Saturday, October 22, 2005


Yes, it's 2 in the a.m. and I'm awake (not quite awake, just awake) and working on the new issue of AG. Things are coming together, though there's still a lot of content to get ready. I haven't even written my editorial or my portion of the cover story (which is an update on all the major venues in the city, split between myself, Noah and Patrick) yet.

What have I been doing? Creating ads. Clark's been busting his ass getting people involved in the mag, which is pretty great. Since Tuesday, when I officially found the new printer, we've had to expand from 8 pages to 12, then to 16, then to 20. 20's going to be the magic, final number because I don't think I can find enough hours to add another four. The cool thing is that a good portion of these ads is new advertisers just joining up, which is nice.

We're probably about where we were with a 32 page edition of the old size, maybe a tad less. It's a lot of work, but I'm glad to have it. Today, after I worked the dayjob for a few hours, I bought a new printer/scanner (I realized yesterday, halfway through a conversation with Clark where he handed over the materials I needed to scan to create these ads, that my old printer/scanner had bitten the dust in the flood), got back to my parents' around 2:30 and started work. Patrick came over around 3 and we worked on some design and a story he'd written (a really good look at the artwork of Allen Jaeger and Vance Kelly, two prominent gig poster artists in the city), then finished the cover layout while on the phone with Noah.

We worked until 8, when we took a dinner break and watched a bit of the LSU game and the World Series. Patrick left around 9 and I started scanning and Photoshopping. I'm almost done, with only two more ads to create.

Back to work.

Friday, October 21, 2005


I decided yesterday that the cover of next week's AG will be a collage of photos of the local venues with the tagline "Down But Not Out." Simple enough. I picked up Patrick Strange and we drove around, shooting photos of the Maple Leaf, TwiRoPa, the Howlin' Wolf, Tipitina's, House of Blues, and One Eyed Jacks.

In the afternoon we met up with Clark (of the vintage clothing store PInkie and Blue Boy) and Jarret (of Handsome Willy's) at Molly's for Guinness. It made me loopy for awhile, but nice nonetheless. Clark's helping with advertising, and quite honestly we're getting a bit more than I expected. Enough that we'll have to add a few pages and instead of 8 we'll probably sit at 12.

After I dropped Patrick at his house Uptown, I snapped some more photos, hung out with Brian at the Landmark Theatre for about forty-five minutes, stopped at Circle Bar for a few and talked to Lefty and Luke from Happy Talk Band, then stopped at Slice, had an Abita Amber and talked to the owner and a few other people, then came back to the Westbank.

Only to find the specs I've been using to design over the past two days are wrong, so I need to call the printer in a bit and get the exact size I'm supposed to be working with. I'd only completely finished one page, but it means I need to go back and tweak some of the ad sizes. Fun fun.

I finally passed out around 10:30, and now it's time to work again, since all our files have to be at the printer on Monday.

You'd think this would be stressful, but it's actually pretty fun.

Went back to work yesterday for the first time since the Thursday before Katrina. Of the three disabled people I work with, only one, Kenny, the half-paralyzed guy, is home. I picked him up and we ate lunch at the Borders cafe. The four of us hung out at Borders quite a bit, so it was kind of nice to be back and freely flip through magazines I had no intention of buying.

I only worked for about an hour and a half, though, because I had a 1 p.m. appointment with a FEMA adjustor, of all people. I stopped at my landlord's place to pick up a copy of our lease (because our copy'd been flooded out), and after that headed to the old house.

I wish I had a better understanding of whatever the hell it is that FEMA does, but I don't. The guy measure the house, measured the waterline, and asked me a few general questions about what I had in the house. He looked at my before and after photos, plugged it all into a computer and said I should hear something in seven to ten days. Which probably means two to three months, but whatever.

After FEMA it was time to work on AG some more.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005


I FINALLY found a new printer for AntiGravity yesterday. After getting dicked around by a couple of printers in Baton Rouge (one left multiple messages unreturned, another had me speak to a rep who was supposedly working on my quote at that moment, and even though she claimed I would have it by yesterday afternoon it's nearly 9 a.m. and I still don't have it) I e-mailed Joele from the magazine Alternatives, and she pointed me towards Print All in Belle Chasse.

I talked to the owner of Print All and they have some very good prices, pretty quick turnaround, and they actually spoke to me (which compared to the printers in Baton Rouge makes them great). All that sound too good to not have catches? Well, yeah.

Before Katrina we'd decided to increase our format from 8x10 to about 10x11, starting with our October issue. We thought it'd give us a more "magazine" look, if that makes sense, and I was beginning to feel the strain of designing 8x10 pages. There's only so much you can do with a page like that.

When Dixie Web was closed and I scrambled to find a new printer, I figured that we might have to do newsprint for awhile because it's just so much cheaper. One of the "catches" about Print All is that they're cheapest because their base size is the tabloid format, which means our new final size will be about 11 1/4 x 13 7/8. Pretty much double our previous size. In one way it's good because we have more space to deal with, but I'm just not a big fan of that size (though it's probably because I haven't seen many publications worth reading at that size. The old ARTHUR magazine comes to mind, but that's about it). I'm sure it'll grow on me when I see our stuff printed.

Also, they don't bind anything at Print All, so the magazine will be like reading a newspaper, not stapled or anything. Another thing I'm not a big fan of, but I'll deal with it. I'd rather deal with these things than not publish, so we'll stick with this format for at least six months and then reevaluate our printing situation. Maybe another one comes along equally as good, maybe we stick with them because we grow to like that format. Who knows.

But it's exciting to get to work again, and that's what I did last night and probably will do for most of today.

Monday, October 17, 2005


Normally I don't write about football. It's just not worth it. Most people aren't as fanatic about it as I am and I just wind up coming off as crazy. Well, today I'm going to be cRAaAaZaAzZy!

Last week's 52-3 loss by the Saints in Green Bay was tough to swallow, but ultimately expected. The Packers were 0-4 and had lost two straight at home. They were due for a win, and when you're due for a win there's no better team to have in town (or go into their place) than the Saints. We've given quite a few expansion teams their first win (most notably the '77 Bucs, who were 0-14 their inaugural season and 0-12 the following year before beating us. We gave up an insane Hail Mary pass as time expired in a game against the new Cleveland Browns. It was from Tim Couch, no less). We've also watched the Carolina Panthers and Jacksonville Jaguars come into the league in 1996 and immediately go 7-9 their first years and walk straight into the conference championship games the next. Two years and they were playing to go to the Super Bowl! Meanwhile we didn't get a playoff win, period, until 2000. And we've been playing since 1967.

This week we played the Atlanta Falcons. If an entire fanbase of a team could be rendered braindead with a brain-neutralizing bomb that's yet to be invented, it'd be a hard choice whether it'd be Atlanta's or the New York Jets', but I'd settle on Atlanta because they're in our division.

Anyway, the game. Considering we had 52 straight points laid on us by Green Bay, the field goal by Atlanta brought some hope. "If we could get 52 laid on us after leading by 3, now that we're down by 3 maybe we'll lay 52 on these guys," I said to my buddies Jason and Pedro. That's the kind of optimism a Saints fan has. I also mentioned to Jason earlier in the day that if we had to lose, I'd much prefer the blow-out to the near-loss. At least with the blow-out you resign yourself to it because there's that "Well, there's no turning back" moment, usually when the opponent's 28th straight point is on the board.

Lo and behold, though, the Saints played a pretty good game. We wound up with over 200 yards rushing even though we are without Deuce McAllister, probably the team's best player, for the rest of the year. Aaron Brooks, the human mistake-waiting-to-happen, had only thrown one interception (it was in the 4th quarter and put the team in the position to have to tie the game with a touchdown instead of potentially going up by a touchdown, but hey, these are the types of plays we expect from Brooks. You know the Juggs machine that receivers use to practice their catching? I'm convinced that if one were to be made for defensive backs to practice interceptions on the company designing it would base if off of Brooks' passes. Only every tenth pass or so would go for a touchdown, just enough to keep the mechanics in constant puzzlement about what's wrong with the machine.).

The Saints tie the game with 40 seconds remaining (after calling timeouts with over a minute to go, almost like they were conserving time for the Falcons), giving Michael Vick way too much time to get in place for a game-winning field goal, especially since they had, oh, all of their timeouts. As the announcers said the Falcons had to get to the Saints 40 yard line to be in field goal range, they got there. A penalty on the Saints for having 12 men on the field moved them up another 5 yards, and just like that Todd Peterson was to attempt a 41 yard field goal. "Not a gimme," I said. I've seen plenty of 41+ field goals go awry. Hell, I've even seen a game-tying extra point attempt pushed to the right (I'm looking at YOU, John Carney).

Aaaaand....he MISSES it! We're going to over...oh, wait. A flag. The Saints are penalized five yards for holding while they were BLOCKING A FIELD GOAL. A player blocked a Falcons player (who then fell on the Saint) so a teammate could rush through the gap and try to block the field goal. Evidently that's illegal, but the twist is that the only reason the Saints tried it was because they'd seen the FALCONS THEMSELVES do it the previous week and not get flagged for it. With the extra five yard cushion, Peterson knocks it through and Saints coach Jim Haslett has what's probably his thirteenth coronary of the season.

To make matters worse, we were absolutely hosed earlier in the game on two plays:

1) Near the end of the first half, Az Hakim (and by the way, has there been a player who has lost as much speed as he has as quickly as he has? He'd outrun top-flight corners earlier in his career, and it's like some supervillain with gravity powers zapped him, making him twenty pounds heavier somewhere on his flight from Detroit to New Orleans) was robbed of a touchdown by an insidious fakeout by DeAngelo Hall. Hakim was called for offensive pass interference for pushing off, only the replay shows the Hall deliberately fell down when he realized he misplayed the ball.

A couple of plays later,

2) John Carney's field goal is blocked when the snap is high and returned for a touchdown to end the half. Only the replay shows a Falcon using another player for leverage. He leapfrogs somebody and blocks the field goal. Which, last I checked, was illegal.

It's useless complaining about referees. It's not like they're going to go back and give us the touchdown or take back the Falcons'. But what are we supposed to do when they essentially take 7 points from us and gives the touchdown to the Falcons? Just take it? In fact, that should be the new slogan for the Saints' fanbase. Not "You Gotta Have Faith," but "Just Take It."

So the game is done, we'll likely end up 2-14 (especially if the refs keep spotting our opponents points), so maybe we'll get in the Matt Leinart sweepstakes after all. After everything that's happened in the New Orleans area over the past six weeks, we've taken "Just Take It" to a new level. But you know we'll continue to Just Take It, because we are, after all, Saints fans.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

One of the other things I've done since I got up for God is check on my tracker stats for the blog. I'm always interested in who's linking to the site and how people find out about it. Search Engine queries are the best. Most are absolutely reasonable, like ""spotted cat" new orleans," since I have a picture of the bar up, or "new orleans katrina mold." I'm actually glad people are finding this blog with those questions. If someone can glean some needed info from me, awesome, I'm happy to be of help.

The oddest one, for me at least, has to be "can I die of something if I go back to Chalmette." I love how whoever this is has such a broad scope of things. At least they're covering their bases.
Went to bed pretty early last night, for me at least. I probably fell asleep around 10:30 or so, so naturally I awoke a 4 a.m. unable to go back to sleep.

Yes, I've been on the internet for three and a half hours (it's almost 7:30 now).

Might as well catch up on yesterday. I went to Surrey's for the first time since the hurricane and had brunch with Ballzack, Dan Fox and another friend, Leonard. I had the BLT.

Then I went down to Metro Three to buy "New Orleans is for Lovin'" and "Go With the Contraflow" t-shirts. Good people Lori and Starbuck are. They were pretty busy in the aftermath of the "Clean Up Magazine St." event that happened earlier in the day. Evidently at least a few dozen people showed up on Magazine St. with brooms and dustpans and cleaned the street so the businesses could function better. People stuck around and shopped, which is good because those businesses can sure use a boost.

Then I headed to Le Bon Temps to fill in on djembe wiith my friends in Jack Brown for an event Clark, owner of Pinkie and Blue Boy, put together. We played six songs, and considering we'd only practiced once, and it was the first time I'd played djembe in probably two years, we did all right.

I watched the end of the LSU game at the bar, ate a pork chop sandwich because I thought it was a hamburger, listened to some crazy girl talk about how she got in a fistfight with someone in a wheel chair, then left to get coffee. Now that's a New Orleans day.
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