Fried Oysters, Loving Longer: Year 2 Friday, Jul 26 2013 

D. C.'s in Eunice, Louisiana serves a memorable plate of oysters and sweet potato fries.

D. C.’s in Eunice, Louisiana serves a memorable plate of oysters and sweet potato fries.

On July 25, 2012, I recorded my resolve to have fried oysters for my birthday at a different restaurant every year from then until infirmity (or worse) dictates the end. So today was year 2, and I honored the commitment by having fried oysters and sweet potato fries at D.C.’s Cajun Steakhouse and Sports Bar here in the home town. A few weeks ago, I was thinking of going somewhere more exotic–to Lafayette or Baton Rouge–but for a variety of reasons, sticking with a home town venue turned out the most pragmatic. As it turns out, pragmatic is not synonymous with boring or disappointing–D.C.’s right here in grande Eunice (Yoo-neece) served up a quality plate as good as I could imagine having anywhere. And as a connoisseur and lifelong Louisiana seafood consumer, I know fried oysters!

And yes, Sarah Ann was my date, the same one as last year and hopefully the same one for next year and many more to come.

So let the blog keep the record:
2012 Fezzo’s Restaurant in Scott, La.
2013 D.C.’s in Eunice, La.
2014 Lord willing, we’ll see!

Why Write? Thursday, Jul 25 2013 

Our Writing Project youth creative writing camp, Word UP! is meeting down the hall this week. I try to join some of their activities when I can. One is posting on the wall board: “Why we write.”

A zillion reasons to write!

A zillion reasons to write!

The Classical Reasons are OK, but can be a little dreary:

To explain
To persuade
To inform

Here are some better reasons:

To show off
To have fun
To entertain
To see what I think
To see what I said
To see if I’m right
To see if I’m wrong
To see how it sounds
To create an idea (“an idea doesn’t exist until you put it in writing”)
To articulate something profound
To articulate something beautiful
To articulate something true
To articulate something spiritual
To commemorate some place or time
To commemorate someone special
To prove I’m right
To prove you’re wrong
To delight a loved one
To remember what to pick up at Winn Dixie
To remember who to call
To update my Facebook status
To tweet
To text Sarah that I’ll be a few minutes late (or early)

And finally …
To update this blog.

“Dog”–An Understatement Wednesday, Jul 17 2013 

Sadie's and Marley's reaction to this characterization of their species.

Sadie’s and Marley’s reaction to this characterization of their species.

The following is a silly example of a paragraph of definition I wrote for an eighth grade writing class around 1991 or 92. I admire it today as a model of striking understatement and vapid prose.

A dog is a four-legged mammal that has been domesticated by man. Ranging in size from five pounds to over a hundred, these useful creatures help people in dozens of useful ways. A few of the important tasks that illustrate the dog’ use by man include herding livestock, guiding blind people, assisting police officers, and protecting property. Since they are intelligent and affectionate, they make excellent companions for people and are most commonly kept as simple household pets.

The Faces of Summer: A picture is worth a thousand words! Friday, Jul 12 2013 

Not just the grown-ups love the happy place. If these kids paid rent for sitting on the swing in proportion to how much fun they had romping over the premises, I’d have enough to retire without finishing the last two years of DROP. Their antics remind us that summer is the season of kids.

Summer is kids and popsicles after playing outdoors.  Granddaughter Payton and her buddy Gavin from across the street know how to jazz July.

Summer is kids and popsicles after playing outdoors. Granddaughter Payton and her buddy Gavnullin from across the street know how to jazz July.

Working Dirt Wednesday, Jul 10 2013 

Shovels and hoes are not handy labor-saving devices in mid-July in this part of the world.

Shovels and hoes are not handy labor-saving devices in mid-July in this part of the world.

A crew’s working on campus forming up the right of way for a long stretch of sidewalk improvement. The sidewalk will improve life on campus once its finished, but who will remember those who lay the slab? Here’s a piece to commemorate the blue collar workmen like these and others who work hard, often for little gain.

Working dirt
since early mid-July morning…
mid-afternoon 92 degrees,
heat index 99 rising,
paltry breeze
rarely blessing
air oppressing,
still working dirt.

of slimy sweat
entrained with mud
glisten and stream
flexing biceps and bending forearms,
working dirt
with shovels and rakes.

Low tech work,
high tech world.
Lowly wages, highly sweat.
Life’s hard,
You know it’s hard,
Working dirt.

T’is Monday, th’accursed day Monday, Jul 8 2013 

A thought for a mid-summmer’s Monday morning: I Facebook posted the following dispirited observation yesterday evening at the end of a long, mirthful holiday weekend:

A weekend is a terrible thing to waste. Not so for a week beginning: may Monday forever rot and spoil from disuse!

Here’s to an Independent Independence Day on the Patio Thursday, Jul 4 2013 

Most July 4ths in this part of the steamy Deep South are unfit for patio dwelling. We typically hasten indoors as soon as the grilling is done, if we even have the nerve to stick out the heat and humidity long enough to grill.

So when I came out this morning with the first cup and felt the freshness of this rare northerly breeze that’s hung around all week, I realized this is a patio-dwellers’ mid-summer paradise. It’ll balm up by midday, but still, relative to this part of creation, today is summer heaven. The pleasant pattern won’t last much beyond today, either, and considering we may not feel so fresh until mid or late September, I have chosen to covet this day in the great back yard outdoors. Here’s to the freedom to relax, refresh, and enjoy!

The dog daze of summer is on hold: freedom (briefly) from the tyranny of Gulf Coast heat and humidity.

The dog daze of summer is on hold: freedom (briefly) from the tyranny of Gulf Coast heat and humidity.

Jazzing June: Give Me the Longest Daze of the Year Tuesday, Jul 2 2013 

Jazzin' June in the Happy Place

Jazzin’ June in the Happy Place.

Twenty years ago when my blood was thick and hot, my favorite season of the year was winter, my favorite month January. Tossing logs on the wood fire inside or layering up to tackle outdoor chores, I couldn’t get enough cold. (I would have thought otherwise, I’m sure, if I lived in northern climes. Gulf Coast winters are pretty tame, let’s face it.)

My second favorite month then was April and my third December followed by May fifth. June and July were nowhere in sight. In fact, they were on the unfavored list.

Lo these twenty years later, what change! The blood no longer so thick, no longer so hot. Confronted with the favorite month question, I now vote June, the month of the longest days of the year, the first month of summer before the onset of July’s and August’s Gulf Coast dog daze. Yep, June with its late spring breeze is best. May comes second, April third, and November fourth.

What happened to December and January?

No longer in the running. Give me long, warm daze brightened with sunshine and fair breezes. To borrow the poet Gwendolyn Brooks word play, I’m going to “jazz June.”