January 23, 2008

Happy Half-Birthday To Me

Six months from today, I'll be hitting the Big 4-0, and guess what I got to celebrate this auspicious occasion? Yep, acute biceps tendinitis with a little bit of thoracic outlet syndrome thrown in. Pretty much what I self-diagnosed off of WebMD (I AM a doctor, remember), but my PCP (no, not the angel dust, the other one) confirmed my findings this morning. It's been bugging me for over 6 months now, but what with the sling/ass busting incident in New Orleans and my left hand repeatedly going numb while driving(!), I decided to call for a consult. So now I get the pleasure of several sessions of physical therapy and a round of oral cortisone. I'm not gonna get hair on my boobs or anything, am I?

Also, it's my broham's full-fledged birthday today, so Feliz Cumpleanos all around. We're exactly 4.5 years apart, both born on Tuesdays, even. Which I'm sure you already guessed based on my incredible gracefulness.

January 17, 2008

Presto Change-o

Actually, not exactly presto, but definitely change-o. The Great Living Room Makeover of 2008 is now complete! Ever since we built this house over 2 years ago, the plan was to someday get a new, bigger couch, maybe some chairs, maybe a rug, or whatever to change up the living room. See, I'm a big fan of COLORES en la casa, but I wanted to do the living room in neutrals, even though some would say that I'm taking my sanity into my own hands by putting light-colored upholstery anywhere near anyone under the age of 35. Well, screw 'em cuz I did it.

Over the last year or so, I've been collecting the pieces to the puzzle, bit by bit. First the wood and wicker chairs, then new fabric for the ottoman/coffee table, then the jute rug, then a new tablecloth and pillows. I was satisfied with that for the time being since, due to The Great TV Debacle of 2007, when our small couch got moved upstairs to the gameroom, I had reconfigured the room with just the two chairs, the ottoman, and a table. But then we got the new Big Ass TV downstairs, and for extended viewing, the chairs weren't nearly as comfy as a couch, and that GD Pottery Barn catalog kept showing up in my mailbox, taunting me, and so now here we are. Yes - it turns out that not only did I get my awesome vacuum for Christmas, I got this, too:

It came yesterday, and I almost slept on it last night I love it so. It's hard to tell in the picture, but it's a brown and off-white ticking, and it's quite deep. Our living room isn't that big, and the piano takes up a good bit of one end of it (I have plans for that, too ... someday), but something about all the neutrals in there now makes it seem bigger. Anywho, I'm pleased as punch. Which will not be allowed in this house until I Scotchguard the shit out of the new couch.

January 15, 2008

What's a Paperboy To Dooooo?*

I know, I know. Can it. I've spent the last week trying to get the whole famdamily back on the school/work schedule, and we're all exhausted. It seems that The Holidays really take it outta ya, but I think we're back on track because after the alarm went off this morning, there was no crying, complaining, or teeth gnashing to start the day. And the girls did pretty well, too.

But ... flashback to two weeks ago, and T-Bone and I were spending our anniversary in New Orleans - yay!!! We had a big family celebration for Peach's (8th!) birthday on the 29th and then took off early the next morning from Houston, where my mom kept Peach and Olive while we were gone. Which was so very bizarre and took me a while to get used to because T-Bone and I haven't gone anywhere together, sans children, since Peach was 6 months old, and we had to go to his brother's wedding in Portland. Before that, we hadn't been anywhere together since our honeymoon in Santa Fe. But one year and a few days before that, we went to - guess where - New Orleans, where we got engaged. All this to say, I guess it was time for us to step out on our own, and my little anal retentive self loved the whole full-circleness of it all.

To get to the obvious bit first, post-Katrina New Orleans is doing well. It's the same, and it's different. The population is down by about half, and it shows in the amount of cars on the road, the number of houses for sale or rent, and the number and type of new businesses cropping up, and old businesses shutting down. As a tourist, you might notice that there are fewer hotel rooms and amenities available therein due to the decrease in available employees. Same thing with the restaurants, many of which aren't able to offer lunch service quite yet. BUT, the folks who ARE there, the ones who've come back or never left to begin with, are so happy to be there and are so happy for YOU to be there. We talked to a lot of people, in shops, restaurants, and on the street, and whether their livelihood depends on you or not, they're glad you're there, and they'll tell you so, over and over. I hugged more people those four days than I have since our wedding, so, again with the perfect circle.

Katrina is still very much on the minds and in the words of the people who live there, as it should be. My mom grew up in Galveston, and people still talk about Carla like it was yesterday, not to mention The Big One. It's brought about a new reality, but the heart and soul of the city is the same. People are upset and disappointed with the way things were handled during and after the storm, but they're trying their best to move on. That said, we did NOT take a "Katrina Tour," the very idea of which makes me angry, but that didn't mean some of our fellow revelers weren't up for it. Like the woman with the giant map asking our hotel concierge, "Now, where were those levees? We want to go see those levees that broke." Or the woman sitting behind me (natch) on the plane who, as we were coming in to New Orleans, said, "Oh kids, look. See that water? That's from Katrina. And those used to be roads, but they got flooded from Katrina." I could barely contain myself:

(tap, tap) Hi. It's me, up here in 13A. Yeah, that water has not been standing there for TWO years, dipshit, it's always there, and those "roads" you're pointing to are now, and have always been, canals. But please, regale us further with your verbal diarrhea and misinformation. I'm sure the folks behind you, who actually live here, love being schooled by insensitive, FOX News-watching assholes like you.

So I only said it to T-Bone, but I did give that bitch The Over the Shoulder Stink-Eye/Head Shake. She heard me. Anywho, we DID take a cemetery tour, which I'd never done before, and it was so fascinating. We went with a more history- and architecture-based tour outfit, leaving the ghosts and the voodoo to the throngs of football fans in town for the Sugar Bowl. Y'all. I've never been to Hawaii, but now I feel like I have. 20,000 strong! It was amazing - entire families, from grandmas to newborns, all in Hawaii Warrior gear. And they were everywhere, having a ball. The Georgia fans outnumbered them 2 to 1, of course, but it was still very impressive to see that kind of support. And I thought it was funny that the media called the game The Peaches vs. The Pineapples. Because I think things like that are funny. So there.

Speaking of food, Lawsy did we eat some good grub. Conch, even! But that was kinda by accident. We had reservations at Dominique's for New Year's Eve, but the restaurant neglected to tell anybody beforehand that they were only offering a Tasting Menu. So after some confusion (not just us), and some lame complainers (no, not us), we were treated to four fancy entrees ranging from a seafood salad affair, served in a conch shell, to duck ravioli with foie gras. Yeah, me neither. So, actually T-Bone tried four fancy entrees, plus two of my fancy entrees. And for dessert? A sweets sampler plus green apple cotton candy! Definitely the most expensive meal we've ever had, but even though I didn't eat half of it, I was plenty full when we left. After that, we rang in the New Year in Jackson Square, enjoying the lovely fireworks shooting out over the Mississippi while either a giant bowl of gumbo or a giant Baby Bacchus (we got conflicting info) dropped from atop Jax Brewery. Whatever, it was so fun.

Our first night, we ate at Ralph's on the Park, which was really good, but it was Peach's birthday, and I was feeling a little blue by the end of the day, so we opted not to stay for dessert. My favorite meal, by far, was at Bayona on New Year's Day. My fish had guacamole on it, y'all! And green chile grits! Delish! And we followed up with a white chocolate tart with grapefruit on top. Yum ... And yes, of course, we hit Cafe du Monde - twice in 12 hours - for some hot fried dough and a shitload of powdered sugar.

Believe it or not, we did other things besides eat. We went to the Aquarium, played some slots at Harrah's, and poked around on Magazine Street. I didn't buy much - just some chocolates for Peach and Olive at this cute place and a picture frame from Save NOLA. While we were in there, this dumbass woman actually said to the salesgirl, "Who's Nola?" That was right after she asked her what the shirt with the crescent moon and the word "city" meant. Gawd. Oh, and to show you how cool I am, I completely busted ass in the middle of Royal Street because I was too busy looking at these faboo pillows in a shop window, and I tripped on a piece of wood or something. All the way to the ground, hands slapping the pavement, the whole nine. Which did wonders for my gimpy shoulder, for which I had already fashioned a sling-type thing with my purse strap. T-Bone said I fell because I was wearing too many clothes, and I couldn't move fast enough to catch myself. Probably partly true, but it was SO cold the last day we were there. It was sunny and beautiful, but the WIND was insane. And nobody down there is used to that kind of cold either, so everybody was bitching about it. Again, funny to me.

Overall, we had a great time, and my only disappointments were that: 1) My big plans for us volunteering with Habitat for Humanity one day were foiled by the holiday work schedule; and 2) The actual spot where we got engaged in '96:

has been replaced by this:

which was one of like three or four on Bourbon Street alone. Looks fun, right?

Please. We actually didn't spend any time on Bourbon Street other than to take these pictures. But I did see my favorite T-shirt hanging in a shop down there: I got Bourbon-faced on Shit Street. It was one of the few that didn't have some anti-FEMA slogan or bizarre sexual reference to Katrina on it.

So I missed my girls something awful, but I enjoyed spending time with the hubs, too. The whole time we were there, we kept thinking about how fun it would be to bring Peach and Olive sometime and all the things we could do with them. I also made some mental notes for when T-Bone hits the Mega Power Ball Multi-State Super Freakout Lotto and we want to buy a little place in the Garden District. He really is very lucky, so it's good to be prepared.

* If you haven't seen the "Oh, Streetcar!" episode of The Simpsons, go. Now.

January 8, 2008

Expanding on a Theme Here

Two of my favorite things. Happy Birthday, King.

January 6, 2008


We're back. And after eating my way from the Mississippi River to Lake Pontchartrain and back - several times - I decided to go with something light for breakfast this morning. And then I thought tohellwithit and ate TWO of T-Bone's delicious homemade yeast rolls with some Steen's. Take that, Annual New Year's Resolution #1.

Trip report to follow once I get all this Christmas nonsense picked up. Assuming, of course, that my left shoulder does not completely fall off, which, as we speak, it is in great danger of doing. And how's YOUR 2008?