Thursday, December 31, 2009

Ratty fur coats: big in 2010

Posted By on Thu, Dec 31, 2009 at 7:15 PM

With their wicked orange fangs, beady eyes and appetites for destruction, nutria have all the makings of a super-villain. So it's usually easy to overlook the swamp rat's one redeeming quality (and indeed, in Louisiana, its original raison d'etre): thick, plush pelts.

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Fifteen designers will change that when they showcase ratty couture during the Righteous Fur Nutria Design Challenge Fashion Show. This “nutria-palooza,” as nutria tooth jewelry designer and Righteous Fur mastermind Cree McCree calls it, features a virtual smorgasbord of nutria-centric performances  and activities designed to raise public awareness of this “guilt-free” fur. Screenings of Miss Pussycat's “North Pole Nutrias” and Ted Gesing's “Nutria” open the evening, followed by interpretive dances and poetic tributes to Louisiana's most notorious rodent. Cellist Helen Gillet performs in a nutria fur bikini alongside the Mystic Herd of Nutria drum corp, while a bevy of models showcase the latest in nutria fur fashion.

Featured designers include Avant Garbe, Bayou Salvage, Calamity, Defend New Orleans, Julie Ebel, Dana Embree, Jennifer Floyd, Carolina Gallop, Darlene Hargreaves, Howlpop, Gail Kiefer, Oliver Manhattan, New Orleans Magpie, Valerie Massimi and Tatyana Meshcheryakova and Jose Luis Rodriguez. A portion of all proceeds will go to the Barataria-Terrebonne Estuary Foundation's coastal restoration efforts.

Righteous Fur Nutria Design Challenge Fashion Show

Fri. Jan. 8

Marigny Theatre & Allways Lounge, 2240 St. Claude Ave., 218-5778

Tickets $10 at the door; $15 for reserved tables and VIP seating.

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I Can Haz Toilet?

Posted By on Thu, Dec 31, 2009 at 5:54 PM

If we’ve learned anything this past year, it’s that people really like cats. People are especially interested when cats are in danger — as demonstrated by the slew of kittens-on-the-highway stories in the Times-Picayune this year — and when they are adorably botching subject-verb agreement. In fact, people like cats so much that they are willing spend hours and days trying to get them to use a toilet.

The Wall Street Journal today, seemingly out of ideas, ran an article that is half-essay, half-how-to on cat potty training. The article delineates the risks and potential benefits of the process, as well discusses some (fairly expensive) innovations in feline potty training products. The article also has some D.I.Y. suggestions if you feel like cutting large holes into your cookware.

So if spending hours alone in the bathroom with your confused cat, warding off romantic prospects and house guests, and introducing resistant parasites into your home sounds tolerable in the pursuit of a litter-box free life, read this article to learn all about “thinking outside the box.” Or just be fascinated by peoples' continued belief that pets are also humans.

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If the Hornets only played at home, they'd be unstoppable

Posted By on Thu, Dec 31, 2009 at 4:54 AM

Chris Paul robbing D-Wade

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Photograph by Jonathan Bachman

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The Hornets 95-91 win against the Miami Heat tonight was notable as much for what it wasn't as much as what it was. To be more specific, this was a Hornets victory against a strong opponent at home and not, as many of the post-game questions noted, another road loss. (I realize this all sounds obvious and confusing, but bear with me).

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At 12-3 the Hornets have one of the best home-win percentages in the NBA, comparable to league powehouses like Denver (13-2), Orlando (13-3), Cleveland (13-2) and Boston (10-4). It's a shame that the Hornets have to play road games, because their two wins away from New Orleans Arena is less road wins than all but three NBA teams (New Jersey, Chicago and Charlotte). What's more depressing (at least for Hornets fans) is that if New Orleans could must to just got to around .500 on the road (say 7-8 instead of their current 2-13), their overall record would be 19-11, good for fourth overall in the West, six spots ahead of their current standing.

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"If I there is any way I could bottle up a formula for that I'd sell it to every team in the NBA," Devin Brown said. "We're trying to do anything we can to play this way on the road."

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All jokes aside, the home-court advantage for the Hornets this year is mystifying (especially considering that the Hornets are in the bottom third of the NBA in home attendance). With the home win against the Heat coming off a tough road loss against Houston the night before, the home-road discrepancy is stark.

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"We're just not able to put together complete games [on the road]," David West said after tonight's victory. "We're able to do that at home, to make key plays."

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That was the pervailing sentiment among Hornets players and head coach Jeff Bower, all of which preached the line that if the Hornets just made one or two more plays a game on the road, they'd have a much better record. In all fairness, the Hornets did play their best road game all season in the loss to Houston (mainly because of Chris Paul's triple-double and David West's career-high 44 points), but the line about just needing to make one ore two more plays doesn't apply to the seven road games they lost by double digits.

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But while a majority of the questions asked by us media folk had to do with the home-away discrepency, many of the answers looked at the big picture of the season. Time and again players talked about just finding a way to win games - David West said "we just gotta pick up wins" and one of Chris Paul's New Year's resolutions is "to win a few more games" - like that wasn't an obvious goal before.

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"I'd like to focus on the success we've had a home," Bower said, seemingly frustrated with the endless obsession about his team's road woes. He does have a point. Right now, there aren't many other positive things the Hornets can focus on.

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Big Nine and the Battle of the Bands - Old vs New Guard

Posted By on Thu, Dec 31, 2009 at 1:01 AM

ALERT: BS-Free Second Line Report (mostly...)

No more second lines this year folks so fill up on these vids from last week’s so so good parade in the Lower Nine. The Big Nine Social Aid and Pleasure Club always puts on a jumbo-size good-times second line - one, cause they always hire several bands so you can have fun running back and fourth along the line all day and the other is their little staged sexy times routines, which get better each year (see above).

But the most talked about moment in the Big Nine 2009 parade is the big beef that went down between Rebirth and the Stooges Brass band. Well, its a big beef if you count fists flying, a broken horn abandoned in the street, and the police separating the bands and moving the Stooges to the front of the line. (You’re permitted to chuckle at that last one)

What both sides seem to agree on is that Rebirth coming up on The Stooges’ space in the parade line triggered the fracas. The reason behind the line advance is apparently where the misunderstanding lies. However, mounting tension between these two bands made last week’s showdown ultimately inevitable.

Continue reading »

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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Another list we don't have to be embarrassed about topping!

Posted By on Wed, Dec 30, 2009 at 11:15 PM

New Orleans ranks high in yet another national list. This time, The Los Angeles Times reports Priceline.com's top New Year's Eve destinations, with New Orleans (Downtown, specifically) making the cut at No. 5, just under Miami, New York and Las Vegas (at No. 1). It even beat a couple more New York destinations, friggin' Chicago, Boston, and our own French Quarter, which appears at No. 8.

Our NYE short list includes annual big-ball-dropping festivities, fancy-dressed boozing on the riverwalk, dance parties stretching both ends of Decatur, infinite bar specials, bourgie black-tie parties and absolutely no parking spots.

Worthwhile, free or on-the-cheap (or a little somethin' extra) events, for those who may be checking out the city after this top five recomendation, include:

The venerable DJ Soul Sister at Mimi's in the Marigny; DJ EF Cuttin' (and free Champagne) preside over the newly reopened and moved-down-the-street Hookah Cafe; The NOLA Art House hosts another treehouse party with a "future" theme for $25 before midnight and $10 after; R. Scully and co. rock the Hi-Ho Lounge; and Dumpstaphunk and Papa Grows Funk headline Howlin' Wolf (the $70 ticket includes an open bar and buffet).

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...and Mitch replies: En garde!

Posted By on Wed, Dec 30, 2009 at 7:04 PM

Following last night's John Georges' ad lampooning Mitch Landrieu's mayoral aspirations, Landrieu replies today with an ad taking the opposite tack: sincerity.

Thoughts?

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The latest John Georges ad

Posted By on Wed, Dec 30, 2009 at 2:30 AM

Pow, Mitch Landrieu! Right in the kisser!

No "pet the dog" in this one, just a straihgWhat do you think?

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Tuesday, December 29, 2009

New Orleans Scuttlebutt 12-29-09

Posted By on Tue, Dec 29, 2009 at 11:56 PM

Twice in the past four years New Orleans has had to watch as their dreams of a Super Bowl have been blown away in "The Windy City"-once in the NFC Championship in '06 and again last year after a 35-yard Robbie Gould field goal in overtime, ended what little chance the Saints had of making the postseason. Last night however, Saints' fans breathed a collective sigh of relief after the Bear's 36-30 overtime win over the Vikings. Chicago's win means that the Saints will enjoy home field advantage throughout the playoffs. But just two weeks ago, that appeared to be forgone conclusion.

The Saints were living the high life, nearing the back end of what was to be a dream season, and sporting an unfamiliar heir of invincibility. Now however, in the wake of two inexplicable losses to opponents of seemingly dissimilar pedigree, the victory parade is on ice, leaving Saints' fans who had prematurely booked their flights to Miami aghast in wide eyed disbelief.

After all, Its entirely conceivable that the Cowboys loss might have been dismissed as a late season misstep, but Sunday's 20-17 loss at home to the now 3-12 Buccaneers is symptomatic of a more troubling prognosis. The Saints' high powered offense (which averages 33 points a game) has slowed to a crawl,  only managing 17 points in each of their last two games. And their banged up defense allowed a 176 rushing yrds against Tampa, the league's 23rd ranked rushing attack.

After sprinting out to a commanding 17-3 lead in the first half Sunday, the Saints appeared to have righted themselves following that disappointing 24-17 loss to Dallas-a game that they were never realy in. But New Orleans came up lame in the second half and Tampa had just enough in the tank to close down the stretch. Brees, by his standards, was held in check-throwing just one touchdown and totaling 258 yrds. While Cadillac Williams (129 yrds rushing) litteraly ran away with any chance New Orleans might have had at mounting a comeback in over time.

A week earlier against the Cowboys it was their inability to score in the first half that

"The fact is we need to play better," Brees said. "I don't feel like we've played our best football in a while and there's definitely some things that need to be corrected...."

For whatever reason, be it injuries or meerley inconsistancy, New Orleans has picked the worst possible time to revert back to form. Perhaps they're still hungover from last months win over the Patriots. Whatever the case, the Saints vaguely resemble the team that spent the first three quarters of the season on the fast track to the Super Bowl. Where they had once found success, the Saints are now finding themselves on the wrong end of these "head scratching" finales. As the "Black and Gold" stumbles into the final week of the regular season many question weather they can regain the momentum that saw them win thirteen straight,or if these last couple of weeks are sign of things to come.

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"Mother Teresa in Eyeblack": Da Paper gives Tim Tebow an all-time slobberoo

Posted By on Tue, Dec 29, 2009 at 10:23 PM

According to Da Paper this morning, Tim Tebow makes that dirty bum Drew Brees look like the demonchild of Chris Brown and Roman Polanski.

"The dashing face of college football is the anti-Tiger Woods," the T-P tells us, and "Sometimes, it seems that there is a 'Tim Tebow,' who exists apart from the person — Mother Teresa in eye black with a devastating jump pass."

You want more? They got more (except, oddly enough, the famous story about Tebow's 2008 spring break trip, which he spent circumsizing orphans in the Philippines while wearing Gator-colored Crocs).

Here's a list of encomiums from other sportswriters and coaches ("I’d never bet against Tim Tebow. He’s a winner, period. That guy’s a stud. S-T-U-D. Stud.” — unsurprisingly, Jon Gruden), as well as a list of the Bible verses Tebow wears on his eyeblack and what they mean (yes, seriously).

For Valor in Sports Reporting Pander, we hereby present today's T-P sports section with the Holy Tebow Grilled Cheese Sandwich:

Mother Teresa in Eyeblack

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Pigskin Blossoms

Posted By on Tue, Dec 29, 2009 at 9:52 PM

"Gin Blossoms? I thought that guy committed suicide or something. And you can quote me on that."

I'm fascinated with the '90s. Yet I somehow missed this bit of sad, flannel-waisted news. To my chagrin, yes, Gambit's first banana music guru Napoleon Bonaparte Pais is right. Blossoms' guitarist Doug Hopkins, who penned hits like "Hey Jealousy" and "Found Out About You," died Dec. 4, 1993 following label pressures and his firing from the band. Nevertheless, the band soldiered on through the '90s to mild acclaim and plenty of airtime, and now it meets New Orleans at the Allstate Fan Fest, a two-day music, footballin' and tailgatin' preamble to Friday's Sugar Bowl.

In a year where listeners stop at nothing to worship the church of 1993 (read: Pains of Being Blah Blah Blah, Pixies and Pavement reunions, "lo-fi"), these former kings of '90s rock radio, those jangly, "alt-rocking" Arizonans, have relegated to the party circuit. Chances are if you're driver's license is horizontal, you will know the words to these songs.

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