. I’m reading newspapers---I watch the news, television---same. I’m ready for something upbeat. A new regimen of diet, exercise and abstinence is not appealing in the face of more Wallabys dropping; I’d probably rupture something. I swear, Thom McCann is up there, and he’s not very happy with me.
Here comes the good part: Bridge House Thrift Store is up and running. Other good news is that, as of January one New Orleans will be down to no homicides for the year, there will be no smoking in restaurants, my cat is very much alive and the other party comes into power. We will see how long any of that lasts.
Another thing that I find Yamus have in common is that, invariably, we’re all glad that the last year is gone and we usually swear that the next year is going to be, has to be better. Eventually Yamus will resort to remembering ‘the good old days’. We had this discussion the other day trying to remember when stuff wasn’t so damn complicated and I wasn’t flummoxed for most of the time. I, for one, couldn’t remember that far back. Today, being above ground is blessing enough; and, being well rested, well fed and well loved is something to cherish and try to hold on to. Although hitting the Powerball wouldn’t hurt, I reckon I’m doing okay.
Some other parting 2006 thoughts: Dreamers live forever, hope springs eternal and if you get hit with a bucket of…kibble…don’t forget to close your eyes. Happy New Year to Yamus!

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