That’s the way the Cookie Crumples…in life and in death

My Grandfather used to say ‘crumples’ instead of crumbles – each time something bad happened in life we couldn’t feel sorry for ourselves. He also said ‘spoom’ instead of ‘spoon’. There were other little sayings that he will be remembered for as he passed away peacefully this afternoon. It was not unexpected but it doesn’t make it easier. There are a couple of passages that I’ve highlighted in the current book that I’m reading that I feel apply to life and the reason why we need to live each and every day in the present the best that we can because tomorrow is never promised.

“Our life is a constant journey, from birth to death. The landscape changes, the people change, our needs change, but the train keeps moving. Life is the train, not the station.”

“In life – there is only the present moment, the now. You can’t measure time the way you measure the distance between two points. “Time” doesn’t pass. We human beings have enormous difficulty in focusing on the present; we’re always thinking about what we did, about how we could have done it better, about the consequences of our actions, and about why we didn’t act as we should have. Or else we think about the future, about what we’re going to do tomorrow, what precautions we should take, what dangers await us around the next corner, how to avoid what we don’t want and how to get what we’ve always dreamed of.”

– Aleph, Paulo Coelho

Photo of the Day – Reflections

In New Orleans funerals are not seen as a time for mourning but rather times of major celebrations. They still have parades through the French Quarter after the death of local musicians to celebrate their life and all they have accomplished. The cemeteries there are not places of mourning but rather places to celebrate. Often you will find empty bottles of wine, scotch, etc.. at the foot of the graves, not left by vagrants, but rather ‘mourners’ who came to have a drink with their loved ones. This weekend when I go back home for the funeral I will try hard to not make it a sad occasion but rather one where we celebrate his life and take comfort in the fact that he will be reunited with my Nana who passed too soon over 21 years ago.

What does Santa do for New Year’s Eve? Well go to New Orleans of course…

Legend has it that Santa lives up in the North Pole but even he needs a little down time after his busy season so like the rest of us he likes to take it on down to Bourbon Street to party. We were walking around in the French Quarter when we happened to stumble into Rudy’s Red Nose Inn – Santa was generously pouring shots of Jameson and Rudolph was already dancing on the roof of the place. Can’t imagine what this scene will look like at midnight tonight – especially if LSU picks up a ‘W’ in the Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl tonight.

Photo of the Inn – Holiday Cheer

This party is getting rowdy….

Happy New Year!

Weeping Willows

I had a day free while in New Orleans and I was a little tired of Bourbon Street (maybe my liver more than me exactly) so I took the street car down to Audubon Park and spent some time walking around and taking pictures of a very beautiful city park in the heart of New Orleans. Bordered by the campuses of Tulane and Loyola it is a very popular spot for running and exercising so despite the fact it was 90+ degrees there were a lot of co-eds running around the path getting their physical fitness on. There was also a boxing club using a gazebo as their ‘ring’ for training.

I wasn’t really in the mood for exercising though. I had a book and I went and laid under a weeping willow tree to get some shade. I had my camera with me so I experimented taking some pictures up into the trees. My goal was to try and get the ‘star’ component of the sun as it shined through. This was one of my favorite ones. Shooting directly into the sun required HDR so that the sun didn’t completely blow the foreground out. I edited the foreground for the ‘darkest’ exposure which is probably the way my eye actually saw it as I clearly wasn’t laying there staring directly into the sun the whole time.

Photo of the Day – Somewhere a Queen is weeping