Posts Tagged ‘New Orleans’

Driving

January 16, 2011

Selby and I returned to Los Angeles, and rested, and ate Mexican, and dealt with the great baked-potato-fallout of 2010. I burnt my mouth on one. At least I learned a new word: debriding: the chemical removal of flesh around a wound so the wound may better heal. Or, as in my case, suffer more deeply.

I got my oil changed, said goodbye to Selby and then drove 14 hours on I-10 to El Paso, where I slept in my car in a Wal-Mart parking lot. I bought a peach yogurt at the Wal-Mart. The lady at McDonald’s refused to give me a spoon because I was not a McDonald’s customer. I vowed once again to never be a McDonald’s customer. The next day I woke up and drove the 9 hours (again on I-10) to Austin, where I dallied two nights, then drove to Houston for a night before landing in New Orleans. I’ve now driven the length of I-10 in both directions.

And in New Orleans I am still. Working once more on Treme, the HBO series. I missed my October resolution to get this blog up-to-date by New Years, but at least I’m completing my New Years resolution to update this blog by 2012. I’ll be back now and again with bits on New Orleans and other reflections. Cheers!

On The Road Again

May 11, 2010

Left New Orleans.  Drove down to the southern tip of Louisiana.  Wanted to see if I could see the oil spill.  Couldn’t.  I did however see Fort Jackson.  And this rather remarkable library:

Night fell.  So did rain.  Or so I thought.  I was wrong.  I was driving through a storm of insects, splattering on my windshield with raindrop-like regularity.  Gross.  My mirror, bug-spattered:

So that’s what it was like leaving New Orleans.  Now, I’m in Houston.  Plotting the coming weeks.  Deciding what direction to take this blog.  You’ll likely be hearing more from me in the coming days.

Sarah’s Letter

April 15, 2010

Today is tax day.  I had to file in several states this year due to my itinerant work life.  What a hassle.  But since I’m pretty much poor (due again to my itinerant work life.  Oh, and my degree in English.), I’ll be getting a fat refund from the feds.  What fun.

Not everyone thinks so.  For example, Sarah Palin doesn’t.  I know because some months ago a generous friend signed me up for her PAC.  Now, whenever she’s got something on her mind, she shoots me an email.  Got one last night.  About tax day.  And how it’s a big scam.  I’d like to respond.

She writes:

The tax man cometh… while tax cuts soon expire.  This takes away the private sector’s opportunities to grow and thrive and create jobs, and it diminishes America’s work ethic.

Nice Eugene O’Neill reference, Sarah!  Had to stop quick and complement her.  People don’t often give Palin credit for her subtle literary touch, but credit really is due here.  The Iceman Cometh is about a bunch of drunks sitting around a bar awaiting the arrival of a fellow drunk who, it turns out, recently murdered his wife.  Which is a lot like tax collection, if you think about it, because collecting a percentage of the income of the citizenry to pay for Medicare, Social Security and the army is a lot like murdering your wife.  Also, if the government increase taxes, everyone becomes a drunk and a layabout.   I love literature and so does Sarah: let’s open more schools!  Actually no, we better not.  Schools are expensive.   I don’t want to pay for them because I don’t want to kill my wife.  Sarah:

According to the Tax Foundation, Americans worked for over three months of this year, from January 1 to April 9, before they earned enough to pay their federal, state, and local tax obligations. That’s nearly 100 days out of the year to pay government, before we start earning money for our families and small businesses!

Hold on again, Sarah.  Just a slight correction.  When you say “Americans worked…” you must actually mean “Most Americans worked…” or “Excluding the 2.4 million Americans who got fired between January 1 and April 9 of 2009 and the millions who got fired in the preceding months and the millions more who got fired in the following months due to a recession caused, at least in part, by lack of regulation and blind faith in the private sector, Americans worked…”  But then, what am I saying?  How could we regulate banks?  That would probably require more wife-killing.  Sarah:

Did you know that Americans will pay more in taxes in 2010 than we do for food, clothing, and shelter combined?

Sounds alright to me.  A few hundred dollars, maybe a few grand, for food, clothing and shelter for a year?  Deal.

The Tax Policy Center projects that 47% of American households will pay no federal income taxes this year. Either their income doesn’t qualify, or they qualified for enough deductions and credits to have no income tax liability for the year. In fact, the bottom 40% of households on average will net money from the federal government in payments and services.

It’s time to bring sanity to our tax system and to simplify the tax code. Please send what you can to SarahPAC today and help the campaigns of good, strong, commonsense Americans who will clean up the mess that Washington has created.

America, as one people with one Constitution, deserves better.

Sarah, as William Munny once said, “Deserves got nothing to do with it.”  Being “one people with one Constitution” does not in any way entitle us to better government.  We’ve got to work for that, we’ve got to pay for that.  Freedom, after all, isn’t free.  And anyway read this.

With an Alaskan heart and with support for real hope for the future,

Sarah Palin

Sarcasm.  The argument of the weak.  I am young, I am comparably poor, and I don’t hold (or rather I have never held) political office.   So I can use sarcasm, Sarah, because I am weak. But you, heiress-apparent of the Republican party and millionaire, cannot.  So get off.

Yours,

Sam Packard

New Orleans, New Job etc.

March 7, 2010

My dear readers.  My deepest apologies for my latest blogging lapse.  You see, my original plans (if I may claim to have had plans) have changed.  I am no longer a more or less homeless person.  I’m living in New Orleans.  Moved here February 15th, the day before Mardis Gras, also known as Lundis Gras.  And I will remain here until, well, it’s unclear: the end of April, the beginning of May.  I landed a job on the upcoming HBO series Treme (created by the folks who made The Wire) as an assistant to the casting director.  Basically, I do a lot of paperwork and create spreadsheets of actors.  I’m wicked good at Excel, so this is not a problem.  Typically such work is considered excruciatingly boring.  I can relate with that sentiment, however, after spending four months living a very rootless life, office work is rather satisfying.  Plus I get to meet lots of nervous actors and read all the scripts.  And that’s pretty sweet.

I’m staying with Melissa, an old family friend and an actress performing on Treme.  I’ve got two rooms essentially to myself: a bedroom and a kitchen.  I spent the first couple weeks I was here hunting down furniture and other such necessities on craigslist, freecycle, garage sales, and street corners.  I now have a table, bed, recliner, nightstand, bookcase, radio, plates and bowls, silverware, tupperware, and a food processor.  Basically, I have a real job and have become a homemaker.  Well, temporarily.  Still, this will be the longest sustained period of legitimacy in my life since college (if you count my college life as legit).  Hell, it’ll be the longest I’ve spent in one home since then.

I’m going to try and post a couple of times in the next month or two because, frankly, I’ve just got to maintain my web presence, but we’ll see if I actually do.  My life now lends itself far less to the kinds of anecdotes I’ve blogged in the past few months: I spend much more time alone (reading, cooking, walking in circles) and I’ve signed all sorts of confidentiality agreements regarding the specifics of my work.   I’m planning to resume my journey once this job ends, at which point I will also resume regularly posting.  At that time, I’ll probably email many of you to let you know I’m back at it.  However, I don’t really know who reads this blog, I just know that some 20-40 people do, at least occasionally.  So if you’d like me to make sure I email you when I return to the blogosphere, comment here.

After 4 months on the road and 12,000 miles traveled, I very much appreciate this new-found stability, even if it is short-lived.  It’s been wonderful seeing those of you I’ve seen along the way.  Also wonderful has been hearing from those of you who have posted here, or emailed me, or texted me, or gchatted me, or <gasp!> called me.  And to those very few of you who have tweeted or buzzed at me, well, thanks for that too.  If any of you make it to New Orleans in the next couple of months, do let me know.

More New Orleans

January 31, 2010

We ate so many oysters.  At eight bucks a dozen, how could we not?

Chapter 12: New Orleans

January 31, 2010

Spent a week and a day in New Orleans.  Ian met me and Alexi for a few days.  We stayed at Auntie Melissa’s spooky, old house.  New Orleans slowed us down.  The previous few weeks had us whirlwinding through the South, meeting new people every day.  In New Orleans, we passed most of the time strolling around town.

That’s not to say we did nothing of note.  In fact, strolling in New Orleans introduced us to many a celebrity.  Kate Hudson and Nic Cage are each filming movies there right now.  In the course of our walks, we wandered through both sets.  I only wish I had heckled Cage.