Short bio: I enjoy cocktails, French fries, and science fiction.
Out of hand version:
I'm from New Orleans, Louisiana, in da Ninth Ward.
I live in northeast Los Angeles, California, and I like it a lot. (Except for the traffic.) I miss New Orleans, and although she always will be my spiritual home, I've been living in Los Angeles for over 38 years. For a long time I described myself as "a New Orleanian in Los Angeles," but these days I'm more like "an Angeleno from New Orleans, y'all."
I'm married to Wesly Moore, and I love him very much. We got married on January 12, 2017 but have been together since June of 1999 (we celebrate our "togetherversary" on the day of our first date, May 21).
I worked in public radio in Los Angeles for 20 years, starting in 1988 at KCRW (doing the shows "Gumbo Ya-Ya," "Global Gumbo," "Late Nite Notes (Sunday)", and "Gumbo") until 1998, and then doing the program "Down Home" at KCSN until 2008. After that I did a Internet streaming show called "Ceol agus Craic" ("Music and Good Times"), which featured Irish rock, folk, and traditional music that was based in the online virtual 3D world Second Life, and took place inside a virtual Dublin pub (physically based on the actual pub Oliver St. John Gogartys in Dublin) from 2006 through 2011. I'm currently retired from terrestrial radio, but would happily come back for the right gig.
After the COVID-19 lockdown of March 2020, I decided to revive a version of my old radio show, streaming from home via an Internet radio server. Please do tune in to "Safe at Home in 2021" (formerly "Safe at Home in 2020"), which goes out live every Saturday at 1pm Pacific Time via gumbo.org/live, and by later afternoon/early evening on Saturdays is uploaded for streaming on demand at MixCloud.
I make and imbibe cocktails, and immensely enjoy the world of spirits, mixology and bartending.
I do not work as a professional bartender (although I'll bartend your party), but I am a member of the Los Angeles chapter of the United States Bartenders Guild, and I've received BarSmarts Advanced training and education from Beverage Alcohol Resource.
I love food, cooking and dining. I believe one doesn't eat to live, one lives to eat. As a New Orleanian, while I'm having a meal I'm discussing the last one and planning the next one.
Keep that flowery crap out of my iced tea, if you please. Black tea and water and ice. Lemon if you've got it. Thank you. (This began as a rant on the USENET newsgroup la.eats back in November 1993, was spotted by someone from the Los Angeles Times, who sent it to his editor and they asked to run it in the Sunday magazine, which they did... the day before the Northridge earthquake, and it was promptly forgotten in the aftermath.)
My last meal, if I were able to choose it, would be a Creole hot sausage po-boy from Gene's Po-Boys on Elysian Fields and St. Claude in New Orleans (this would require a time machine), a shrimp po-boy from Domilise's or Parkway Bakery, a plate of red beans 'n rice with smoked sausage and pickled onions, a plate of French fries with ketchup mixed with Tabasco, and bread pudding with rum sauce. Plus some bucatini all'Amatriciana from Hippo in our neighborhood, and some fish in green peppercorn broth from Chengdu Taste in Alhambra, xiao long bao from Din Tai Fung, and a whole spread of Uyghur food from Omar's Xinjiang Halal Cuisine (meat pie, cumin lamb skewers, hand-pulled spicy noodles and "Big Plate Chicken." This would probably take a couple of days (well, unless you're Chris Frankel).
No tomatoes in gumbo.
Bacon. Crispy, not flaccid.
I love music. Music is a passion. Myriad genres, from the classic rock I grew up with through new wave, alternative and indie rock of today, New Orleans music, funk, soul, R&B, jazz (although not much modern jazz), Irish traditional music and roots and traditional music of many kinds.
The greatest musical experience of my life was seeing the reunion of the Irish band Planxty at Vicar Street in Dublin, Ireland on February 18, 2004 -- a concert I had quite literally waited more than half my life to see. I wept unashamedly. My review of the show is here. (The other two greatest were, I think, seeing R.E.M. perform live and acoustic right in front of me with less than a dozen people present, in the performance studio at KCRW for Deirdre O'Donoghue's beloved radio program "SNAP" on April 3, 1991; also, singing shape note music with the members of Cordelia's Dad.)
There are pieces of music that can make me cry.
I played music as a kid, and wish I had more talent and time to practice. I love playing Irish music on my various flutes and tin whistles, and wish I was better at it. I have a Cajun accordion (diatonic, key of C), "Acadian" brand, built by Marc Savoy of Eunice, Louisiana. It's beautiful, made of curly maple with a red mahogany stain. Playing it is a lot harder than it looks.
I'm a supporter of The Greatest Radio Station in the Universe: WWOZ 90.7 FM in New Orleans, and I send them money every month; you should support any public/non-commercial radio stations you listen to with at least an annual $25-30 pledge.
I collect antique radios, but I unfortunately don't have room for very many. My ultimate goal is to own a Zenith console radio from the 1930s. My penultimate goal is to find a place to put it.
I'm a huge fan of the 1939 New York World's Fair and I collect memorabilia from it, as well as some stuff from the 1939 Golden Gate Exposition in San Francisco. I'm not terribly interested in the 1964 fair, although seeing the Unisphere up close was really cool.
I read a lot, especially science fiction.
I love movies.
Star Trek fan from the age of 6. This includes the most recent shows "Star Trek Picard" and "Star Trek Discovery," and if you're going to hate on them, and abuse people for enjoying them, you are cordially invited to take a one-way walk out of the nearest airlock.Favorite captain: Picard. Followed closely by Janeway and Sisko. (Although I do have a nostalgic fondness for Kirk.)
Speaking of whom, I am blocked on Twitter by William Shatner. I haven't the slightest idea why, as I've never even interacted with him on Twitter except to wish him happy birthday once. We met him and got a photo signed at Star Trek Las Vegas in 2019, and he was quite cordial. Me: "It was a pleasure to meet you, Mr. Shatner." Him: "Oh Chuck, the pleasure was mine."
I'm a Browncoat. When I die, upload me to The Verse and get me a job as the cook on Serenity. I'll be Kaylee's sly best friend.
Battlestar Galactica. (The 2003 version, of course).
I love to travel. Besides many favorite places in the U.S., I've been to Ireland four times. Scotland, England, France, Spain, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Slovenia, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Russia. I hope to add Italy to the list next.
I like seersucker suits. Linen too.
I like fountain pens. These days I'm partial to the Waterman Phileas; it's elegant, reliable and very affordable.
iMac 2017, 27" Retina 5K, 3.5 GHz quad-core Intel Core i5, an underpowered 16GB RAM, 1TB HD, Mac OS X 10.14.6 Mojave (if I upgrade to Catalina it breaks Photoshop and my entire ebook collecting situation, feh).
I drive a Prius, which I've had for 15 years and she's in great shape. If you think I drive too slowly, feckin' go around me!
My surname is an Anglicization of the Irish Gaelic surname "Mac an tSagairt" (no, it's not a typo, it's an eclipsis), which means "son of the priest". According to my Irish language teacher Séamus Ó Díreáin, it dates back several centuries to a time and a region in Ireland when the rules of priestly celibacy were "not strictly enforced". Heh.
Tá beagán Gaeilge agam, agus is an-mhaith liom ceol tradisiúnta na hÉireann.
I run SETI@home, because I secretly wanna be Jodie Foster in "Contact."
I like this quote, and find it meaningful:
I share a birthday with a number of famous and infamous people: One of my favorite writers, Kurt Vonnegut (1922), one of my favorite musicians, XTC singer and songwriter Andy Partridge (1953), actor Leonardo DiCaprio (1974), comedian Jonathan Winters (1925), Swedish actress in many Ingmar Bergman films, Bibi Andersson (1935), Gen. George S. "I shoveled shit in Louisiana" Patton (1885), alleged Communist spy Alger Hiss (1904), actress Calista Flockhart (1964), cinematographer Fred J. Koenekamp (1922), "I Love Lucy" head writer Jess Oppenheimer (1913), darkly humorous monologuist Brother Theodore (1906), Russian novelist Fëdor Dostoevski (1821), U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer, D-Calif. (1940), mafioso Charles "Lucky" Luciano (1896), French film director René Clair (1898) and Jigme Singye Wangchuk, the King of Bhutan (1955).
I'm a graduate of Holy Cross School in New Orleans, formerly of the Lower Ninth Ward and currently located in Gentilly. I have a B.A. in Communications from Loyola University in New Orleans and an M.A. in Communication Arts from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, and was very active in what is now their School of Film and Television.
I'm very devoted to my friends, I travel often back home to New Orleans and to Houston to see my family, and we own an 83-year-old house with all its commensurate maintenance needs. This all keeps me rather busy.