I had a Jeep. I was in a parking lot somewhere. Lucy, the white poodle, was with me. I got out of the Jeep. I wanted to lock the Jeep, but could not figure out the key fob. There were buttons for everything on there. Lift gate. Headlights. Horn. Even to switch the thing to 4WD. But nothing to lock the Jeep. I could not lock the Jeep.
Also, I was wearing no pants.
The Command Center
It was time again for me to host the annual company barbecue. That meant 30 or more people coming over to the apartment in Brooklyn. That meant pounds and pound of meat. It meant bags and bags of charcoal. It meant hours and hours of work.
All of which is to say I was excited! And agitated. And nervous. A lot could go wrong, starting with the annual prediction of 60% chance of rain. I have a back yard just big enough for 30-some-odd people. I have an apartment that is smaller than the back yard. So, you do the math. But the chance of rain diminished throughout the week until the weather on the day of the actual event looked like it was supposed to be sunshine and lollipops. The day of cooking, on the other hand, looked to be a steady fall of rain.
Oh, yes. This is a two-day cooking affair. Three days if you include shopping. But it was all under control. I’ve done this before. Even if I haven’t mastered my brisket (shut up) just yet, I have the process down to a science.
Actually, we talked a bit about the experience of being Cajun in New York. The first thing Erin Z. Bass asked me to do was to sum up that experience in just a few words. This is typically the sort of question that stops me in my tracks. I have to sit there and think about it for days. Cara once asked me what my favorite movie was. That was four years ago and I’m still working on it.
But then it came to me. The easiest way to sum up being Cajun in New York is the phrase: “No, I’m not from New Orleans.” Most of you from Louisiana — especially all the parts that aren’t New Orleans — will know exactly what I mean. (I do note the irony of this as most people outside of New York automatically assume all New Yorkers are from New York City–and New York is a much bigger state than Louisiana.)
Elsewhere, a few sources have read the book and said nice things about it.
This morning so far:
“Judge, this guy is a Dallas Cowboys fan. Hasn’t he suffered enough?”
Upon boarding the 4 Train at Nevins Street, I find myself on a car with a subway preacher. But not just any subway preacher. Not the angry old lady shouting at the top of her lungs with righteous fury. I HATE that woman. I don’t go shouting at you first thing in the morning that you’re going to die and then never feel anything, not even regret, so you better make the most of your life while you have it. So don’t go shouting at me that I’m going to burn in hell. When she’s on the train, I will switch cars or dig out my headphones and listen to music — something like Jessie J, because I have it on good authority that subway preachers HATE Jessie J.
No, this guy was dressed for work. In construction. Hard hat and everything.
He was Jamaican. And when I walked onto the train, he was in the middle of a story about a guy going up before the judge for some crime. And the judge wants to throw the book at the criminal, but the judge has a relationship with the defense attorney, who puts in a good word and — well, I wasn’t clear if the guy got off or just had his sentence reduced. But either way, when you die, it apparently really pays to have Jesus as your defense attorney, especially when his Old Man is the judge.
Hi there! Were you recently forced to update your operating system to Lion? Are you annoyed by the fact that your scroll bars disappeared? (Let’s just skip the part about it slowing down your computer and kinda-sorta feeling like a Windows update.)
Guess what! You can get them back.
1. Click on the little Apple in the top left of your screen.
2.Click on System Preferences.
3. Click on General Preferences.
4. In the middle of that General Preference screen, you’ll see “Show scroll bars.”
5. Select “Always.”
There you go. Your scroll bar is back. You’re welcome.
Yall don’t bouder! I know I forgot even more words in my previous two talking funny posts (here and here).
Mais! If yall wanna buy my book, yall could do that, yeah. Just click.
Including, of course, bouder — pronounced boo-day — a word used to this day by Cajuns in all regions and instantly recognizable to even those without a lick of French. Maybe I blocked it out because I heard it so much growing up.
Bouder: to sulk, pout.
I sulked and pouted a lot as a kid. Well, most kids do I guess. The funny thing about the word is that it’s been English-ized. So instead of conjugating it as a French verb, it gets treated as an English one. Bouder, boudering, boudered. Obviously this works better if you spell it phonetically.
He’s boo-daying because I wouldn’t let him have no coffee milk.
She boo-dayed all day long because we ate her pet rabbit.
Speaking of pets:
“Mais, mama! Kenny won’t go do-do cuz he scared of the tataille!”
Mais! Last week, I wrote a little post about some of the ways we talk in South Louisiana. The response was ridiculous. And by ridiculous I mean amazing. That post was passed around like a bottle of Strawberry Hill in a minivan full of high-school girls going to an Opelousas bonfire in 1990. (I need to work on that analogy). The craziest thing is that with all the page views and over 250 comments, everyone — with one exception — was NICE. That doesn’t happen on the internet very much.
Thank yall for all the comments and for being so damn polite.
But I’m not writing a follow-up post in a shameless attempt for more blog traffic. I’m writing a follow-up post because I’m embarrassed by how much I missed — and at least one thing I got wrong.