Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Flashback: Laying the Groundwork for a New Career

Seven years ago, I marked this important event: Laying the Groundwork for a New Career.

Here's what I wrote on November 7, 2010: 

Laying the groundwork for a new career 


Today I am in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. I've rented a condo for a month. And for that month, my worldly possessions fit into a small wheeled carry-on and a backpack.

Tomorrow I start a CELTA course in teaching English as a foreign language.

When I finish, I should have a certificate that, in theory, will let me work just about anywhere in the world. Which is really what I've wanted to do from the time I was an adolescent - travel the globe.

During the month, friends Pam and Jackie will join me for a week; later, my mother and Brother3 will join me for a week over Thanksgiving.

As I write this, I hear nearby church bells sounding the hour.
Palm fruit, Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo, Mexico. November 2010.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Louisiana: New Iberia: Dave Robicheaux' Fave Diner

Victor's Cafeteria, New Iberia, Louisiana. July 2014.

As a Dave Robicheaux follower, of course I visited his favorite local restaurant, Victor's Cafeteria. It's "where Dave eats."

Victor's Cafeteria, New Iberia, Louisiana. July 2014.

In fact, I ate there twice. Once was when my mom - who turned me on to Dave some years ago - visited me, and who was delighted to check out Dave's haunts in and around New Iberia. Another time was with a buddy who also got into Dave.

Victor's Cafeteria, New Iberia, Louisiana. July 2014.

Victor's Cafeteria, New Iberia, Louisiana. July 2014.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Louisiana: My EDC

South Louisiana EDC

EDC = everyday carry = an item or set of items you carry with you most days.

No idea why, but one of my news apps includes an EDC-of-the-day. It should be no surprise that, for your convenience, each item has a link to Amazon, should you be moved to buy another person's EDC. 

This made me think about my South Louisiana EDC:
  1. Terrycloth wristband to hold a credit card, a little cash, a key
  2. Ear plugs (good for any traveler + especially good for someone who frequents live music venues)
  3. Small metal tin for gum and mints
  4. Lipstick
  5. Compact mirror
  6. Band-aid
  7. Pen
  8. Cheap-ass, ugly, annoying wallet that I can't replace soon enough
  9. One check
  10. A small bit of cash
  11. A credit card or two
  12. Driver's license, library card, health insurance card
  13. Mini notebook 
  14. Comb
  15. Sunglasses 
  16. Keys
  17. Phone


Sunday, November 6, 2016

Louisiana: Lake Martin: Cypress Twists

Cypress in water, Cypress Island, near Breaux Bridge, Louisiana. January 2016.

In January 2016, not long before I moved from Louisiana, I visited the Cypress Island boardwalk over by Lake Martin.

Cypress in water, Cypress Island, near Breaux Bridge, Louisiana. January 2016.

Played with some photos of a cypress standing in the algae'd water.

Cypress in water, Cypress Island, near Breaux Bridge, Louisiana. January 2016.

What is it about these and live oaks that is so entrancing?

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Opelousas, Louisiana: A Country View in the City

Cherry Street, Opelousas, Louisiana. July 2016.

During my July 2016 revisit to South Louisiana, Avery and I based ourselves in Opelousas. We often drove down Cherry Street. 

This is the view of a line of traditional bungalows on Cherry Street in Opelousas. A dream of a location. In town, but on its very edge, so you can sit on the front porch and look upon the country just across the street.

If I were going to buy a place in Opelousas, this would be a fine place to live.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Louisiana: A July Visit Preview

Painting of Canray Fontenot at El Sido's, artist as yet unidentified. Lafayette, Louisiana. November 2015.

I moved from Louisiana in February 2016, then set out on some adventures to Guatemala, Colorado, Washington, DC, and Toronto.

In July, I took one of my descendants with me on a revisit to South Louisiana. Let's call her Avery. She's nine. Avery is actually the name of one of her dolls, who she adopted while we were in Louisiana.

Holy Ghost Creole Festival Parade, Opelousas, Louisiana. November 2015.

I'll take the opportunity of my Louisiana revisit to tell some stories that didn't get told when I lived there.

Some of them are happy and some of them are not.

A preview:
  • What's in a name? 
  • Peculiar blindness, continued
  • Festivals, of course
  • Music, of course
  • Little girls: A tragedy 
  • Poetry
  • Beau Jocque 
  • Land and water

An establishment on Highway 190, Opelousas, Louisiana. October 2015.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Harrison, Arkansas: We are Racist and We Feel Good

Brought to you by the racist folks in and around Harrison, Arkansas. August 2016.

I visited Toronto in June 2016. Then revisited South Louisiana in July 2016. Today's post arose from my return drive to Missouri from the South Louisiana visit. I'll start the July Louisiana posts next, but this one is burning a hole in my pocket and can't wait any longer. 

South of Harrison, Arkansas, is the billboard:

"'DIVERSITY' is a code word for #whitegenocide.

Go here for the usual drivel that accompanies such stupidity.

Strangely, above this billboard is one that extols the virtues of Harrison, Arkansas. It is in dilapidated shape, which belies the cheery soap-bubbly copy:

Welcome to Harrison
Beautiful Town Beautiful People
No wrong exits
No bad neighborhoods
...paid for, evidently by Harrison "business owners"

The link to this perky billboard is Interestingly, the message in the upper sign  and the content in its accompanying website is more dangerous, in a way, than the hammer-head drek of the "whitegenocide" guy.

The tone and language of the "business owners" site are so congenial, so reasonable, so seemingly disarming in the acknowledgements of Harrison's flaws along with its charms - so well-written, in fact - that you might almost nod your head at this: 
[Gerald L.K.] Smith was in association with Charles Lindbergh, Henry Ford, Elizabeth Dilling, Father Coughlin, and others known for their pro-American activities.  Smith was an early supporter of local Boone county preacher Thom Robb and all have been labeled by some as racist. Though Lindbergh, Ford, Dilling, and Coughlin are all deceased, they maintained at the time as well as Thom Robb [national director of the KKK] does today, (He also serves as the national director of The Knights Party) to be pro-white only.

Harrison is most often mentioned in the news due to the location of the organization’s headquarters 2 miles from Zinc and 17 miles from Harrison.  [Thom] Robb had his office on Stephenson street just off the square in Harrison for many years as well as overlooking Harrison on Harrison Hill but moved it outside of the city to have room to build a church and family retreat to host conferences.  Some in the city resent the attention he brings while most are either ambivalent or quiet supporters.

Look how the author borrows authority from American icons such as Charles Lindbergh and Henry Ford. How he frames their activities as "pro-American." The suggestion that "pro-white" doesn't necessarily mean anti-someone else.

[Note: Being "pro-white" is NOT on the same playing field as being "for" groups who have experienced long-standing, systemic discrimination.]

Then the author proposes that "most" people in Harrison are either ambivalent or quiet supporters. ... So why should you, the reader, trouble your mind?

Very skillful propaganda that masks the malevolence beneath.