Deep Thought on Mardi Gras
by Mike Maher
Sure, I like Mardi Gras. Ya know, I’m not the biggest party guy out there but it’s a darn good time. Folks get to bounce around, do as they please, have a drink, sure ya have a couple drinks here and there. Get into a couple of nice conversations. Ya see a couple a good buds, chop it up a minute. Maybe get a little raunchy, and I mean just a little raunchy, know what I mean? Some things irk me, sure. Really mostly those dinguses who walk along the quarter, mostly on Bourbon with those friggin homophobic signs. I mean, do I go up and down your town with some hateful stuff? A course not! Probably a nice lil neighborhood ya got there! Have yourself a lil BBQ on a saturday night I bet! And ya know, good for you, that sounds pretty nice. But ya come in here and make a bunch of people feel bad. Down here we got a buncha strippers doin their thing and some people like that. We got a buncha queer folks doin their thing. Ya know, we got a couple a swamp guys doin their thing! And you wanna come here and put people down. Ya know, why not go to the beach or something? Was a plenty nice day to go to the beach.
What’s up with the traffic on Saint Claude?!
by Mike Maher
I don’t drive all that much, my car was totaled in the August floods. Sometimes I borrow a friends car if I need one. Right now I’m sorta car-sitting my roommates SUV. It’s handy, I enjoy it, roll down the window, have a smoke, ya know, her radio works too so that’s always going on. A lot of people complain about the potholes and sure, there are some doozies in my neighborhood, but this doesn’t really get to me that much. I’ll be riding down one of the streets around my house, you know, having a smoke, radio going all that, and I’ll see one of these real whale-of-a-potholes. It doesn’t bother me though, I’m not bombing down the road, I’m taking it easy, I got plenty of time to shimmy off to the left and then back to the right to avoid the following pothole. I’ll tell ya what gets to me, it’s surprise traffic on St Claude. Sure, I can cut down to Rampart and be fine, but it’s the confusion of the thing. I’m not talking about backups at Poland cause the bridge, or by Press at the tracks, these are logical delays. Ya know, I can see the train. I actually dated someone I met waiting on the train. It can be a nice time is what I’m saying. Well, we didn’t date for that long, just a couple of dates ya know. I’m talking about those hold ups randomly, no apparent reason here and there. Tell ya one thing when I was riding my bike around all the time I’d just zip by.
by Mike Maher
My house doesn’t have heat. It’s very cold in here. I have a couple of space heaters, but one doesn’t really work. I don’t have a car and the pipes froze in my bathroom. My best bet is to wash dishes with the warm water that works in the kitchen. But I already did the leftover dishes from last night. It’s a shame that I’ve been better about making sure there isn’t a pile of dishes sitting in the sink, I could be still washing the dishes. If another person tells me “oh this is nothing” or “you haven’t seen cold, in New York it’s like this all winter” I swear I’m gunna bop em in the nose. We’re not in New York, wise guy. Someone told me yesterday, they said, “it’s only gunna be cold in the morning.” Well, it’s almost noon and it’s still freezing, my backyard is still covered in a mix of snow and sleet. I wish I could remember who said that to me, I’d send em a text message or something. Maybe next time I see em I’ll ask em what the weather looks like tomorrow sarcastically cause apparently they’re so good at predicting the weather. But I’m not gunna cause I can’t for the life of me remember who said that.
by Mike Maher
Aliens in the Swamp!
by Emma Reid
Just kidding… there are no aliens, but we are going to start off the first blog about weird swamp stuff with something extra weird… and cool! After the water levels recede in the swamp you may see these gooey globs that you may think look like an alien pod or maybe a jelly-like mass of fish eggs. Think not! These are called Bryozoan Colonies (Pectinatella Magnifica), which essentially means “moss animals.” They are microscopic aquatic invertebrates that live in colonies and can actually be found in many different freshwater ecosystems around the world. The colonies of microscopic zooids take on weird jelly shapes and are usually attached to a submerged structure such as a rock or submerged branch. If you were to touch them they would feel like a washed up jellyfish, but you could easily tear them apart. It would feel very strange.
The way they act is super weird. Each tiny individual bryozoan (zooid) is attached to a surface at its base. Its body has an outer sleevelike structure (cystid) and a mass of organs (polypide) that moves within it. An opening at the top of the cystid permits the polypide to slide outward toward the water, exposing a headlike structure (lophophore) crowned with tentacles, which filter food from water to sustain their growth in late summer to early fall. At the slightest disturbance, the polypide and tentacles retract instantly.