New Orleans, LA   


Sept. 16-22, 2002

I awoke to the feeling of pre-vomit after having a sinus-infection-like thing that day. I swayed side-to-side with the train, lurching, telling my body, "You can't puke yet! we're almost there!" Attempts to hack backed up phlegm were preceded by a mildly tangy citrus chicken Amtrak meal now reduced to white fatty blobs, shredded carrot and green beans almondine. Eventually, I got it all out, brushed my teeth and analyzed my yellow, slightly blemished skin. I am not pretty.

Much rain. It stopped. We ate somewhere around Bourbon Street and got a food buzz. At the Krazy Korner, I puked in the bathroom while trying to clear my throat though I wasn't feeling nauseous. I threw up all over the sink, dripping snot and vomit from my nose. I quickly cleaned it up. We headed back to the room for rest and bad tv. I had an unusually strong stench of garlic shrimp (or crawfish? can't remember) and vomit in my nose. So, I blew it and some etoufee sauce and a square chunk of onion shot out.

Thursday night: we skipped into the Shim Sham for 80s night where my leg was greeted by someone's vomit. Eventually, we struck up conversation with some German medical students... the one I was talking to was a red headed version of Chris Connelly and was going into gastro... whatever... because he thinks intestines and gas are funny. Much fun! There are two food places you should go to on Bourbon... both are owned by a retired Armenian boxer and you can tell b/c his press clippings are up at the gyro place. The second place is to the left of it, a pizza stand. And their pizza BEATS any I've had in Chicago! We met the boxer, too! He drives a gigantic black SUV with black tinted windows and parks it right in front (not like that's impressive or anything because it isn't but in case you see...).

Garden District. Headed toward friend's area, crossed paths for a few moments but missed each other again eventually.

Shim Sham again for Mission UK. Good show, tiny draw - I counted 50 some people. My friend called and I couldn't hear him while sprinting out of the bar, swearing the whole way... it was a nice, funny conversation... we were supposed to go to breakfast Sat. morning but that didn't work out.

... it was difficult to not do tourist stuff b/c the local neighborhood festivities weren't happening at the time. We consumed time at Harrah's Casino, the IMAX theater, saw "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" (it's ALL true, unfortunately), Audubon Park & Zoo, kite flying near the art museum, roaming and roaming ... my brother was more interested in infomercials, dating shows and air conditioning than walking. Beware, at the Cafe du Monde, if you leave your beignets and coffee sitting out unattended, pigeons will attack them!

The Audubon Zoo is the BEST DAMN ZOO! You could practically walk up to the elephant b/c the fence came up to one's knees! AND you can get within a few feet of the pool the elephant plays in. It stood still for a moment and rolled over like it was playing dead! It's trunk peeked out on our side, we stepped back wondering if it was going to spray us then it's trunk felt along the ground, finding its way to a hole. Dirt shot out, it's head peeked up and then consumed whatever it found in that hole. There wasn't any corporate sponsorship crap plastered all over the place like at Brookfield and there's a lot less concrete, more of a jungle feel with real stone, with Buddhist and Inca temple replicas. I was able to communicate with an orangutan for a bit... I clapped to get its attention, he looked over and made some goofy farting sounds with his mouth so I mocked him. The next 5 minutes consisted of us going back and forth, mocking each other, lifting our arms in the air making noises and clapping, smiling, hiding parts of our faces with our hands. Luckily, my brother captured this on video.

Train ride home sucked ass. If you're laying on one side too long, it hurts to take deep breaths, like all your guts fell all the way to one side. They only showed two movies, Spiderman and Clockers. People moved away from me at night from all the coughing.

- M