Ringing in the new

A New Orleans antique bookshelf

Happy 2010 everyone!! Right now I’m at home in Portland, snuggled in my sister’s bed listening to the sounds of The Two Towers drift in from the living room. I’m trying to remember/figure out how to use a Mac again, after months with my clunky Toshiba, whose battery no longer charges and instead just dies immediately seconds after I unplug it. I guess it’s keeping in theme with in with the new, out with the–whatever.

It feels like I’ve been pretty much on the move since coming back from Mexico. I just got back from visiting Corey’s family in New Orleans. The good news is I now have a two-week space to breath and have a little space here in Portland before embarking upon the next step of the next journey, which is sure to be here before I know it. More on that later, for shure.

But I finished Wings of the Dove (finally, finally, finally!) on the airplane flying back from Denver today. I have The Ambassadors from my mom, an excellent translation of War & Peace from my sister and a book on organic gardening from the 1970’s from my boyfriend. I have a long list of books I plan to read at the coffee shop in Powell’s during my “time off”. Books about environmentalism and radicalism and gardening and nature and all of the things that I missed about PDX that those movie critics of Avatar probably would see as more left-wing propaganda. There’s also all the books belonging to my sister and mother and dad, lying around on the floor and bedside tables and scattered across the house, like random clues to a secret treasure hunt: Bob Dylan’s Chronicles, A Lexicon of Terror, Salvador, all of my dad’s old-looking books about Tibet. A small part of me actually feels a bit frantic and anxious, like: where am I going to find the time?! Oh, it’s so hard to balance reading and doing (though I guess you could argue that reading is a form of doing, or acting).

Anyway, in order to ring in the new year on an “adventure awaits!” note (and also because I think that the note that you begin with will reflect the note that you end with–well, ideally, anyway), here are some photos of my most recent excursion:

These old-looking photos are of some items from the private collection of Corey’s childhood neighbor, who collects Civil War-era antiques as a hobby. This one is a Confederate soldier belt buckle, with a bullet still in it. Do you think this could have saved somebody’s life?
I don’t think “japs” or “nips” could be used in screamingly bold text in today’s headlines

$100 Confederate state bill–it was the size of a graduate diploma!
King Cake– besides being quite tasty, whoever finds the baby has to throw the next party

Lake Pontchartrain–the 20-minute barrier between Corey’s parents’ house and New Orleans
At the NOLA zoo bathroom, apparently the 2nd-biggest in the U.S. after San Diego’s (the zoo, not the bathroom)

Baby orangutan! It had been rejected by its mother… kind of sad…
two (or is it three?) monkeys
“pongid” was one of Corey’s earliest nicknames for me
At the Louisiana-themed exhibit

the Loup Garou, or Cajun werewolf. Pretty interesting.

This amazing spider monkey was trained by zookeepers to stand (using its tail as balance) and catch grapes… or maybe it was really the monkeys who had trained the humans…
His little friends standing eagerly below.
We rang in 2010 in style in downtown New Orleans

farmers market!!
Biking along the Trace, a bike trail behind Corey’s mom’s house that runs for miles, kind of like the Springwater Corridor in Portland

Gotta love the Cajun hairstyle
We also visited a nature reserve with Corey’s mother, where we saw a ton of wildlife (mostly birds like woodpeckers and thrushes) and plenty o’ plants.
100% genuine swamp

This little tree growing out of a nursing log felt like a powerful metaphor for something
We even found some mushrooms, like these honey mushrooms!
The stinkhorn mushroom smells just like how it sounds, like catfood
A lot of trees that had been felled by Katrina were still on the ground, like this giant magnolia. I never knew they could get so big!

Woodpecker holes

And that, my friends, is New Orleans…


1 Comment

Filed under photos, travel

One response to “Ringing in the new

  1. Johnny Rockets

    I think the CS buckle could have made some person some money. As it has been proven that a civil war bullet cannot do that to a buckle made from that error and or before. Not only is it on the internet, books, even myth busters,but it is we’ll known to pretty much all. Sorry it would be a really cool and expensive piece but it is just unfair that there are people out there that take from people knowing they are selling a fake. They have no business in antique retail, or are they even really.
    The Monkey mask is pretty freaky however.

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