I start this blog with some sad news. I’ve lost my camera. I last had it at a party on Saturday, and then it vanished. I don’t have money to buy a new one at the moment–all my dimes have gone into my new bicycle–so I guess it’ll be cell phone pictures for awhile. Boo! But in better news, my friend C. lent me her camera at today’s parades so I could snap some photos and then kindly sent me some for blog purposes. Extra beads to you! I took this photo while waiting for today’s first parade, Carrollton, to start. People who aren’t from here and haven’t been to Mardi Gras imagine it is a holiday where women flash their breasts for beads, and everyone’s slurringly drunk, vomiting, and/or exposing themselves at all times. But that’s Mardi Gras by and for tourists (though locals certainly do their fair share of drinking, myself included). Mardi Gras Uptown looks like this: families, kids, viewing ladders in the neutral ground, and folks just strolling, enjoying the weather, hopefully, and waiting excitedly for the next parade. I was asked to “show my headlights” last night, but mostly Mardi Gras feels like this: fun with all your neighbors. Or at least that’s how it feels to me. Bring on next weekend’s parades, I say! They start up again on Wednesday. And for those of you wishing you could hear it? This is what Mardi Gras sounds like to me. Ride over next year and I’ll show you around!