Bionic Mamas

you're not losing a vagina, you're gaining a son


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Lovely Day

owlkiss

Happy Valentine’s and Year of the Tiger and, of course, Mardi Gras! Laissez les bon temps rouler!

Sugar and I had quiet plans for Valentine’s — I made her the stamp above, she gave me cute underpants with a hedgehog from my favorite store in Brooklyn and picked up fixins for a nice dinner for two — but while I was furiously carving and Sugar was waiting for the chocolate cake layers to cool, the phone rang. It was The Dane, the wife/mother portion of our favorite neighborhood trio, asking if we’d consider coming over to help them eat the duck she was roasting.

(What kind of a question is that? Isn’t a question supposed to have more than one possible response?)

We did consider, briefly, staying home alone, eating lamb chops and being generally Valentine’s-y. But only briefly. Because why turn down an opportunity to spend time with people you love just because Hallmark says so?

So we packed up the cake and carried it over. And we had the most wonderful feast of duck braised in beer, roasted sweet potatoes and onion, red cabbage with clove, and apple stuffing particular to The Dane’s home island. We played with Mr. Potatohead smashed playdoh between our hands. The Aussie Super Geek convinced us that we ought to be building thorium-reactor power plants, though he clearly remains scandalized by my hatred of efficient light bulbs. The Charming Toddler invented a perfect game for Valentine’s, which consisted of her gathering her bucket and “going out” behind the chair, then “coming home” to tell us what she saw (“Ice!”) and be greeted with exuberant hugs. Over and over, and it never got old.

For dessert, we at Sugar’s fudge-y, nearly black chocolate cake, piled with whipped cream (as things tend to be, when The Dane is serving). And just like love, there was plenty for everyone, once we’d decided to share it.

/sappy part

We did get a time alone at the park before dinner, when The Dane suggested we take their sled on our walk. Normally I don’t post pictures of us on the blog, but what the heck?

First, Sugar (right, foreground, by the bench):

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And Bionic (by the lamppost):

RIMG0167

You’d know us anywhere, right?


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Who Dat?

It’s Sunday, the best day of the week for music chez Bionique. On Sundays, our speakers play nothing but the Greatest Station In The Nation: WWOZ, the listener-supported, volunteer-programmed New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Station. Thank you, streaming internet broadcast! I no longer know what I would do without OZ. Every day on OZ is magic, but even though there’s no “Sittin’ At The Crossroads” (whose DJ signs off “May your blues be on the radio”), there’s Gospel and Cajun & Zydeco fais do do and the inimitable Hazel The Delta Rambler.

Today of all days, even Brother Jesse can’t help adding to his mix of “Nearer My God To Thee” and “Balm In Gilead” a more-earthly praise: “When The Saints Come Marching In” has made quite a few appearances.

WHO DAT?

Listen, I’m not a football fan. I was raised in the land of basketball, and that remains the only sport I truly understand and care about (besides anything in the Olympics, but that’s another post). However, I decided some time ago that when I need to declare an allegiance, I would choose the Saints, in part because I love New Orleans* and in part because I love how New Orleans loves them. I know people in other places love their teams, too — when I lived in Chicago, I really did see tables of men at Due’s murmuring sad “Da Bears” into mugs of beer — but New Orleans loves the Saints on a whole other level.

Chris Rose writes about it in 1 Dead In Attic (which you all should really read anyway). I just started tearing up all over again looking for a good quotation to share with you, but I think I’d better choose something before I fall to reading the whole book again. This is from a piece he wrote after the first post-K game, in the Superdome that so many of us outside NOLA associate only with shame and horror but that many New Orleanians think of also with love for its life-saving shelter, however imperfect (as Rose says elsewhere, “The toilets didn’t flush and there was no cold drinking water and not enough medicine, but toilets didn’t flush anywhere and there was no ice or medicine anywhere”). See, I can’t hold myself to one quotation, and don’t even get me started on the piece about the lady with the cats. Or the piano store. Where was I? Right:

The Saints are family around here and you’re stuck with them just like you’re stuck with, well…family?

The Saints are our crazy Uncle Frank, prone to off-color remarks and broken promises and he’s certainly not the guy you send to car pool to pick up your kids when you’re stuck at the doctor’s office, but you have to admit: holiday gatherings just aren’t as much fun without him.

[…]

It’s a long road home no matter what color glasses you’re wearing today, but there is something about waking up in a community that is thinking the same thing — if only for a moment — as if we had all just accomplished something together — when actually it was a bunch of millionaires whose names we hardly know.

I’m not trying to claim that I’m a supa-dupa Saint, but I wish I were, which is more than I can say for my feelings towards any other team.

Speaking of those millionaires, here’s another reason I’ll be wearing black and gold today (assuming I make it off the couch): Scott Fujita. I’ve heard quite enough about the Tebow Focus on The Family (Well Not YOUR Family) ad (though I encourage you to watch this response from Sean James and Al Joyner, who talk about honoring their mothers and daughters by believing in their ability to make medical decisions for themselves). I want to hear more about Scott Fujita, a Saints linebacker (and transracial adoption baby — he’s white; his family is part white, part Japanese: “I have no Japanese blood in my body. But I’m Japanese at heart.”) who has decided to use his time in the spotlight to champion gay rights. The whole interview is worth reading, but here’s part I though you all might find particularly interesting:

A year ago or two years ago, I remember reading about an initiative that was proposed in the state of Arkansas. It was some kind of measure that was aimed at preventing adoptions by single parents. Now, the way I read that and the way that I translated that language was that only heterosexual, married couples could adopt children. As an adopted child that really bothered me. I asked myself, what that is really saying is that the concern with one’s sexual orientation or one’s sexual preference outweighs what’s really important, and that’s finding safe homes for children, for our children. It’s also saying that we’d rather have kids bounce around from foster home to foster home throughout the course of their childhood, than end up in a permanent home, where the parent, whether that person’s single or not, gay or straight. Either way, it doesn’t matter. It’s a home that’s going to be provided for a kid who desperately needs a home. As an adopted child, that measure really bothered me. It just boggles my mind because good, loving homes for any child are the most important thing.

Oh, and he’s straight (and married) and — did I mention — a FOOTBALL PLAYER? (Yeah, they do call him a pinko commie in the locker room; he speaks up anyway.) Scott Fujita, you are my hero.

This post is near long enough, and I’ve got stamps to carve and roux to make. In conclusion:

*Shameless-but-proceeds-to-charity plug: You can read my love letter to the city in Submerged: Tales from the Basin. Buy the book, and I’ll tell you my seekrit identity, though I need for various reasons to keep my real name the hell away from this blog. I don’t get any money if you buy it — never did get any — but several organizations working on sadly-still-necessary post-K recovery will.


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What We’re Weeping Over, Sunday Edition

Have you already watched this? I’d seen it pop up on friends’ Facebook pages, but hadn’t taken the 4 minutes to watch it for myself until today. It’s from testimony in Maine concerning marriage equality.

“What do you think our boys fought for at Omaha Beach?”

For me? You fought for me? Oh, man, I’m tearing up all over again.

The old folks are all right.