My life hasn't been too exciting lately which I actually like. I've entered a sort-of "post-Super Gras/Carnival" hibernation to recoup after so much craziness. And I think it's just an instinct I've developed from growing up in Ohio, where February is usually a month when you stay inside and hang out in cozy hoodies and make pots of chili to help warm you up. Seriously, the most exciting thing I did this past week was go out and buy a new vacuum cleaner.


And I'm enjoying this time of solitude because I'm sure that very soon, spring will be in full bloom and we'll be having 80-plus degree days with festivals and happenings every weekend. Nothing stays quiet for long around here.


But usually during bouts of stillness, my thoughts start wandering all over the place. Here is the stuff that's been on my mind:


1. Gentrification.

Post-Carnival Hibernation Meditation

I feel like my neighborhood, the Bywater, is going a little crazy and I'd like it to stop. Kind of like Apple or Adobe technology: Can't we just be happy for a little while with the way things are? Like, I really love my iPhone 4; did we really need a 5 so soon? Is the 6 coming out next month? Why do we have to go and "improve" things so damn often? And is it really all that much of an improvement anyways?


There are so many projects going on, so many restaurants opening up. Which is great! Don't get me wrong; I love food. But there's no parking and the neighbors are fighting for the last available spots. It's mayhem (slight exaggeration).


And, okay, great… It's cool that I've seen famous Hollywood actors spill their beer at Markey's while simultaneously being on the cover of GQ Magazine, but it would also be cool if the Bywater stayed a nice cozy little enclave of the artistically-inclined working-class. I feel like it's kind of getting out of hand around here. Houses are selling for like, $500,000, but there are still people getting mugged daily and cops getting shot across the street. It's like a cross between "Hipster Disneyland" and "The Walking Dead." Like, all in one day "Treme" films on my street and there are fancy-pants peeps walking around and hanging out at craft service tables. But then I get in my car to run an errand, and on my way to Walgreens, there are literally pan-handlers on every single street corner begging for money. It makes me think that's what it must be like to drive through a zombie horde.


It seriously keeps me up at night. Zombies scare the shit out of me.


2. Anniversary.

Post-Carnival Hibernation Meditation

I'm coming up on my first anniversary. Of being married. And it kind of feels like we got married yesterday. Wow, that year went by fast. And what are you supposed to get your spouse for your first anniversary? Paper. I mean, what the hell am I supposed to do with that?


Here honey, I love you… Here's some paper. Let's stay together forever.


Here are some things I am thinking about getting him: Subscription to ESPN the Magazine. Oragami. Poster for a Jason Statham movie. Tickets to see They Might Be Giants (we sadly missed out on Kid Rock last week … damn). An autobiography of a UFC fighter (has any of them even written one?).


This is all I have so far and none of them are screaming "really meaningful first-anniversary gift for my one true love."


3. Television.

Post-Carnival Hibernation Meditation

OMG, you guys, new episodes of "Duck Dynasty" are starting this week. 


I'm starting to think up a recipe to rival Uncle Si's very special ice tea, just for the occasion.