Sunday, October 20, 2013

Quick Update with 2 NOLA pics

Mom is better.  Her side still hurts, but she can sleep and bathe and get around normally, just with extra pain and achiness.  She's been taking Bayer Back and Body aspirin for the pain, but she's going to try to stop taking it today.  It's not addictive, but she just hates taking anything.  Good grief.

Annoyingly, I sent her two New Orleans postcards and one greeting card stuffed with pics of me and Greg in New Orleans, and they all arrived on the same day.  I deliberately space out mailing things to her so that she'll get mail more often -- many days she gets nothing and it disappoints her, she so loves getting mail -- and very often they all arrive together.  I suppose I need to mail one thing, wait until she gets it, then mail the next thing.

Here are a couple of photos from New Orleans: the first is Jackson Square, Greg is talking to one of the artists. The second is one of at least two silver buskers we saw.  We regret not asking: Why silver?  Now we notice that there's even one in the new Popeye's commercial.

Jackson Square

Silver guy 

Saturday, October 19, 2013


One of the things I was most looking forward to in New Orleans was seeing artwork.  Finding art galleries in the French Quarter, seeing artists selling their work in Jackson Square and in the French Market.  

Most of the time it's possible to find good artwork without even spending too much money.  We have a small watercolor of the fountain in the Piazza Navona that I bought during my fam trip to Rome,  a print of a watercolor of umbrellas in the rain that we bought from the artist's wife on the street in Manhattan, and also a print of the art installation The Gates that we bought from the photographer in New York.

Traveling: if I'm doing it right, I'm buying artwork.  Preferably from the artists themselves, and hopefully inexpensively (I have nothing against a good quality print).

Board Meeting by Jose Balli
We saw this black and white painting -which is large in real life, maybe 3 feet across - from the street as we were walking past a jewelry store.  We went in and it turned out to be a jewelry store/art gallery:  Jose Balli.  I slightly regret not buying a print, although for an unframed unmatted print it was kind of expensive.

Sherry Dooley, Outsider Artist we met in Jackson Square. I loved her work, which manages to be emotional, dark and yet pretty.  I bought a tiny print on a painted board of this painting:

Lucy Walks At Midnight by Sherry Dooley

I found an art gallery collective called RHINO (Right Here In New Orleans), and bought an original collage card made by an artist in her 90's.  How cute is this card?  She even glued a tiny pearl in the oyster.

Collage card by Bluma K

We also met J Hurt in Jackson Square.  He doesn't seem to have a website, but here is his Facebook page.  He had this one on display, he told us it was made with flyers from the House of Blues (I think it's funny that there's a Dave Attell one in the upper corner, he's a comedian, not a musician, but Greg and I are both big fans of his.)

not sure of the title, artist J Hurt

But the one artist who really blew us away was David Harouni.  We just came across his gallery wandering around the French Quarter, and it kind of ruined us for other artwork for a while, we'd walk past other galleries and not want to go in because we were still too full of David Harouni's art.  We bought nothing, because he only had original works for sale, and no prints or anything remotely affordable for us.  Oh, if only we had a few thousand dollars to spend on artwork.

not sure of the title, artist David Harouni
This is one of the paintings we saw that day in his gallery.  It's also quite large and much more impressive in person rather than looking at a 100k jpg image.  We spoke to him for a few minutes, he was nice but busy.  He had his easel and paints set up and had one large painting in progress, next to two boxers sleeping curled up together on a doggie bed.

We bought some cool art, saw some cool art, met some cool artists, so I'll call that part of our trip a success.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013


Mom fell yesterday.  She's not hurt badly, at least it doesn't seem like she is.  She was trying to bend over to get something out of a cabinet and lost her balance.  She fell and hit her back against the cabinet door.

She has a bruise on her ribs.  She doesn't want to see a doctor, and this time I think I agree with her.  Hopefully it's not the case, but even if her rib was cracked or broken, there's not much they can do, and going through a trip to the hospital and having an x-ray would be so hard on her.  She said it doesn't hurt to breathe, but it does hurt.

She told me not to worry about her.  But there is so much to worry about: what if she does have a broken rib, what if more damage is done, what if it gets worse, what if she's in too much pain, what if she tries to do too much without asking for help and it won't heal.  I didn't say any of that, I just made her promise to be still and ask for help to get dressed/undressed/etc.  I wish I could be with her to help her myself.

Sometimes I just feel so selfish, living where I want to live instead of being there where she needs me.  Sometimes it feels so awful to think that she is paying strangers to take care of her.

I hope she sleeps better tonight.


Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Just Me And My Baby

We went to New Orleans, and now we are back.

We decided the easiest thing to do would be to take the weekend to get ready, go on Monday morning, come back on Friday afternoon, and then have another weekend to recover.  I kind of admire people who just come to work with their suitcase in the trunk, go directly from the office to the airport, then come back from the airport to the office.  That's commitment to maximizing their travel time.  I once had a co-worker who did that, seemingly thoughtlessly, as though to do it any other way would waste time and be wrong.  Although she came back with a cold or a sinus infection or the flu almost every single time.

I'm feeling kind of low right now, which is probably a combination of post-vacation letdown, allergies making me tired, and the ugly gray weather. 

We had a great time in New Orleans, despite the rain there.  I agonized over whether to take my Nikon DSLR, trying to balance my desire to take photos with my desire not to carry around a heavy camera, but in the end I took it.  The rain kept me from using it much, I was only able to take it out for a half of one day.  I did also take a few hundred pics with my iPhone.  I'm still sorting through them all and will post some soon.

Our main goals for experiencing New Orleans were to eat great local food, go to bookstores and art galleries, and hear live music.  We definitely accomplished that.  We also wanted to get away, which we rarely do; away from work and responsibilities and normal everyday life.  Staycations are nice, but it's kind of a gyp when I am on "vacation" and yet still need to wash dishes and do laundry.

Culinary highlights were crawfish beignets and an alligator sausage po boy on Leidenheimer bread at the Market Café with a live band playing, a half muffaletta from Central Grocery which we shared at a table in a courtyard near the French Market area, jambalaya at Napoleon House, gumbo and boudin balls at a French Quarter restaurant called New Orleans Hamburger and Seafood Co. (our dinner was highlighted by a parade, we were eating upstairs when we heard the drums and we ran outside onto the balcony to watch it go by and they threw candy up to us).

We also had non-Creole or Cajun food twice: once we had lunch at a Mexican restaurant in the Quarter, it was delicious but the best part was taking the leftover margarita in a Go cup and walking around drinking.  Oh, New Orleans.  And once we had perfectly cooked medium rare hamburgers at the Wow Café on Canal Street; the hamburgers were the best part, but we did enjoy our dinner entertainment provided by the loud, laughing drunky people at the table next to us.

On the way there I made one rule: there are so many wonderful restaurants, we were absolutely not allowed to go back to the same place more than once, no matter how much we loved it.  We broke that rule immediately by having our first breakfast at The Ruby Slipper, which was both right by our hotel and completely delicious.  We ended up eating breakfast there every day but once (we had café au lait and beignets at the Café Du Monde for breakfast one day), enjoying barbecue shrimp and grits, poached eggs with pork debris, their own local coffee blend, two musicians playing on the street right outside, and the really nice waitress who wrote out a list of things for us to be sure to see and do.

My blog title is from the theme song to Treme, which we starting watching a few weeks ago.  It's so good, filmed on location in New Orleans, and now we are especially loving watching it and spotting places we've been.  The theme song is really catchy, and was playing in my head while I was there.

"Down in the Treme
Just me and my baby
We're all going crazy
Buck jumping and having fun"
~John Boutte

Hey look, the sun is out!  I can't seeeee!