I haven't been to New Orleans since 8th grade. The last time I was there, Deion Sanders was blazing down the field at the Sugar Bowl, I got my portrait done in pastels near the Cafe DuMonde, and my friend and I pretended to be college students at the bars my parents snuck us into on New Year's Eve, sipping Hurricanes and ogling the debauchery on Bourbon Street. It was the best weekend of my young life, and I've wanted to return ever since. I read everything I can about it, in Poppy Z Brite and the Valentin St Cyr books and the Skip Langdon ones and, yes, Anne Rice, and books on Storyville and every bodice-ripper historical novel set in the town I can lay my hands on. Hell, I even watched K-Ville; I couldn't help myself. That bayou gumbo of decay and delight is seductive and fascinating and just so damn sultry.
When I saw that my reviewee for today is a bear from the Big Easy who's in theatre (with an "re")? Forget it. I was hooked. Until I saw the template.
Bigezbear has a truly terrible template. Three columns of blah. Get rid of the comments, members, map, and "hot off the presses" stuff in the sidebar, or at the very least put them on ONE sidebar. Although, really, get rid of the comments in the sidebar. It's just weird. Oh, and the "Event Brite" doohickey at the bottom? That's not doing you any favors. Just add a page to your site about your events -- problem solved.
I don't know where to start with this blog. You just land on "home" and are expected to plunge right on in because there's no "About" page, and his Blogger profile is sparse to say the least. There are no archives, so I had to go hit "Older Posts" about nine-hundred and seven times to get any perspective or background. Holy fuck am I a dedicated reviewer. But, ok, screw it. I don't care what information could be recovered by my going back to the beginning -- I'm starting at 2008.
At first, I didn't know what the hell was going on or who everyone was, but the writing is full and round and seasoned and heart stopping and just good. There's vodou and Dr. John and theatre and dirty martinis and wry observations about post-Katrina New Orleans and pretty pictures. There's a lot of life in this blog, and it's fascinating. Bigezbear posts all the time, about all manner of things (mostly to do with New Orleans and his neighborhood and his productions), and his posts are short and long, serious and silly, revealing and closed up tight and shy.
Once I got past the off-putting and completely uninspiring template and dug in to his writing, I was hooked. His voice -- his humor and self-deprecating wit and charm and passion for his city -- has captured me.
I fucking love you, you big ol' bear you. Give us a hug, burly beast.
Now go away, I'm reading. I have to find the beginning of your blog.