On Friday, someone broke into my car and my dog exploded all over our house. Via his ass.

Best Friday ever, dontcha think?

I’m sure you want details, right? Well, details you shall have.

So, Friday. My coworker, our wedding photographer (who also works with us) and I went to a tasty Italian place where we talked about babies, baby names, and babies. It was one of those occasions that was so lovely, it was a shame it could only last an hour. Ha. If we only knew what was in store for us as we left the restaurant…

When we got to the parking lot, my coworker warned me to watch out when backing out of the spot – there was glass everywhere. Then when we looked up, we realized the chunks of blue glass all over the parking lot were from my front passenger window. And my three-year-old Garmin was missing.

The police were called, and we spent the next two hours trying to find a shop vac with which we could suck up the bazillion pieces of shattered glass from my car. And then we layered clear plastic – straight from a Dollar Store poncho – over the window opening and sealed it with Dollar Store duct tape. I then drove my hooptie ride down I40 at 70mph to get home to…

Dog poo ALL OVER THE HOUSE. Murphy got violently ill and it was everywhere. Walls, carpet, camera bags. Nothing was spared from the brown stream of nastiness. And in an act of desperation, Allan, my angel of a husband, cut the carpet apart. Just cut a big ole chunk out rather than deal with it.

You see, while I was in Durham with the police, Allan left work to come home and deal with the shit. Literally. By the time I got home, there was a mild odor, a few missed spots on the wall and stained carpet. He took care of everything else.

Allan gets a gold star.

If you’re wondering how Allan knew to come home, our friend is unfortunately unemployed in this awful economy, and he comes over during the day so his dog and Murphy can play together. (Hi, Phil!) So he walked in, saw the horror, debated about what to do, and eventually called Allan. He then proceeded to take my sick dog for a walk (where he continued to get sick) and stayed with him until Allan got home.

Phil gets a gold star, too.

I had my window repaired yesterday morning. A new Garmin is on my list of things to buy. A Rug Doctor got the poo stains out. And we’re going to hire someone to try to fix the missing chunk of carpet rather than re-carpet the entire upstairs of our house.


Allan and I had a tiff this morning. A minor disagreement. Nothing to be concerned about. In fact, in the 2+ years of our relationship, we’ve only had one fight. And it was because, well, he was being a butthead. And so was I. But my feelings were hurt, so, well, we had a fight.

So, anyway, back to the tiff.

This morning there was a tiny, black spider slowly inching his way across our bathroom floor. And Allan wanted to kill it. Squish it. End its life in a tuft of toilet paper. And I screamed and ‘strongly encouraged’ him to release the spider into the yard. So, wearing nothing but a brown towel wrapped around his wet waist, he softly folded the spider in a tissue and released him onto our back patio. Then he proceeded to tell me that I was retarded.

If I, someone who has a dime-sized hole in the calf of my right leg because of a Brown Recluse, wants to let spiders live, surely Allan can get behind me. But he’s a boy – a southern boy at that – and so he wants to kill things, whether it be with guns or his bare hands or toilet paper. It’s the southern way.

Ok, so, this is going to shock the living crap out of some of you, but it’s true: I get paid to write. And I’m good at it. I can whip up a mean press release and, man, was I good at term papers. Give me some facts, some complex ideas, and I can turn them into something simple. I can take the difficult and make it easy to understand. It’s one of my few skills.

But this guy, Serge Bielanko, author of Thunder Pie, a blogger from Utah, he can write. This particular article was written about the impending birth of his first son and you should totally read it.

If I could write one sentence like him, or one sentence like Pat Conroy or Anita Shreve, I would consider myself a writer. And even though that’s technically what I am now – a writer – I’m more of a corporate lackey, you know?

So, here’s my schedule starting this past Thursday (two days ago) and ending next Friday.

Thursday: work
Friday: work
Saturday: on-call
Sunday: work
Monday: work
Tuesday: work
Wednesday: on-call
Friday: work

It may seem like a big DUH that I have to work those days… until you look closely at the Saturday and Sunday part. Then you get clued-in that I’m not talking about my day job. All those references to work are about the arena. So in this eight-day stretch I will work approximately 78 hours. And that’s only if I’m not called-in. If I am, knock that number up to 90. Hoo boy! I’m in for a good time!

While I was away this weekend, I got 453 pieces of junk mail. The internet loves me! It really loves me!

Um, anyway.

Allan and I spent the past three days in New Orleans. The weather was perfect (sunny and 65 deg), the food was tasty and the people-watching was fantastic. Because I am tired and lazy, I’m going to do the bulk of this post in short little bursts of paragraphs. There will be no rhyme, reason or pattern. It’s basically going to be me writing as the thoughts pop into my head. Ok? Ok!

I didn’t realize the French Quarter was separated from the New Orleans urban sprawl by only a street. Once you cross Canal Street – boom – it’s like you’re in a different town, a different country even. But if you look behind you, all you see are skyscrapers. It’s a bit unnerving.

I didn’t anticipate all of the nudie bars on Bourbon Street. Maybe I should have, but I didn’t.

Bourbon Street doesn’t seem to be a good representative of the rest of the French Quarter. It’s full of cheap trinket stores, bars, nudie bars, bars and more bars. The rest of the area has shops, restaurants and culture. I enjoyed both.

When throwing beads from a balcony overlooking Bourbon Street, I learned that unless the recipient of the beads is making eye-contact with you, it’s more like you’re throwing the beads AT them instead of TO them. And vendors on the street do not want your beads. Don’t try to give them to them, don’t try to wrap them around their neck – they do NOT want them. And they are mean about it. I know this because I saw tourist/vendor interaction from my perch on the balcony.

Street car drivers will fill their vehicles beyond capacity before they’ll pass up a passenger. And when I say ‘beyond capacity,’ I mean you will become intimate with a stranger in six seconds flat because you’ll basically sit on their lap and hold their hand.

Oh, New Orleaneans love their Saints. There are Saints hats and shirts, bras and thongs, dog collars and beer mugs and beads and anything else you can think of. The Saints are absolutely everywhere in that town. Truth be told, I felt more love for the Saints in New Orleans than for the Steelers in Pittsburgh. (I’m waiting for lightning to strike me dead or someone to revoke my Native Pittsburgher Card or something now that I’ve written that sentence.)

French Quarter architecture is enchanting with its huge windows, gilded balconies and diverse color schemes.

Our hotel was like an aging beauty queen. Beautiful bones, a lot of charm, and in need of some botox.

We had an $86 breakfast at Brennan’s. This morning I had a $4 breakfast at the company cafeteria. Guess which one tasted better. If I were you, I’d save $76 and get a Croissandwich from Burger King. And get a recipe for Bananas Foster online. But if you *do* go to Brennan’s, you’ll want to bring a jacket or wear a dress to avoid being seated in the Rif-Raf Room (which is where we sat).

The Garden District is as pretty as it sounds, however, we saw no gardens. The houses are huge and elegant and vastly different from one another. My favorite part was the sidewalk situation. Massive old trees dot the streets, and their roots have grown under and destroyed many sidewalks. It’s like the roots are saying, “Concrete! You are no match for me! I will destroy you!” And they do. The roots of the trees totally destroy the sidewalks in a way that makes me want to cheer loudly for Mother Nature.

I took pictures of a lot of houses in the Garden District, and one of my favorites turned out to be Sandra Bullock’s. Had I known it was Sandra Bullock’s house, I would not have taken pictures. It made me feel like paparazzi and I felt dirty.

With the exception of dinner on Saturday, I tried new foods at each and every meal. I really enjoyed the scallops St. Louis but I wasn’t a huge fan of andouille sausage.

Jackson Square is more beautiful – and smaller – in person.

To me, New Orleans felt like three towns all rolled into one. Because of its stately homes and amazing architecture, it felt like Charleston, SC. Because of its laid-back vibe, it felt like Key West. And because of the debauchery and party, party, party possibilities, it felt like Old Vegas. Not new Vegas, but Old Vegas that revels in its ridiculousness.

Reading this may make you vomit in your mouth a little bit, but my favorite part of the trip was at Borders. We stopped to look at maps. As I rode the escalator to the second floor, I noticed Allan standing at the top. He stood there and smiled at me for the duration of my ride. When I got to the top, he kissed me. It was like that scene in Shall We Dance, and it made me smile down to my toes.