Tag Archives: neighbors

A Study In Contrasts

Presented for your consideration, two parts of an otherwise normal weekend, filled with taxiing teenage daughters, reading online journals, laundry, pondering work (yes, I am a closet workaholic), sleep (a necessity after the grueling workweek of endless conference calls and quality assurance “light” reading of things like Software Management Plans and 500-line Gantt charts), cooking, light cleaning and grocery shopping.

The first part was a trip to The Spider’s Web bar a few short blocks from my house. The occasion was the birthday of an online friend of mine, bigrob, who I had previously never met. It was a great time, although truth be told I should not be drinking in public (LOL). It was loud, the jukebox featured a great variety of Music, and the bartender, Amber was terrific. The conversation ranged from Music (Rob’s roommate is a songwriter as am I, and Rob and he are both Musicians) to literature and politics. I even played some pool after an abstinence from that sport for almost a decade. I woke the next morning feeling old, hung over and somewhat anachronistic, however. So much of my life has been spent in bars discussing, playing and evaluating Music. I was not accompanied by stardances, my wonderful mate, on this occasion. To be honest, I have to say that probably the volume alone made this place, although kitschy cool in its way, not really that much my scene. That, and the preponderance of single people on average 10 to 15 years younger. An interesting adventure, nonetheless, and probably one that I would repeat. But I felt like I had to work really hard to do something — although I couldn’t exactly tell you what that was.

The second part, however, on its surface seems much more mundane. Our new neighbor (of about four months) invited Star and I over for wine and barbeque in his newly organized and re-gardened backyard. He is 59, and has traveled a great deal and recently moved back down to New Orleans from Vermont to teach. There was no Music. The conversation was quiet, although animated and lively, and incorporated travel, family, ancestry, hippy remembrances and other topics of intellectual bent. The wine was excellent. The food was exquisite. One realizes, after hosting many a party, that the key element to being at home in another person’s house is whether or not they are an able chef. That, and being comfortable finding and using the bathroom. I think both Star, I and our neighbor agreed that the evening was the most enjoyable we each had spent in a great while. It’s nice to simply converse with others, as equals, without the pressures of proving oneself. It is refreshing and relaxing. I woke the next morning feeling peaceful, intelligent and part of a community. I appreciated Star for the same reasons that I have always appreciated her — her life experience, humor, intelligence, insight, passion and creativity. And I felt appreciated in the same way.

Perhaps I’m just getting old. Star and I are going to see Patti Smith tomorrow night at the House of Blues here in New Orleans. That we both know who Patti Smith is (and have known, for a long, long time) is important. Because we are not just hippies. We are both old punks. Hell, I’m even an old Goth (I remember where I was when Bauhaus broke up). I think now, however, we realize that at least Musically, and probably in many other ways, that volume is not a substitute for or expression of power.

Or something like that.

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Pre-Holiday Musings …

Our across the street neighbor has erected his gaudy display of ever-blinking lights – to the dismay of all those whose significant others are epileptics. He is quite proud of his achievement, and says he just isn’t filled with the spirit of the season without this external manifestation and its subsequent drain upon his wallet thanks to the spike in the electric bill.

In other news, we are out shopping for a Norford Pine today to fill the lonesome corner of the house and fill it with aromatic goodness. Ah, so the decorations slough off their mothballs and rejoice for a season of dust-free interaction ๐Ÿ™‚ Lydia, the ever-vigilant tape, photo and shiny object hunting cat, will be quite pleased with the increase in her potential prey. Our Yuletime shopping is almost complete, believe it or not. With a mere six days of shopping remaining ๐Ÿ™‚

a haiku

Cough sneeze sniffle cough
Must bad colds always mar the
holiday season?

In other other news, we are mere weeks away from a long distance voyage to Kalifornica. There is much trepidation in the Dances household about meeting with the relatives (mine) and spending a week in a foreign country. As we are New Orleanians, we have our cross-cultural visas in order, but there is much worry about how to co-exist peacefully with these “Othercoasters”. It will be interesting, at the very least; I hope, enjoyable.

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