Wednesday, September 26, 2012

September- the good, the bad, and the tired

Haven't blogged since well before Hurricane Isaac, and it's been a trying month or so. Trying to get back in the groove, but it's hard to blog, even about fun stuff, when I'm tired and/or sick and/or worried. Top reasons for whining!

  1. Isaac
  2. Tom broke his right arm and two ribs in a bicycle mishap on the Canal Street streetcar tracks. Reminder: always wear your helmet, that's why he just has broken bones and not a broken noggin.
  3. Late night ER visits
  4. Run down and sick
To balance out the whining list, here's a list of cool stuff that has happened this month, and I will expand on some of them in this blog post.
  1. Birthdays! (Tom's is on the 6th, mine is on the 15th)
  2. Weekend on the North Shore in a very nice B&B
  3. Good friends
  4. Fun visitors from out of town
  5. Awesome birthday dinner at SoBou
  6. Second lining
  7. Frenchmen Street and Debauche, a Russian band with a burlesque belly dancer
  8. Pie for breakfast
  9. Awesome New Orleans food (have eaten well at: Ancora, High Hat, Company Burger, Coquette, Killer PoBoys, NOLA Smokehouse, Hush Supper Club, The Joint, Pizza Delicious, SoBou, La Divinia, Cafe Minh, Franky & Johnny's, Magasin, and other numerous places.)
  10. Beer! (local beer geek bottle share, releases of NOLA Brewing MechaHopzilla and Hopitoulas in cans, as well as the Louisiana rollout of Goose Island.
Huh. Looking at the lists, the good stuff outweighs the bad by more than 2:1. I wonder why it's so much easier to get dragged down by the relatively small number of things in the bad list, than it is to be uplifted by the larger number of thins in the good list.

Let's expand on a few things listed, shall we?

Isaac: Man, for being in a house that didn't even lose electricity or have any damage, that was tough. It was hard to hear about neighbors being without power for 4, 5, 6 days. It was brutal to see reports of what was happening in LaPlace and Plaquemines Parish. It was frightening to hear the winds and being too afraid to fall asleep in case your windows blew out or something smashed them, or the tree in the neighbor's yard fell on your roof. It was extremely trying to be cooped up in the house (though safe, well fed, and with power and a lot of beer) for days. And the aftermath in New Orleans was horribly hot, humid, messy, and stinky, with everyone walking around kind of shell shocked. Isaac hit New Orleans 7 years to the day that Katrina did, which added a deep, horrible anxiety in the air before, during, and after the storm that was practically tangible. I spent a lot of time napping, drinking beer, and feeling guilty that I had power and others didn't. We were very, very lucky for this storm- I have no idea why our block was spared when all around us power was out - but it was still rough. 

I don't even want to get into all the ER visits around the broken arm and ribs. Suffice it to say. it sucked, and it continues to suck.

Went to Pearl River/Slidell the first weekend after Isaac- we'd had arrangements made to stay at a B&B there through a LivingSocial deal, and they were still open for business, even though the Pearl River itself was cresting and the inn had some small central AC issues in the main part of the house (happily, the rooms were nice and cool!) It was very relaxing. Both the accommodations and the breakfasts were great at Woodridge B&B, and we were able to swim and rest and relax and hang out with the resident cat (called Dammit due to its ability to blend with the night and make people trip over him) and drink beers at the Barley Oak and hang out for ice cream and dinner with our friend Amanda, who lives in Slidell.

The sign at the B&B

House cat

House dog

Krewe royalty wear


View from the terrace outside our room

British beer at the Barley Oak

Hot fudge sundae at old fashioned ice cream parlor

Tom's pistachio-pineapple malted milkshake

Soda/ice cream shop exterior
Dinner at SoBou was fun. Amanda (from Slidell) and I went out the night before my birthday and had a super time. Service was great, food was fantastic!  Particularly awesome: gumbo, Cajun Queso, oyster taco, the mac & cheese, and probably the best-prepared pork belly I've ever had. The cocktails were also amazing. We sat at one of the tap tables, but did not have any of the beer- we were warned that the beer comes out pretty foamy from those taps. Was OK, I was in the mood for cocktails anyway. (Protip: have the sherry cocktail at the end of the night! Excellent digestif) 

Some sort of awesome cocktail with thyme
(I cannot remember the name and cocktails are not listed on the website!)
Beer tap table

Cajun Queso- pork cracklins that you dip in homemade pimento cheese
 
Cochon de lait gumbo with potato salad
 
Steen’s molasses lacquered pork belly, served with dirty rice calas,
grilled green onion and ham hock stewed Louisiana red bean purée

Chocolate Coma Bar: a flourless dark chocolate torte with white chocolate mousse,
candied pecans & sea salt caramel covered in milk chocolate
and served with a shot of chicory coffee shake

Friends from out of town, Killer Poboys, birthdays, Debauche at Maison on Frenchmen Street, Frenchmen Market, Young Men Olympian Jr. second lining - all done in one weekend! Awesome time, many naps also incorporated. See pictorial essay below.
Birthday girl and visiting friend enjoying Pimms Cups while awaiting Killer PoBoys

Lovely dinner on the patio of the new(ish) Joint in the Bywater
 
Awesome shrimp and grits lunch at Coquette
 
Plenty of local color at Franky & Johnny's uptown

Twinking lights of the Frenchman Market

Embroidery of a ninja kicking the head off a robot. I KNOW, RIGHT????

Amazing shot (courtesy of S. Myers) of Debauche's belly dancer/bass drummer
standing on the upright bass player
 
PIE FOR BREAKFAST. YES.
(pecan-butterscotch pie with fresh whipped cream and homemade vanilla bean ice cream)
Waiting for the second line to arrive at LaSalle and Louisiana,
listening to the vendor cries:
2 for 5 cole cole Heinekens! Getcha some the Goose. Some of the good, good Grey Goose!

Second lining!

TUBA!

Pretty as a peacock

Steppin'

Urban cowboys!

Sunday night dinner. Delicious, as advertised.

Beer stuff will go on beer blog, which I must also update this week.

Moral of the story, if you've made it through this far: even when life stuff sucks, I still live in New Orleans, which is pretty rad. Keeps the bad to good ratio tilted in a positive direction many more days than not.

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