Ballerina Girl

And now it’s Sunday. Just like that!

And LSU are the SEC champions in football, for the first time since 2011, and just like in 2011, the game was against Georgia. Also like in 2011, the game wasn’t even close. LSU won the title decisively, defeating the 4th team in the country (and 2nd in defense nationally) 37-10. No one had scored more than 20 points on Georgia all season; LSU had 17 by half-time. Joe Burrow played like an experienced NFL quarterback in the play-offs. Derek Stingley Jr. made two phenomenal interceptions–Georgia had only been intercepted three times all season; make that five now.

This entire season has been a dream, you know? In 2003, LSU was expected to be good–but not national champion good; and they had to fight their way into the national championship game (including a blowout of Georgia in the SEC title game) before beating Number One ranked Oklahoma in the title game. In 2007, they started the season ranked second and expected to be national champions; despite two losses, somehow they fought their way back into the national title game and blew out Ohio State. In 2011, they were supposed to be good and were–going 12-0, winning the SEC title game with a blowout of Georgia, before losing in the title game to Alabama. This year, we expected the Tigers to be good…but I don’t think I ever dreamed they would be this good. I hoped, of course, but…wow. Just wow.

There was much joy in Louisiana last night–and there was SO MUCH JOY in the Lost Apartment, I can’t even begin to tell you. In fact, I’m still floating on cloud nine this morning as I type this. GEAUX TIGERS!

And if the Saints beat the 49ers today in the Superdome…madness.

As I have said before, I’ve been writing an appreciation post of the LSU season since the Alabama game, and maybe at some point (today? this week? Who knows?) I’ll put the finishing touches on it and share it. I wanted to post it originally after the Alabama game, but then thought, but what if they don’t win out? And so I decided to wait until after the regular season ended–but after the A&M win last Sunday, as I added more to the post, I thought, what if they win the SEC title next week? And so I waited again; and even now, I’m not sure if I should go ahead and finish it; the season isn’t over yet, after all, and LSU is going to the national play-offs for the first time ever.

I did get some things done yesterday–I made groceries, and we had our last “tailgate”–but I turned on the television to the Oklahoma-Baylor Big 12 title game and got sucked in almost immediately–and then the rest of the day was pretty much a loss. This morning, I need to get the kitchen cleaned–the Saints make me so tense I usually clean during their games–because sitting still makes me too tense–and I did manage to print out a story I need to edit yesterday, so there’s that. I’m also going to try to find some time to spend with Laura Benedict’s The Stranger Inside, which opens fantastically and I’ve yet to have the time to spend on it that I would like. I also need to get back to work on the book–the work I did last week felt amazing, and I should ride that momentum as long as I can–and there’s a lot of mess and filing and sorting to be done in my office area here in the kitchen.

But I can’t help but bask in the glow of LSU being SEC champions yet again. GEAUX TIGERS!

I’m still also reading Richard Campanella’s Bourbon Street, which is absolutely fascinating. I have to write a Sherlock Holmes story set in New Orleans, if you will recall, and reading all this French Quarter/New Orleans history is proving to be enormously helpful, quite frankly. I’m only disappointed in myself for taking so long to get around to start studying the endlessly fascinating history of this city I love so much.

I really need to make a to-do list.

And on that note, tis back to the spice mines with me.

f28ddff4bac20f026ae2c4c55d12880d

Oh, Babe, What Would You Say?

Well, it looks like we made it to Friday, doesn’t it, Constant Reader?

Last night I was tired. What else is new? It’s like something that can be cross-stitched into a sampler: Greg Is Always Tired on Thursdays. But it’s true, I am, and am always grateful it’s a half-day at the office. Traffic was horrendous on the way home yesterday; a drive that usually takes me at most ten minutes took nearly half an hour. Let the record show that contributed greatly to the  I’m totally over it vibe I had working when I parked in front of the house. (Thank God parking was simple; I can’t imagine how much more annoyed I would have been had they been repaving the street or something, and I had to park at Coliseum Square.

There might, Constant Reader, have been a body count.

But it’s Friday, and I’ve already started laundering the bed linens, and I get off work at 1, so I will be in my apartment starting the weekend no later than one thirty this afternoon. Huzzah! I already did the dishes (last night) and did the clothes laundry (also last night) so today I have to write, clean, and finish laundering the bed linens. Tomorrow I will have errands to run, and there’s also a Saints preseason game tonight in the Superdome (yet another reason to be happy I get off early this afternoon). I just need to do the floors and the kitchen, maybe realign some of the books–perhaps even a de-cluttering might be called for–and I’d also like to spend some time with the book I’m reading, S. A, Cosby’s My Darkest Prayer. Next up with be Laura Lippman’s Lady in the Lake, and then I’ll probably move on to Michael Nava’s Lay Your Sleeping Head. 

I’m hoping to also finish off the major project once and for all today–a boy can dream, can’t he?–and then I can put my sights fully on finishing the first draft of Bury Me in Shadows. It would be so lovely to finish it this weekend, but I don’t know if I have it in me to write 12000 words over the course of a weekend anymore. I also have to get that essay done, and I also have to write those short stories. Sparkle, Neely, sparkle!

And on that note, tis back to the spice mines for me. Have a lovely Friday, Constant Reader! I’ll check back in later.

IMG_1994

Too Funky

Well, last night’s Saints game was quite lovely, and more than made up for the disappointing LSU loss this weekend. Drew Brees broke the record for most yards passing in NFL history, which was very cool, and the Saints won, as well, defeating Washington handily. 40-23? And he’s still going. The weird love affair between New Orleans and the Saints, New Orleans and Drew Brees. As I watched the game last night, I realized that there are a lot of people living here now who didn’t live here when the Saints were, for wont of a better word, lackluster. For that matter, who didn’t live here when the Saints won the Super Bowl. That saddened me, because that was all such a lovely bonding experience for the city after Hurricane Katrina and the flood; how much the Saints meant to all of us as we rebuilt our lives and the Saints rebuilt themselves. And Drew Brees, rebuilding his career when there were plenty of doubters and naysayers, came to symbolize our city, down but not quite out.

It all seems so long ago now, but how nice that he is still playing, the Saints are doing great yet again, and now he is on his way to holding practically every individual record a quarterback can have; how nice to hear the rousing ovation from the fans in the Superdome when he broke the record.

Absolutely lovely.

The revision is swimming along nicely. I fell behind again, and need to get caught up sooner rather than later, but I am happy with how it’s going and how well things are turning out. I still think I can make the November 1 goal for submission, and then I can figure out what I am going to work on next. More short stories, perhaps? A new y/a? The WIP? We shall see.

And now, back to the spice mines.

IMG_4248

Time (Clock of the Heart)

Good morning! ‘Tis Sunday in the Lost Apartment, and Paul is still asleep. I’m on my second cup of coffee, and my back is a little sore. I’m also dehydrated; which means I’m going to have to guzzle down water at some point–probably when I’m finished with coffee for the day. We’re supposed to meet some friends down in the Quarter later on this afternoon; so hydration is going to be key.

We went to the LSU-BYU game last night in the Superdome, relocated from Texas because, well, in case you aren’t aware of it, there’s been a major flooding issue in Houston thanks to that rat-bastard Hurricane Harvey. It was the first time we’ve been to an LSU game outside of Tiger Stadium, which also felt kind of weird; it was also weird to go to an LSU game we could have to and from. The game wasn’t sold out; the tickets only went on sale Wednesday and of course, being Labor Day people probably already had made plans, weren’t planning on going to Houston for the game. Still, there were about 53,000 people or so in the Dome–which gets really loud–and I’d say probably about 90% of the people in attendance were LSU fans. (Reading a write-up on the game from the Salt Lake newspaper this morning, I laughed when the reporter said Apparently there’s a side split canyon to Death Valley in New Orleans.  So, while the crowd was partisan Tiger fans primarily it still wasn’t a home game and that seemed weird when you’re used to Tiger Stadium. They also had the Dome at an arctic climate so I was cold, and by the fourth quarter I had goosebumps from the cold that wouldn’t go away. All the reports I read of the game was that it was a dominating performance by LSU, and it kind of was; the defense smothered the Cougar offense which never crossed the fifty yard line, and limited them to maybe four or five, at most, first downs. They also got an amazing interception that was just beautifully played. The LSU offense was…well, it got the job done but wasn’t particularly exciting other than a long pass from Danny Etling that set up the second LSU touchdown in the second quarter after the interception. (LSU scored two touchdowns quickly; after an initial drive, they kicked off and on BYU’s first play after that came the interception.) But we also missed a field goal, and didn’t make a 4th and 1 from the one-yard line.

I’m not sure how confident I am that this is going to be a great season. But it’ll be fun to watch–it always is–and there were some terrific plays in the game last night. Afterward Paul and I walked home from the Superdome. We got home shortly after midnight, and I read for a while before going to bed.

This morning, I’m going to relax and rest and gird my loiB57D1D19-BE70-4E9F-BAC5-D5AF8D7314C6s for going down to the Quarter. I still have tomorrow off–my back is a little sore from doing Outreach last night and the walking last night–so hopefully tomorrow I can sleep in, get some good rest, let my back stop hurting, and get some writing down. I’ll probably try to get Chapter 4 finished today, and maybe even start Chapter 5. We shall see.

And here’s a nice shot of the Tiger band from last night.

 

Puttin’ on the Ritz

Sunshine and blue skies out there this morning, which is lovely, particularly since we are on the eve of Southern Decadence. Revellers will, of course, begin to arrive today, building to peak gayness on Friday night. I will be out on the corner at St. Ann and Bourbon tomorrow from 430-9 pm, passing out condom packs (four condoms, free lube!) with my co-workers. If you’re around, come say hey. It will be hot and humid, of course, but it’s always fun to stand out there and watch the crowd while trying to convince people to have safer sex.

The LSU-BYU tickets went on sale yesterday for the game relocated to the Superdome this Saturday night, and yes, I did set my phone alarm for 4 (when tickets went on sale to the general public) so I could get us tickets. And I was successful! Woo-hoo! It’s going to be so much fun; LSU playing a name opponent in the Dome; the season opener, and we can walk. Yes, I am in walking distance of the Superdome–although we’ll most likely take the streetcar and get off at the Girod Street stop. I am so excited! And I can’t believe it’s football season again already. August certainly flew right past, didn’t it? I’m not sure how good LSU will be this year–first full season under a new coach, lots of starters gone to graduation–but LSU football is always fun to watch.

I also got some great work done on Scotty yesterday. It started flowing, and I think I’ve found his voice again–it usually takes me a couple of chapters on a new Scotty to get there–and seriously, opening Chapter Four with this sentence: There really is no family bonding experience like rolling up a dead body in a carpet made me laugh out loud as I wrote it (it just sprang into my head) and then the next few paragraphs literally just flew out from my fingers. Chapter Four is a transitional chapter, which I hope to get finished today (those always take longer to write) but after coming up with that opening for the chapter, the rest should be relatively easy–because once I came up with that sentence, the rest of the chapter opened up in my mind, and I figured out how to flow Chapter Four into Chapter Five.

Huzzah!

So, I am now going to head back into the spice mines on this fine day before I head into the office.

Here’s your Throwback Thursday hunk, actor Glenn Corbett, from his early physique model days.

IMG_2489

Der Kommissar

Yesterday was, for want of a better word, odd.

Driving to work the city was a ghost town. Driving home from work, the same. This morning the sun is shining (we did have thunderstorms during the night) and while everything outside is wet and dripping, according to the forecast we have about a three hour window of heavy thunderstorms this afternoon. We might flood during that time, but when I drove home last night there wasn’t much standing water anywhere, other than around Coliseum Square, the lowest part of the neighborhood and where all our water seems to drain.

I woke up after a good night’s sleep to see that wretched Harvey has come ashore again, battering and flooding yet more of Texas–Beaumont and Port Arthur; I’ve not researched enough yet to see how things are around the Texas-Louisiana state line. It’s almost too much; I’m not having Katrina PTSD, thank God, as so many others here seem to be suffering; but I just keep donating what I can and sharing links to places where donations can be made.

Human suffering on such a large scale in our country is horrific; it’s occurring on an even larger scale in Bangladesh right now as well.

I haven’t written on the new book, or worked on inputting the line edit, as much as I should have these past few days; I know I need to focus and get on with it, but it’s difficult to not watch the Weather Channel or the news.

I did start reading Patricia Highsmith’s The Cry of the Owl last night, it’s quite good and melancholic, which kind of suits the mood I am currently in. I also reread some history last night (Leckie’s The Wars of America, one of my favorite comfort rereads) while watching the news.

Tickets for this Saturday’s LSU game go on sale to the general public today at 4; I am going to try to score some tickets for us.

And on that note, it’s back to the spice mines. Here’s a hunk for you, John Cena:

IMG_1781