Thursday, June 26, 2008

Swamp Love - Kim in New Orleans cont....

Yesterday I wandered into the swamp; the hot, humid, teeming, writhing mass of camouflaged predators. The swamp eats everything, even itself.

Cicadas vibrated their big beautiful bodies and made that deafening electrical sound they make. Spiders spun fantastic webs to catch cicadas. Moquitoes were eaten by dragonflies, were eaten by tadpoles, were eaten by egrets. Alligators laughed their creepy old man laughs and pretended to be floating logs that watch with hungry gold eyes.

Reptiles are beautiful and terrifying. They are complete opportunists, there is no reasoning with them. Not that one would reason with a tiger that was chewing off your head, but there is the feeling that a tiger is a big kitty which could be cuddled with - under the right circumstances. And while some people play with alligators, wrestle them, show them off for fun, no one - not even for a second - thinks that an alligator is their friend.

Unless of course you consider it friendly to be dragged underwater, spun unconscious, stowed under a log until you are half rotten, and then enjoyed with great delight by something with more teeth than your entire family. (That last bit about the teeth was a bit of "artistic license" a.k.a. exaggeration -- they only have 74-80 teeth.)

Some photos of new swamp friends:

This is small gator - they often get to 14 feet around here!

I'll have more to say soon about my time here. And I wrote a song about the swamp!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Sex, Drugs, and Nuclear Physics - Kim in New Orleans

Yes, it is hot here, but the heat has a different quality, it is both more, and less, tolerable. Even when it is not very hot, everything is sticky, and even when it is very hot I don't necessarily notice. Ice will melt with a rapidity that shocks me because I myself am not melting. The hot, moisture filled air makes me feel like I have been turned inside out. The pulsing, wet skin of the city merges into me.

Yes, New Orleans is hot.

Thunder shakes the sky, hard crash and flash of light. The thunder is closer here. The sky cracks open and soaks me in minutes while I'm out for a walk. I shelter and think of Bob Dylan. My camera captures the rain.

The city is gastronomically delightful with many fine restaurants priced lower than the Bay Area. But I do miss the fertile land of California and its abundance of wonderful organic produce. Sunday dinners at Bacchanal are always a delight and one of the many reasons I first fell in love with this city.

Coffea is my morning place, it's owned by Christopher Starnes (the secret mayor's brother.)

And right next door is my favorite store in the world: The Bargain Center. Two giant stores next door to each other, filled with the best junk.

$40 for a prosthetic leg!

My room:

Shoes and feathers and a million dollar bill.

I've written a song a day so far! Song titles:

Let's just kiss
Rainbows and Unicorns
Sex, Drugs, and Nuclear Physics

I have no idea if they are any good. I suspect that maybe one of them is good and the rest will never survive the heat.

Until next time.................

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Kim Vermillion in New Orleans

First night:

New city. New house. I met my new roommate as she was leaving for the weekend - fine by me as I love being alone and the shotgun style house does not afford much privacy.

My room is bare except for some cobwebs and a rickety bed - a slight upgrade from a cot. Empty is good for me right now.

Since I hadn't eaten a real meal in two days I went to Yuki's for some delicious food. Yuki is very sweet and brought us a free bowl of baby octopus salad. Since I don't eat cephalopods for that can be best explained as "sentimental" reasons, I just fondled the perfectly formed creatures (they weren't cut up into pieces - just whole tiny octopuses in a bowl.)

After a nap I had a hard time waking up but did make it out to Mimi's to watch Clint Maedgen of The New Orleans Bingo Show play a set of improvised music and songs with a cellist and violin player.

My friend Starnes (he's the secret mayor of New Orleans and he has an international award winning moustache) and I sat at a table filled with pretty ladies from Fleur de Tease Burlesque.

All the pretty ladies loved my head dress and if Julian wants to set up shop in New Orleans I can send him his first customers.

One of the pretty ladies asked where I was from and what I was doing - here is an accurate representation of a memory mangled version of our conversation:

Kim: I live in Oakland, I'm just in New Orleans for the month of June.

Pretty Lady: It's funny that you came here for one of the hottest months.

Kim: I do everything backwards.

Pretty Lady: That's a good policy.... New orleans is a great place.

Kim: I love it.

(Then the pretty lady looked at me for a moment.)

Pretty Lady: You're never going to leave.


This morning it is HOT. My friend Kate once said that being in New Orleans was like being inside someone else's skin and that is the best description I can think of.

Like a sauna, inside someone's mouth. But not gross.




And here are some pictures from the train journey.....

In LA with beautiful Julian. (Julian made me the choker which I turned into a head dress in new Orleans.)

In the observation car:

Crossing the Rio Grande:

Crossing the Mississippi:

New Orleans in the distance:


P.S. I love Scream Club