John has found our new anthem.
Also, I am a giant child. I take gummy vitamins. They’re for adults, really!
What were you expecting?
John has found our new anthem.
Also, I am a giant child. I take gummy vitamins. They’re for adults, really!
While going through just about everything we own, John found a couple of boxes of cassette tapes. We threw out all of the commercially made tapes (we’ve got all that stuff in other formats by now, if it’s something we still like), but then we had to go through the ones we made. Some were easy to throw out. Some – not so much. I took a drive by myself over the weekend, so I popped in a pink and yellow Memorex tape labeled “Susannah’s Favorites” that I made when I was about 11 and discovered two things.
Now you know too much.
John and I saw Huey Lewis and the News for the sixth time last night. It was, as usual, a really good show. I’m willing to bet poor old Huey can’t talk at all today, though. Last night, his voice was really going. He still sounded great, but there were things he just couldn’t do. (It didn’t sound permanent, thank goodness. More of a sore throat thing. Let’s hope that’s not wishful thinking. Heh – wishful thinking about wishful thinking. Stop before the world collapses in on itself!) Poor guy. I hope he drank a lot of water. It’s the 30th anniversary of Sports, so they started the concert by playing the whole album, which was totally awesome. (John noticed it when they started the third song – clever guy.) This year (unlike two years ago), they did the whole not-relevant-anymore thing right and only played one new song all night. Man, I love them. It seems like everyone else in the area does, too, since I’ve never seen such a parking nightmare at Wolf Trap before. The place was packed, the parking lots were completely full (the police were telling people to park on the grass on the side of the road), and John and I had to park at the Barns and walk over (under a mile, I think, but not by much). And on our walk over, the skies opened. We had umbrellas, but when it rains buckets (sideways buckets), you get soaked no matter what. It poured like that for a solid 20-25 minutes before the intensity backed off, but even then it didn’t stop until around 8:45, just as the real show started. I don’t know who opened for them (couldn’t hear them over the rain, certainly couldn’t see them), and I didn’t really care that we were missing whoever it was.
Okay, I’m rambling now. I’ve lost my point, if I ever had one. Maybe it’s just that I’ll stand in the pouring rain for Huey Lewis and the News because I LOVE THEM. I could point out that we spent much of the storm under shelter (after getting soaked on the walk in), but what does that matter? I would have stood around in the pouring rain for them if it hadn’t stopped in time. I would.
I think my yoga instructor played music from The Neverending Story tonight. Okay, she didn’t, but the music shedid play reminded me of Atreyu galloping across the plains and flying through the sky on the luck dragon. That movie is never going to leave me alone.
I was listening to the radio the other day on my way home from work, and the guy (I guess he’s still called a DJ, even if he does work for the classical music station) introduced the next piece of music as The Spanish Dances by I-don’t-remember-who (he remembered who – I don’t). The music started, and I thought, this doesn’t sound very Spanish, but what do I know. Then the music cut off, the radio went silent, and after a couple of seconds, the DJ (that just doesn’t sound right) said, “My apologies. I jumped ahead. That was Haydn. These are The Spanish Dances.” And then something that sounded somewhat more Spanish (more classical guitar, less orchestra) started.
Good story, huh? I know. Hush. It struck me as odd, though. You so rarely hear silence on the radio, and I’ve never heard music get cut off so abruptly like that, outside of emergency broadcasts. If it were me, I probably would have let the Haydn finish, then apologize, identify it correctly, and continue with the actual Spanish Dances.
I went to Starbucks this morning, the one with the drive-thru. I like this one for a couple of reasons:
Today was one of those days. I got to the window, and the cashier (is she a barista?) told me that the woman in the car in front of me paid for my coffee. I handed her my card and asked her to ring up the car behind me, and when the cashier handed me my card and my receipt, she said, “She also wanted you to have this,” and handed me a CD. A music CD, in a sleeve, like many of the others Starbucks sells. How exciting! That’s different – maybe that woman just wanted to make someone’s day (more than buying their order would)! I’d never heard of the guy on the CD, but I’m open to new music. This could be cool. Happy Monday!
Well, I got into the office and googled it. Surprise! It’s Christian rock. I don’t think that should be allowed. I mean, Christian rock should be allowed to exist (I guess), but proselytizing* via the Starbucks drive-thru is not cool.
Hm. It just occurred to me – I don’t think she bought it at Starbucks for me. I assumed she had, but I doubt Starbucks would sell it. I think she gave it to them to give to me. Weird and weirder. Well, it’s not working. I’ve spent half the day wondering how I should get rid of it. Do I know anyone who might appreciate it? Not really. I don’t want to just leave it somewhere or give it to some unsuspecting stranger – that’s how I got it, and it didn’t make my day. And I’m hesitant to just throw it out. Maybe John knows someone. Or I can always leave it at a church. I know where I can find some of those.
*Maybe she wasn’t proselytizing. Maybe the guy on the CD is her boyfriend or husband or son or cousin, and she’s helping him gain a wider audience.
We’re* two-thirds through a three-day weekend. Already. And poor John doesn’t have tomorrow off. Of course, he gets the week between Christmas and New Year’s off, so I don’t feel that sorry for him. We had a good couple of days together. Yesterday was all about the yard. We got up early, grabbed breakfast, picked up 16 bags of dirt from Home Depot (I think it was our shortest trip to Home Depot ever), scooped and mowed the back yard, raked up the bare spots, put down dirt and seed, put up temporary fencing, blocked the dogs from getting under the deck (and sneaking into the new dirt that’s calling out for digging), and mowed the front yard. All before 2pm. We were really rushing at one point because it looked like the skies were about to open and we didn’t want to get soaked. False alarm. That must have been the cold front coming through, though, because the temperature dropped pretty quickly after that.
Today has been chilly and damp. A perfect day to go to the Waterford Fair! We got all dressed up in our hiking-in-Wales attire (so called because that’s why we bought that stuff – boots and coats and hats) and headed to lovely historic Waterford, which had been taken over by Civil War reenactors (is that really a word?) and craftspeople for the weekend. John carried his umbrella around the whole time, so it didn’t rain on us. We tramped all over town (it’s not very big), shared a hot dog, some mac and cheese, some hot chocolate, and a funnel cake, met some chickens and puppies and sheep, listened to a couple of bluegrass bands, and took care of birthday presents for John’s mom (a little late) and Gaby (early for once, if I can manage to ship it soon).
Tomorrow I plan to clean out some closets. I have shoes and clothes to get rid of, and I need to clear out the linen closet and the cabinet in my bathroom. That might be too ambitious for one day, since I also plan to make a quick run to the mall, but we’ll see how far I get. I’ll be up early since John has to get up for work, so that should help.
Dinner is wine and bread and olive oil. I’m kinda surprised I’m feeling hungry now, after all that food at Waterford, but that was 3 or 4 hours ago…
*”What’s this we bullshit?” -John
I already knew this, but now that I’ve been to a concert, I feel the need to say it again: Bruce Springsteen is not for me. John and I went to the Springsteen concert in DC on Friday night. Wait – I need to back up. A few years back, John went to his first Bruce concert with a few friends of ours who are rabid fans. I mean, these guys know every song he’s ever recorded, have all the albums, always go to concerts when Springsteen is on tour. That stuff doesn’t make them rabid fans. No, they go to as many concerts on each tour that they can manage, sometimes traveling miles and miles to go to back to back shows in three different cities. Friday’s concert was the sixth show our buddy Joe has gone to on this tour alone. On top of that, they know the set lists of practically every concert he’s ever played ever. It’s not unusual to have a conversation with one of them that goes like this:
Hey, I kinda like song X from that one album.
Yeah, that’s a great song, but you won’t hear that when we go to this concert. He hasn’t played that one live since the Evanston show of 1993. Now THAT was a great show.
Anyway, John was just a casual fan before he went to that show (he’s more than that now, but hasn’t reach rabid levels of fandom yet) . These guys (and every Springsteen fan I’ve talked to since) told him he HAS to go to a live show, it’s AWESOME, it’s an experience you’ll never get anywhere else – it’s just amazing. So John went, and it was great. He had a really good time, it was a really great show, and he started paying more attention to the Boss. That’s fine – doesn’t bother me one bit. He went to a couple more shows over the next couple of years, and I had to suffer through a little more Springsteen in the house, but that’s not that big a deal. Then this tour started, and the guys got together and decided to all go. John really wanted me to get in on this, and I’d been hearing how great these shows are, so I agreed and we bought two tickets.
I have to admit to not being all that excited as the date approached. I love live music, and I knew I’d have a good time, but I didn’t prep for it. I know a handful of songs (“Glory Days”, “Born in the USA”, “Dancing in the Dark”), and I recognize a few more but don’t know more than a couple lines from them (“Born to Run”, “Thunder Road”), but that’s it. Frankly, I don’t really like his stuff, so prepping didn’t sound appealing at all. Why listen to more of what I don’t like? I was counting on the LIVE aspect of the show to be more entertaining than his depressing and repetitive songs.
Ultimately? It was fun, but I’m in no hurry to go again. It was loud and crowded (both in a good way) and energetic and everything, and all of that is cool and fun to watch, but it was still Bruce Springsteen, and you know what? I still don’t like Bruce Springsteen. Well, personally, I’m sure he’s a fun guy. I don’t like his songs. When the band did some covers (“Devil in a Blue Dress”, “Twist and Shout”) at the end of the almost four-hour concert, I thought it was great. Did it change concert-going for me forever? No. No, it did not.
You know what’s hard? Biking uphill after yoga and squats. I’m not sure I can get up the stairs. I might have to crawl. Or maybe I’ll sleep on the couch.
There are videos on The Daily What today that I’d like to watch, but they’ll have to wait. I’d rather listen to John practice playing his banjo. (Oh, yeah. John got a banjo.) Then I’ll figure out how I’m going to make it to bed. Later, but soon. Like maybe now. No…almost. Now.
I’m totally worn out from today. I spent the work day getting more and more frustrated, and then I went to the gym for two hours (class night) and didn’t think about work for even a second (which was wonderful). But the gym drained all of that frustrated energy out of me (and more), so now I’m all limp and noodly. Relaxed, but in an I-can’t-lift-my-arm-above-my-head kind of way.
I heard the prettiest version of Over The Rainbow during yoga today. I don’t know a lot about Eva Cassidy (she was local to the area and she’s dead – that’s the extent of my knowledge), but I have really really liked everything I’ve heard her do.
It’s not cold enough. I should be happy about that (I hate being cold), but it’s hard to feel Christmas-y (or Hanukkah-y – yes, I’ve been lighting candles this year. Please pick your jaw up off the floor. That’s not sanitary.) when you barely need a coat to go outside. I’ll get over it. Just as soon as we hit the road. Which can’t be soon enough for me. What I’m really looking forward to is the time off. I need a long, long break. Or maybe…yeah, we don’t talk about that on the internet.
I also didn’t mean to publish that yet. The Publish button looked a lot like the Save Draft button just then. Whoops. (For those of you coming late to the party, first of all, shame on you. Get it together and be on time. Secondly, it’s kind of obvious what just happened, so this explanation is unnecessary.)
I regret my choice of post title now. Not just because it’s dumb, although that should be enough. No, I regret it because that song is stuck in my head now. I like it fine, but I’ve been having this problem all day, and I can’t settle on a song I’d be happy to have looping through my brain all day. I woke up this morning to the theme from The Price is Right (thanks to the episode of How I Met Your Mother we watched last night), but I started to tell John about it and immediately switched to “You Were On My Mind” by We Five. (John, you were right. It’s We Five.) Maybe I can get that one back. I’ve always liked that song. Wish me luck!
I am, I am! Tomorrow is Les Mis. YAY! Tonight, I pick Sparky up from the airport. Yay! Also, it’s Friday (yay!) so PRESUMABLY, I can sleep in a bit tomorrow. Got up before 5 this morning, people. (John is not pleased. I tried REALLY hard to have everything I needed in the guest room so I wouldn’t wake him while I got ready, but I needed one little thing and, of course, I needed it 15 minutes before his alarm was going to go off. Sorry, John.) We’re having a kick-off meeting this morning, and I was in charge of bringing bagels, and traffic has been HORRIBLE this week, so I figured I’d just get out the door earlier. Guess what? I over-corrected. I was up the elevator and in my little conference room by 7:20. Just a little bit earlier than necessary. A tad. Still, it’s better than the alternative.
Can someone please get Maroon 5′s “Moves Like Jagger” out of my head? I don’t like it. I keep trying to force it out, but it creeps its way back in every time I think I’ve won. Stupid little whistling part.
I don’t know what it is about this song, but every time I hear it, I cry, starting from the very first time I heard it. Like tears streaming down my face cry. Sometimes with sobs, sometimes not. I don’t get it. I mean, I like it. I like it very much. Maybe it hits me deep in the hillbilly roots I don’t really have.
I blame Netflix for putting The Final Countdown in my head. I searched for Eureka on our Roku, and a Europe concert came up in the results. I need to search for something else quick ’cause it’ll be there every time I look until I do.
…starts now. I’ve been eating and breathing statistics for over a week. I took my midterm this afternoon, I’m home now, John’s in charge of dinner (I think), and I don’t have to jump right into the next statistics chapter just yet. I have a glass of wine, random French jazz in the CD player (CDs Mom burned and gave me – no idea what the specifics are, but I was in the mood for something unusual and mellow), and a new book. And I’m going to slice some cantaloupe. Cantaloupe will get me through this heat wave.
Midterm’s done. I’ll let you know how it went (it took me almost two and a half hours) when I find out my grade.
The band is rehearsing for the first time in weeks, if not months, and the classical music I’m listening to isn’t loud enough to drown out the bass line two floors below me. I might need noise-canceling headphones. Tonight, statistics is on the menu. Because, oh yeah, right, I forgot. I’m taking statistics, too. And I have a quiz due Sunday. So I should start reading. I can’t get away with not juggling two classes anymore.
Blah blah school and stuff. Not what I want to write about. Oh, I remember. I heard this on the radio on the way home from the test and liked it.
Grace Potter and The Nocturnals – “Paris (Ooh La La)”
Sorry about all the short posts lately. I have the attention span of a gnat. Also, my face hurts. Although not as much as I was afraid it would. This whole procedure sounds more painful than it has turned out to be. Thank the whatever from high atop the thing. Seems like it would have been fairly simple, right?
Not so simple. Fake teeth don’t have roots. They have screws. Screws that have to be longer than the roots because, I don’t know, they just do. And in order for the new fake tooth to be sturdy, the screw has to be completely surrounded by bone. Can’t have the end of it sticking out in space. It wouldn’t be as sturdy. (What space? Right, the space in the sinus cavity above my teeth and behind my cheek.) The solution is to fill in some of the space with bone. I didn’t ask where they got the bone. Maybe I should have. Anyway, that’s what they did. My sinus cavity is not as big as it once was, and I have a screw sticking out of the hole where my molar used to be. Once it heals completely (about four months), I’ll get a nice new fake tooth.
In the meantime, I get several days on the couch. I’ve watched movies (Whale Rider – good, Saint Ralph – good), lots of TV (catching up on Scrubs and The Good Wife), started watching Harry Connick, Jr’s latest concert DVD (In Concert on Broadway – my good buddy Geoff Burke is in it! Very exciting. (I realize that seeing him play from 3 feet away for an hour and than talking to him for a grand total of maybe 15 minutes at the bar does not a best-friendship make (wait – I haven’t told you about that yet), but don’t think I won’t use every connection I can think up to get backstage the next time Harry is in town. Besides, he was cool. And really good.)), and played on the internet. A lot. And I finished my book (The Forever War). It was very good (as expected). I’d been looking for it in used bookstores everywhere I went, but couldn’t find it, so I finally bought it new. I’m glad I did. The latest edition has a foreword by John Scalzi, who has quickly become my favorite contemporary science fiction author. And blogger.
I’m rambling, so I’m going to quit here and soak up some of this sun before it dissolves into more torrential rain (yesterday was CRAZY with the rain) and read my book on the deck.
…to miss New Orleans? [Written Wednesday night, March 30th, edited today.]
Honestly, I haven’t left yet, but I imagine I’ll know pretty soon. These last two nights have been among the best ever. Everyone I know is missing out. Last night, I went to Preservation Hall and met Shannon Powell (drummer for Harry Connick, Jr, for six years (not anymore) and on what I consider to be his three best albums), and tonight I saw Mr. Powell play at the Palm Court Jazz Cafe with some awesome New Orleans musicians AND Jerry Weldon and Wendell Brunious, both of whom have played (and do play) with Harry Connick, Jr. Jerry Weldon plays tenor saxophone, and I swear I recognized his tone (not his face) the minute he started playing. Have you heard him play “A Nightingale Sang on Berkeley Square”? I have, at least a thousand times. I’d recognize that sound anywhere. (Branford Marsalis plays it on the album, but Jerry plays it on The New York Big Band Concert video, which I unfortunately only have on VHS. That will change soon.)
Here’s how it went: Last night, Shannon told me he’d be playing at the Palm Court tonight at 8. I made plans with a coworker (that would be Crazy) to go there for dinner. She got waylaid by our clients, so I went there by myself, still expecting her to show up once she got rid of them. (She never did.) I walked in the door a little before 8, and when the hostess asked me if I wanted to sit at the bar, I said (a little excitedly), “I’m here for the band. And the food.” She laughed a little (at me, I’m sure), and gave me a table for two right at the edge of the stage.
The band came on, Shannon popped over to say hi, and they were great. At the first break, I stopped the bass player (Richard Molton) to tell him how much I enjoyed his playing (he was really good). He said he hadn’t been playing this kind of music lately (since Katrina), and he felt out of his element. I told him it didn’t show. He asked me if I was local. I said no, and he said he thought I knew Shannon. (!) I explained. Nice guy. Then I left him alone to take his break. Shannon came by to say hi again, sat down at my table. (Wait – it gets better.) He said, “Your favorite trombone player is here.” “No…” He nodded. “Introduce me?” He did. We walked over to a table near the back of the restaurant, and I met Lucien Barbarin, hilarious and fantastic trombone player for Harry Connick, Jr. SO cool. I went back to my table and texted Corey, “I just met Lucien.” His response: “This is epic. Get pictures!” Pictures! Of course! I went back to Lucien’s table and said something like (I’d had two hurricanes, so I’m not sure exactly what I said), “Excuse me. I’m sorry to interrupt you again, and I know this is a bit fangirl-ish, but could I get a picture of the two of us?” He’s a gentleman and all-around nice guy, so of course he said that would be fine. I handed my phone off to I don’t know who (maybe Richard?), and got my picture of me and Lucien.
And then I got a picture of me and Shannon.
I have a picture of me and Richard, too, but it’s way worse than those two. We’re backlit and you can barely make out our fuzzy faces.
The band went back on for their second set, but this time, they had a few people sit in. Wendell Brunious on trumpet, Jerry Weldon on tenor saxophone, and some guy whose name I didn’t catch on guitar joined in. It’s amazing to me that these guys can sit in with a band used to playing together and pick up on all the arrangements. Or, if they don’t, everyone can handle it. They’ll all figure it out, play well together, handle any hiccups, and the audience will never know. Professionals. So cool.
Did I mention the singer? Topsy Chapman, who was fantastic, did “At Last” and I nearly cried.
After the second set ended, I told the trombone player how much I enjoyed his playing (that might have happened after the first set – he looked like he was having SUCH a good time), I talked to Richard the bass player again (found out he’s been playing his second best bass since Katrina because his first one was destroyed after sitting in something like nine feet of water), said goodbye to Lucien and Jerry (Lucien hugged me!), talked briefly with the younger guys who were with Lucien (both playing in Harry’s orchestra – one subbing for a couple of weeks, one who’s been with him for ten years – oh my god!), and then Shannon offered me a ride to my hotel. We were walking out with him and his trumpet player (not Wendell). I told him that wasn’t necessary, he didn’t need to drive me home. He asked me if I’d rather walk. ‘Not really.” (It was late and it would have taken me at least half an hour.) So he dropped me off at my hotel. I have the date and time of his next gig (tomorrow night), and I will be there.
I was there, it was awesome, and I will tell you about it very soon. But first, a couple more pictures from that night.
John told me a number of times that I should go to Preservation Hall, so Tuesday morning I looked up the website. I recognized the name of the guy playing that night (because I’m a big Harry Connick, Jr fan and a bit of an obsessive nerd, I happened to know off the top of my head that Shannon Powell was the drummer for his big band in the early nineties (We Are In Love is possibly my favorite album)), so I planned to go after work. First set started at 8pm. Unfortunately, I had to get through the whole day first. I invited my coworker, who I’ll call Crazy (the only other person on this trip who actually works for my company – everyone else we worked with that week works for our client agency), and we got invited to dinner with one of the clients. I didn’t particularly want to hang out with anyone from the agency after working hours (I was hoping to relax. I didn’t want to be on anymore.), but I didn’t have a not-rude way out just then. Anyway, she wasn’t interested in going to Preservation Hall. I could handle dinner.
Dinner was uneventful, even boring, especially because Crazy bailed on me. It started pouring down rain (like flooding rain – we could have swum down Canal Street), and she called to tell me she was staying in. I had an teeny umbrella that barely kept my head dry, but nothing was keeping me from Preservation Hall that night, so I met my client coworker outside her hotel, and we ran through the rain to the Palace Cafe. Got drenched from about mid-thigh down. The food was good (I had andouille crusted fish – spicy and delicious), the conversation was boring, and as soon as I dropped client coworker back at her hotel, I headed out.
If you’ve never been, Preservation Hall (at least where the band plays) is this tiny little room with dirty wood plank flooring, a few wooden benches in the middle of the room (maybe four) and along the walls, a row of cushions up front, and some standing room in the back. The entrances to the room are on the left side if you’re facing the street (and the band). There are two doorways on that side, one near the front of the room and one near the back. You go in through the back and leave out the front, and the doorway near the front is right by the band. When I came in ($12 cover, and $2 for traditional requests, $5 for other requests, $10 for “When the Saints Go Marching In”, noted on a little sign on the wall behind the band), the band was playing, and as I passed the front doorway, I looked in, saw Shannon Powell (Shannon Powell!), and he waved at me and gave an enthusiastic “Hey!” That was awesome. I gathered he really liked to see people come in to hear him play. There were a ton of people there already, so I joined the crowd in the back and found a spot where I could see. Sort of. If I stayed on my toes and looked over a guy’s shoulder. Still, the music was awesome, and we all had a good time. The set ended about nine, maybe a little before, and I stuck around for the next set. I watched the people leaving talk to members of the band (Shannon Powell on drums, Lars Edegran on piano, Clive somebody on trumpet, somebody else on bass, and Scott somebody on trombone) as they filed past them on their way out that front doorway, and I decided I’d talk to Shannon and gush a little on my way out after the next set. I found a better spot along the right-hand wall for the second set. The crowd this time around wasn’t as lively. I was the most enthusiastic person there, clapping to the beat, having a wonderful time. Totally fun, and I decided to stay for the third set. How often will I get to see this? I’ll manage staying out late on a work night. My enthusiasm didn’t go unnoticed. After the second set ended, Mr. Powell came over to meet me. Wanted to know who his fan was, I think. It turns out he said hi to me when I came in because I look like someone he used to work with who left town a while back. He thought she may have been back for a visit. Yeah, that’s not me. But still, I’m an enthusiastic fan. He asked me what I was drinking (I didn’t have a drink), and I said nothing right now. He beckoned me along after him. We went across the street and stepped into a bar. (Johnny White’s.) I was feverishly trying to think of what to order that wouldn’t be either gross (to me) or totally lame (to him). He asked, I said rum and coke, he said he’s drinking rum, too (rum and orange juice, I think), I said that sounds good, and he ordered me one. And waved me away when I reached for my wallet. He bought me a drink. ! We chatted a little (where am I from, where are you touring next, etc), and he asked me if I wanted to hang out with the band later. I panicked a little, said I couldn’t, I’m here for work, and I have a presentation in the morning. Lies! My presentation was the day after, in the afternoon. He said something about getting my number so we can stay in touch and catch up when he comes to DC. (I was thinking to myself that I was not that captivating during that conversation. Still, he’s didn’t come across as sleazy. Just friendly.) Anyway, I regretted the presentation lie and decided I’d tell him I mixed up the days if he asked again. (He didn’t.) He said he’s playing at the Palm Court the next night (Wednesday). I asked about it, and he said they have great food, great music. I said I’ll be there. We went back to the hall for his third set, and I took my spot back on the wall. Good third set (the crowd was better than for the second set). We all danced at the end. The guy hugging the wall behind me thanked me on behalf of the band for being able to clap on the right beat (2 and 4 as opposed to 1 and 3 like a few idiots in the audience). I tipped the band (as you do), and Shannon said “Palm Court tomorrow?” “I’ll be there at 8.” I headed out and walked back to my hotel, grinning like an idiot at everyone I passed (it was a little before midnight), and called Mindy to rave about my evening. What did she want to know? “What are you going to wear tomorrow?” We have priorities. It was SO. MUCH. FUN.
I’m back home, where spring has sprung, but it’s not warm enough for me. Not after a week of mid-70s in New Orleans. Not after only needing a jacket late at night on my way home a jazz club. And speaking of weather and jazz and awesomeness, if I hadn’t made notes during the week, I wouldn’t know where to begin. Since I did, I’ll begin at the beginning.
I got to New Orleans Saturday afternoon and made it to my hotel. Pretty straightforward. Finding my room after that was not so simple. I was in Building 2 (or was it Building B?), which is up an escalator, up another escalator, across the breezeway, forward and then around to the left, past the gift shop that wasn’t open even ONCE the whole week, up an elevator, down a hall, and around another corner. The gym (which I faithfully visited every morning except for the third, fourth, fifth, and sixth days), was back the way I’d come in and then another half-mile in the opposite direction from the front desk and up four floors. It was a workout just to get there.
Everyone else (Mom, Dad, Mindy, Corey, Candy, and Gaby – we were only missing John and Mark) got there a few hours later, and after dinner, Mindy, Corey, Candy, and I headed to Bourbon Street. That was…something. I may not have been in the right mood. Crowded, loud, dirty. We wound our way through throngs of girls in short prom dresses, frat boys, and vomit. We did find a Dixieland band playing in a bar, though (Fritzel’s European Jazz Pub – beware the link if your speakers are on: music starts playing as soon as you land on the page). That was cool. Something I learned (although not that night): many musicians would rather you didn’t call it Dixieland. Traditional New Orleans Jazz is the preferred term.
The next morning (Sunday – it was a beautiful morning), we had brunch at Brennan’s. I could do that every week. You’d have to roll me home every week, but WOW. Loved the place, loved the strawberries and cream, LOVED the bananas foster and crepes fitzgerald. My entree was meh, but everyone else’s was reallyreally good, and I tried them all. From there, we hopped the streetcar to the Garden District (after changing into our UK gear – Go CATS!). Those houses are amazing.
Detour to talk about the weather. It was so warm. SO warm. And breezy, and wonderful, and WARM. All the windows (big windows) on the streetcar were open and it felt so nice. /detour
A little after 4pm (game time!), we hopped off the streetcar and Corey and Candy asked a nice stranger where we might be able to find a sports bar. You can’t run around during March Madness with your UK gear on and NOT watch the game. He sent us to one a couple of blocks away, practically empty, except for three people together at the bar and maybe another guy. Just after halftime, one of the three at the bar walked by our table on her way back to her seat. She was wearing a UK shirt, too, and Corey high-fived her. Mindy and I looked at each other. She looked really familiar to both of us, but it’s a little ridiculous of us to assume we know everyone in the world wearing a UK shirt, right? Well, right, except not in this case. I went over to ask her. “Are you from [town redacted]?” “Yes.” “Did you go to [high school redacted]?” “Zannah?” So, yeah, we went to high school together, had friends in common (loyal commenter IBCRandy, among others), remembered each other vaguely, but enough. Totally weird. She lives in the neighborhood we were in. What are the odds? The stars aligned for me this whole trip, but more on that in another post (or three). So that was cool. And UK won, which was also cool. Too bad they couldn’t keep that up.
Dad, Corey, Candy, and Gaby all left on Monday (after breakfast at the Cafe du Monde, where we watched Gaby wallow in powdered sugar), and I went to work for a few hours. I came back to find Mom and Mindy waiting in my room (it was kind of sad to come back after work the next day and have no one to meet me). Mindy made an inspired dinner decision (I think it was her choice), and we went to the Grapevine Wine Bar. No live music, but the wine made up for that. We killed three bottles and ate appetizers (scallops, beef medallions, cheese and crackers, baked brie, and something else…mussels!) and skipped dessert. Partly because who needs dessert after three bottles of wine, and partly because fudge cheese didn’t sound particularly appetizing. I’m not making that up.
On our tipsy way back to the hotel after dinner, we met a three-man a capella group on the corner somewhere along Decatur and sang with them. Met some people on the way back home (all new friends), and then Mom and Mindy left the next morning (Tuesday). Tuesday night is when my solo adventures started, and I’ll get into them tomorrow. I’m typed out.