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Tuesday, February 28, 2006
Fatter Than Usual Tuesday
A group of coworkers have decorated a portion of my office with Bourbon Street facades made out of construction paper. They're fairly elaborate and include cafe signs and cardboard verandas. They even built a metal light post and turned a series of cardboard HBO stand-ups into Mardi Gras revelers. Currently, the menacing expressions of Tony Soprano and his crew are being subverted by purple beads and face masks. The "Spy Kids" are decked out in party hats and sunglasses but they're hiding behind a table. All things considered, the display is pretty creepy and implies that these New Jersey mobsters are bent on placing the moppets' cardboard feet in one-dimensional cement shoes (possibly with blinking lights in the soles). I wonder if this is the theme my coworkers had in mind or if I'm just reading to much into it.
All in all, Mardi Gras seems like a bigger deal this year, for obvious reasons. CNN's coverage has been running around the clock in recent days and it's surreal to see college kids running around in tarps in an effort to pay tribute to the victims of last summer's hurricane and Anderson Cooper on a New Orleans parade float tossing beads. Dan Aykroyd was in the same parade and Steven Segal served as the celebrity monarch. Britney Spear's, who has also seen her celebrity ranks drop from A to B in recent years, is out shopping with Katrina victims.
Last week I fired up Travelocity just to see what a last minute, round-trip ticket to the Big Easy would run. The cheapest fare out of PDX was in the $700 range.
So with all eyes on Mardi Gras this year, what's going to happen in downtown Portland tonight? Around 50 people were arrested last year, including 14 minors for breaking curfew. Will tomorrow's edition of the Oregonian contain a photo of tear gas clouds outside the Lotus Cardroom? Only time will tell.