Many Things, Jan. 3, 2009

What with Christmas and then a quick trip to New Orleans followed by a head cold, I haven’t had much time to post, but have had some interesting/good things happen.  In no particular order they are:

  1. Digging out ye olde Neti pot, and though it is, to be quite honest, quite a dreadful experience to pour water into one nostril, let it circulate through all of your nasal passages, and then drip out the opposite nostril, it really is a magical cold healer.  Reminds me of that line in Six Degrees of Separation when they talk about cleaning the Sistine Chapel with Q-Tips and Water.  Saline and water, that’s all you need to clean out a cold.
  2. Watching Zippy the cat ferociously hunt the little toy bird we got her (complete with feathers.)  She would "kill" it, then pick it up in her mouth and stalk off with it as if she was afraid we were all going to make a mad rush for the bird and grill it for dinner.  Zippy really is a natural hunter.  Feels mean to keep her inside, but the two times she has gotten out for any extended period of time she was lost for DAYS.  (She is the type of cat who gets disoriented when outside, and so hides, and then of course stays hidden until someone comes and finds her.)
  3. Eating just shucked gulf oysters at Casamento’s in New Orleans.  $8.50 a dozen.  We’d been waiting in line for an hour or so, talking with this cute young couple who were on vacation together (she lives in Manhattan, he in Connecticut), and when we got to the place in line that is right beside the men shucking the oysters, one of the shuckers told us we could just dig right into the oysters while standing.  The shucker mixed a sauce up for us of horseradish, ketchup, tobasco and fresh lemon juice.  The oysters were cold and sweet and so, so fresh it is not an exaggeration to say they died in my mouth, enrobed in that yummy sauce.  The shroud of Casamento’s, I guess you could say.
  4. Eating shrimp remoulade at Galatoire’s, also in New Orleans. (Also eating broiled pompano topped with crab and steak with bernaise.) Galatoire’s is totally old school, with 2-paddled fans on the ceiling and mirrored walls.  It is a place where customers request a certain waiter rather than a certain table.  White tablecloths.  Crummers.  My waiter scolded me for using the wrong fork for my seafood.  (It was a good natured scolding, but man do I have a problem with place settings.  Never can remember what goes where, and which utensil to use.  And somehow I’m the kind of person that people feel comfortable correcting.)  Anyway, the shrimp was so firm, so fresh, so sweet, the sauce so over the top decadent and creamy…it was just really fun.  Started the meal off with a Sazerac, which is bitters, rye whiskey, lemon or orange peel, and absinthe.  It’s the kind of drink that should last you the whole night, though it’s often just the beginning.
  5. Turtle soup at Upperline, also in NOLA.  Good Lord was it rich.  Starts with a roux, I’m guessing, though what the hell do I know?  Finished with sherry, for sure, because I saw the server pour it on there.  Turtle soup is the darkest, richest, most savory stuff you’ve ever put in your mouth, and it makes the connection between food and sex real, real clear.
  6. Seeing even more of Kasey and Christa! Kasey, as I’ve mentioned, is soon moving to NY, but has been spending the last couple of weeks in Atlanta. Christa is visiting KC in the ATL, and will probably move to NY  with he in a couple of months.  Christa is this really talented haircutter who works with all of these fancy people in Mill Valley, CA.  Christa herself is very chill, and they type of woman who knows how to roast a chicken and hem a skirt.  You just sort of want to hang around her kitchen and pretend she’s your mama.  She and Kasey came over tonight and Christa cut my hair, which means I don’t have to schlep to Buckhead and pay 60 dollars to have it done.  (Though I love Katie.)
  7. Driving through the lower 9th ward with Andy Nelson, one of Alan’s good friends and a former writer for National Geographic who is now living in NOLA.  The Lower 9th Ward was almost completely deserted.  It was dark.  No street lights.  It felt haunted and real and in need of something.  Acknowledment? 
  8. Reading The House on First Streetby Julia Reed (while in New Orleans) and being able to go to all of the places she mentions.  She is such a great writer, though I do not envy her her big, old beautiful house.  Our biggish old beautiful house in Atlanta has pretty much kicked my ass.  Though I am a wimp when it comes to home renovation. (And it is a pleasure to sit in my living room with a fire going, the dog lying beside me as I read on the couch, the windows wide, their glass wavy.)
  9. Getting to spend romantictime with Alan in New Orleans.  Exploring the city together.  Both reading Julia Reed’s book so we could talk about it over dinner.  Eating biscuits and strawberry jam in the courtyard of the Soniat House, the trees around us green and leafing, even in the dead of winter. 
  10. Re-uniting with the animals when we returned home.
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