Thursday, October 29, 2009

Breaks My Heart

There's no good way to talk about this without making myself sound pretty bad and most likely offending at least a few of you. I apologize in advance; I realize now that my opinions may have been overly harsh and unfair and that by holding them I was perpetuating an attitude of ignorance. I am sorry for that. Here goes.

Homeless people used to really bother me; on a number of levels. (See? Told you it was harsh). Not that I was ever approached by that many in Lexington but there were a few times and I was cornered and asked for money and it always left me feeling more than a little uncomfortable. I was uncomfortable in part because it was usually strange men coming up to me at night and in part because I guess the thought of anyone living in such conditions was unnerving to me in general. I used to get frustrated too (and this is where is gets really bad) because I felt like, with few exceptions, we all have to work for whatever we have in life. "Here I am, working my butt off to get through school so that I can hopefully one day earn a decent living and you have the audacity to ask me for money?"; " Why not go out and get a job yourself?"; These are the kinds of things I thought. I rarely every carried cash anyway but on the rare occasion that I did have some, I'd have chewed on rusty nails before giving it away.

I have no idea why, but my mindset has completely changed since moving down here. Now I give money to just about anyone who asks me for it. Again, I still rarely carry cash but if I do happen to have some on me and someone asks if I can spare some change, I will. I rarely have more than a few dollars, or maybe a $5, but I dunno; for some reason it no longer bothers me to give that away. I don't know if its because in the people here I see a true desolation unlike anything I ever saw in Lexington or if maybe I'm just getting kinda soft in my old age but either way, something inside me has changed.

The other night I had to run by the drug store to pick up a prescription. The Rite-Aid I use is in a decent and safe enough part of town but for whatever reason, it also happens to be a very popular place for people to panhandle. I remember the very first week I was in New Orleans I gave $5 to a guy who was sitting in his wheelchair right outside the door. He had no legs, and I had just finished running a couple miles at the park. Looking back I think I almost felt guilty that I was able to stand and walk around while he wasn't, so I gladly gave him the few dollars I had. Now whether he actually used that money to buy food (like he claimed) or drugs or cigarettes or whatever I don't know. But he was so genuinely thankful when I handed it to him that his gratitude alone made it worth it to me. I talked to him briefly; he told me his name and asked how my run was, then thanked me again, said "God bless you," and rolled off. Annnnnd...I don't really know where I was going with that story, other than to share it with you.

Back to the other night when I went by to get my Rx. This time there was a young guy standing outside who asked me for money as I walked by. He couldn't have been much older than me but the thing was, he was standing there with a little girl who couldn't have been more than five or six years old. At the time I assumed she was his daughter, but maybe she was a sister or niece or something like that. Regardless, seeing her standing out on the sidewalk with him, begging people for money kinda broke my heart a little bit. Or maybe a whole lot. What kind of life must that little girl have if she has to do things like that? Little girls should be at home playing with Barbies and dolls when they're that age; not standing on street corners in the middle of the night asking strangers for money. The guy told me they had run out of gas and just needed enough money to get home on, so I gave him what cash I had. Driving home afterwards though, I couldn't get the thought of that poor girl out of my head. It still makes me sad to think about it.

I guess maybe I do have a point to sharing this story after all. I know there is pain and suffering all over the world and even at the worst, people in America still have it better than some people who live in third world countries elsewhere. But that doesn't mean that things are by any means ok down here and that doesn't make the things people have to do to get by acceptable or alright. So I guess what I'm asking is, if you have any extra prayers laying around that maybe you could send one up for the people down here in New Orleans who are still suffering so much?

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

What Not to Wear

I'm a big, big fan of this show. Leah and Mom and I have watched it for years and if I had to pick who I think has the best job in the world, it would be Stacy and Clinton from What Not to Wear. I mean it. Their whole job is to shop (uh yeah, pretttttty sure I could handle that) and in the process, they really help people and in most cases, change people's lives for the better. They motivate these people--usually women--to take care of themselves and have more self confidence and teach them that they can be beautiful. I think that's awesome.

So yes, I'm jealous of their job. That's not the point of all this though. What I'm getting around to telling you is that I actually saw Clinton Kelly in the mall on Saturday! He has apparently (and I can't believe this is the first I've heard of it) partnered with Macy's to do "Make Over America," where he is traveling all over the country giving women free make-overs. This past Saturday marked the one-year anniversary of Macy's return to the mall here after Katrina, so in honor of that, Clinton was here. Sooooooo cool.

They had a stage set up in the middle of the mall so we were actually able to get pretty close. And of course, it was the one time I didn't have my camera in my no, I didn't get any pictures. But I can tell you he looks just the same in person as he does on TV, though maybe slightly more muscular than I realized. Ok so yeah, that's it.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

What to Wear

So here's my latest dilemma (and yes, to some extent this one does involve the weather here so...yeah, sorry. I can't help it. Get off my back.)

I'm having a hard time figuring out what to wear to work here. Guys have it easy; business dress means a suit and tie and business casual means dress pants and a dress shirt, no matter what the weather. Girls on the other hand, have sooooo many more options and choices and decisions that must be made.

I don't have any problem determining what to wear in terms of just being business appropriate; I've got that down cold. What's hard for me is figuring out what's appropriate for the season because well, the seasons down here don't make any sense at all. Case in point; today is October 21. Halloween is only a week and a half away. Annnnnd its like 85 degrees here. At this point it just seems wrong to be wearing my summer clothes because its past Labor Day and we all know that fashion rules change dramatically after Labor Day. All my Fall and Winter clothes are way too dark and heavy for the weather here though. Living in a tropical climate is sooooo not conducive to wearing the heavy wool sweaters I'm so partial to but all my lightweight clothing is white, or pale pink or pale yellow get the idea. Summery looking. I know this probably seems trivial and kinda dumb and like if this is my biggest complaint in life I'm probably doing ok but this is a BIG problem for me because I don't like the thought of looking inappropriately dressed and I spend probably 20 minutes every morning agonizing over what to wear to work. Just so you know.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

There's No Place Like Home

I just had the one of the best weekends I've had in a long time. It started Friday with the Barrister's Ball which I have been affectionately referring to as the Law School Prom when people ask me about it. Really! It was a semi-formal dinner/dance complete with "prom" Kings and Queens and everything. Not gonna lie, I had mixed feelings about this thing beforehand. First of all...prom? In law school? I could have sworn we outgrew that kind of thing awhile ago. Come on. Second, we've heard stories of years past when this thing got completely out of control. As in, the law school has been permanently banned from hosting functions at every place its ever used to have the ball because the students have gotten so drunk and out of control that substantial damage has been done to these facilities. I like to have fun as much as anyone but I think at the point that you're destroying private property, its safe to look around and say that things have gone a little too far. But maybe that's just me being a party pooper, I dunno. Either way, I wasn't quite sure what to expect.
Before leaving for the prom.

The back was my favorite part of the dress.

The (hottie) significant others of some 1Ls.

Future lawyers.

I can say with completely sincerity that I was pleasantly surprised. We ended up going with (double dating if you will) some of our new friends from here in NOLA, and then we met up with several other couples once we got there too. Yes, it really was just like prom (with a suuuuuper cheesy theme no less--Enchantment Under the Sea) but in a good way. The food was pretty decent, the live music was good and for the most part, everyone managed to behave themselves. At least as far as I saw, no one broke, stole or otherwise defaced or damaged the building, no one starting having sex in public (yes, this really happened a couple years ago), and no one even got so slobbering drunk that they passed out or got sick. I'd call that a successful party! I mean, what more can you ask for, really? We left the prom around 11 and ended up hanging out at the Columns Hotel for awhile with a group of people, then just sitting around and talking to Chad and Ashley (our prom "dates") for hours after that. So yeah, all in all, it was a good night.

It was also, at least for me, a very long night. What I haven't mentioned on here because it was supposed to be a surprise is that I was going to fly home last weekend to surprise my mom for her 50th birthday! My Dad, sister and I have been planning this since...oh, about July when I moved down here, and I've been crazy looking forward to it for weeks. My flight left New Orleans at 6:00 a.m. Saturday morning, which meant that by the time we got home from prom I only had a couple hours before I needed to be at the airport. I don't know about you but I feel like death when I stay up late then try to sleep for an hour before getting back up; I'm much better if I just stay awake straight though. So that's what I did. Poor Zack got dragged out of bed at 4:00 a.m. to drive me to the airport.

I landed in Lexington around 11 and boy, did it feel good to be there. I was so excited I was literally bouncing up and down in my seat as we flew over Keeneland and all the horse farms. Yes, I looked like a four-year-old waiting to go to Disney World and yes, people sitting around me probably thought I was nuts. I didn't care. I know I've said I missed home, but it really hit me how much I love that place when I saw it for the first time in months. It almost, almost got a little dusty in the plane there for a second. It warmed my heart a little too when I got off the plane and there in the gate area probably half the people waiting were wearing blue Kentucky regalia of some sort. Sadly, I had nearly forgotten how much a staple Kentucky Blue is in most people's wardrobes back home. Down here everyone is either wearing black and gold for the Saints or purple for LSU (gag me on the latter of those two).

Dad had fabricated this elaborate story for Mom about why he needed to be at the airport on Saturday morning (basically, he told her he had a shipment of goat blood to pick up which, if you know Dad, isn't nearly as out-in-left-field as it sounds). He and Leah came in to meet me, while Mom waited out in the car completely oblivious to what we were doing. Needless to say, when I walked up to the car and knocked on her window she was SHOCKED! Success! We definitely managed to surprise her!

We headed to Louisville to spend the day with my grandparents, and then we all went to dinner that night at Jack Fry's in the Highlands. Friends of mine have been recommending that place for years but this was the first time we'd ever been. It was really good! Very cool old building with lots of history behind it. If I'm not mistaken, Jack Fry used to be a bookie and he ran his business above the restaurant. I guess he was as close as Louisville got to having a mafia, back in the day. We topped off this fantastic day by eating the molten chocolate lava cakes that Leah and I made, and watching the CATS beat Auburn. (In my mind, the Fight song is playing right now).

Sunday we got up and went to church at Calvary which is the church I attended throughout my college years and also where Zack and I joined when we got engaged. I've missed this place as much as anything else since being away and I loved being able to be there on Sunday. We had lunch afterwards as a family and then we spent a couple hours shopping (!!!!!) before heading back to the house so that I could get packed to head to the airport. Mom and Dad dropped me off and three hours later I was back in NOLA with Zack. It was an absurdly quick trip but I'm so, so glad I was able to make it. I was able to surprise my Mom, and I got to enjoy being home for a couple days.

Now if only I could click my ruby slippered heels together and make it be Thanksgiving already...

Friday, October 16, 2009

Deep Thoughts, Part II

When I was in college I got in the habit of going to the mall on Friday afternoons. It started out as a way to just get away for awhile. I loved every single second of living in the dorms but sometimes, you just kinda need some alone time, you know? There were days when I just needed to be by myself and unwind, away from the constant activity (can you say sensory overload?) that went on and all of the people who lived in the dorms. When I first moved to Lexington I knew how to get to exactly three places; my ex boyfriend's house, Texas Roadhouse (the restaurant) and the mall so by default, the mall became my get-away.

Before long I got to where I really looked forward to my weekly mall trip. I rarely ever even bought anything. I mean, I was an 18 year old college freshman with no job; its not like I had the money to bankroll any kind of weekly shopping spree. But I got really, really good at window shopping and wish-listing and in doing those things, I think I gained something very valuable. Motivation.

I love clothes and I REALLY love shoes. I couldn't afford to buy them then, but every time I went through the mall I'd tell myself that someday I would. Someday I'd have the financial means to do and have anything I could ever want, and I wouldn't even have to think twice about the number on the price tag. Maybe this sounds greedy and selfish and materialistic...and it is! No doubt. I am all of those things. But at the same time, knowing that there were things out there that I wanted was the motivation it took to get me through school.

Probably in college everybody has "those" days. The one's where you study your brains out for a test and still blow it. Or the days when you're so exhausted from staying up for six days straight studying for finals that you can barely walk. Or the days when it hits you that you have absolutely no idea what in the heck you're supposed to be doing with your life and you wonder if maybe you've just wasted the past three semesters on classes you didn't need. I had lots of those days and the temptation was always there in the background to just drop out, call it quits, pack it in, and go home.

The fact that Mom and Dad would have killed me not withstanding (I am not even joking; y'all would've been attending my funeral), I didn't drop out and I didn't go home because I recognized that if I did I'd likely never be able to have all the things I wanted in life. It's hard to explain but by the time I left the mall on those Friday afternoons to head back to campus, more often than not I had a completely renewed outlook on life and felt ready to once again tackle the ups and downs of college. It fired me up to think that the work I was doing then would eventually (hopefully) parlay itself into a means of getting stuff down the road. It gave meaning to college and all the tests and quizzes and papers. It put things into perspective for me, made me realize that there was still a world outside the college "bubble" and made me see that the work was a necessary evil for the time being.

Do I advocate retail therapy for everyone? Probably not. It worked for me because we've always established that I'm materialistic and motivated by having nice things. So no, to some people a walk around the mall would be nothing more than a waste of an hour on Friday afternoon. But not to me.

Deep Thoughts

That title may be somewhat misleading because it would seem to imply that I do in fact have deep thoughts to share with you. I'm not saying I don't...I'm just saying maybe I don't have any right this minute.

Zack says he really really enjoys my blog. He loves it. Thinks its great. He just thinks maybe I should write more "deep thoughts" and "less about the weather." (Clearly, someone didn't appreciate that stellar and highly scientific analysis I came up with yesterday linking New Orleans' weather and its crime rate because I thought that was a pretty deep thought, personally).

The problem is that I don't have deep thoughts worthy of being blogged about every single day. Maybe I should, but I don't. I'm having all kinds of thoughts every day that fascinate and entertain me but I'm not so sure they are appropriate or even interesting enough to actually share with anyone else. Let me give you an example.

Whole Foods. The grocery store. There's a huge Whole Foods down here that we go to occasionally but we rarely buy anything because its super expensive. I call it the Hippie Store though, because everything in there is organic, free-range or vegan. I'm not saying every time I go its full of hippies...obviously this is a generalization and other people shop there too; I'm just saying there are a disproportionate number of long haired/bra free/save-the-whales t-shirt-wearing women in there when I go. Make of that what you will. So anyway, I've noticed something about Whole Foods. It always smells like hot dogs in there every time I go. Not like roasting hot dogs over a campfire which might be ok; it smells like soggy, water-logged hot dogs left over in the concession stand after a ball game.

I don't know, I guess I forget since I don't go in there all that often, but every time I do visit that store the first thing I notice when I walk in is the smell. It slaps me in the face the minute I go through the door. I then spend the next 10, 15, 20 (however long it takes me to get what I came for) minutes trying to figure out what in that store could possibly be producing such a smell. It's that overwhelming that it consumes my thoughts while I'm in there. Not gonna lie; the first time I went I spent 15 minutes walking around the store to see if they were selling or giving away free hot dogs somewhere. I didn't want one. I don't even like them. I just wanted to know where the smell was coming from.

See? I bet you're thinking that was a stupid thing for me to share on here. And you're right, it was.

Thursday, October 15, 2009


The sun is shining here for the first time days. Yes, you read that right. Fifteen. It has rained every single day during the month of October up until today. What? That sounds gloomy and depressing you say? Why yes, yes it is. And has been. And I suppose will continue to be as the weather forecasts predicts more rain this weekend.

I feel like I'm starting to harp on the weather and I really don't mean to but in my defense, that has been one of the biggest adjustments I've had to make since moving here. Unless you've been here I just don't think I can convey or you can appreciate the ridiculously unbearable death-heat, or the incessant thunderstorms that take place on a daily basis. In fact, I've developed a theory about NOLA and its weather that I'd like to share with you.

By now I think we're all aware that the crime rate here is kinda out of control. (And by kinda I mean extremely). You know what I think? I think the weather down here is so darn crappy that it's adding to the crime problem. Think about it. How do you feel when its dark and rainy outside? Gloomy...sad...mopey etc. Furthermore, think how irritable you get when you're hot and sweaty and uncomfortable. Now imagine how you'd feel if you were hot and sweaty and uncomfortable basically all the time. You see my point. After surviving just half of one summer down here I sometimes feel like I'm ready to snap. The heat here is something you can't get away from, even in the evenings once the sun has set; its oppressive and unrelenting and at times, down right maddening. The only other time I've felt kind of like this was when I had kidney stones and the pain literally made me want to run my head through a wall. I'm not joking. I think I even threatened to at one point. Not that the heat here compares to kidney stones on the meter-o-pain, but that feeling of "Oh my gosh I'm going to lose my mind if I can't get away from this," is similar.

So there it is in all its unscientific glory. My theory on NOLA, the weather and the crime. The despair and sense of hopelessness here is the result of an entire population that rarely sees the sun shine and the crime is due (at least in part) to the unrelenting uncomfortable conditions that people are forced to live in every day.

I'm pretty sure this is brilliant.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Nothing At All

Has it really been almost a week since I've written? Geez. Sorry about that. I haven't meant to neglect this thing, I guess I just figured people might get bored reading about how uneventful the past few days have been here in NOLA.

Work's fine. School's fine. The house and cars are fine. The weather is still borderline unbearable (which is driving me nuts) but on the whole, we're fine. (Seriously--its the middle of October; when does it cool down here??? We've still got temperatures in the high 80s with 100% humidity. Yuck).

Beyond the climate there's nothing super exciting but nothing bad to report either.

So...yeah. That's about all I've got. But at least you know we're still alive.

Friday, October 9, 2009

The Good and the Bad

The good news is, I've almost finished the book I told you about yesterday and its really good. It's certainly made for a fascinating read and given me a much more in-depth understanding of what New Orleans was like in the days and months immediately following Katrina, as well as the struggles the city is still facing even today.

The bad news is, after reading the book I'm now a tiny bit terrified of going out in the city by myself. The crime (and by crime I'm mostly referring to murder) rate skyrocketed after the storm, making this the deadliest city in the country. It even earned the nickname of Murder Capital of America for crying out loud! What's really scary is that while those rates have dropped substantially in the past year or so, they're still just ridiculously high--especially for a city this size. I knew when we moved here the city had its problems but gee oh! I didn't know we were moving into a war zone.

This newly acquired knowledge of the dark underbelly of NOLA was fresh on my mind when I was leaving the house for work this morning so it played in nicely to the fact that apparently, our next door neighbors got robbed last night. Our landlord (who lives in a different house on the same property as ours) was outside and told me all the details he knew which admittedly, weren't many. All we really know is that someone broke into the neighbors' house last night and basically cleaned them out. The police haven't caught whoever did it; I don't even know if our neighbors were home at the time but luckily I don't believe anyone was hurt.

So yeah. I'm spooked. And that makes me mad. We live in a nice neighborhood. The place we're renting is not cheap but we agreed we were both willing to pay a little more to have the security of living somewhere we felt safe. We live right smack dab in the middle of Uptown, about a mile from Tulane's campus. This isn't poor, run-down student housing either. This is a neighborhood of the big, old Garden District homes most of which security systems and iron fences around them. I would have thought such things would be at least a slight deterrent to criminals, wouldn't you? I mean I know we're probably not dealing with brain surgeons here but goodness...

I do take comfort in the fact that our house sits on the property behind the main house, so you can't see it at all from the road. Someone who has never been there wouldn't know our house even exists. Plus, the entire yard is surrounded by a fence that gets locked at night.

It irritates me to no end to feel like I'm not safe in my own neighborhood. I was hesitant to move here because of all the crime but once we did, I promised myself I wasn't going to live in fear for the whole 3+ years we're here. I know it's good to have a big healthy dose of caution but I ought to be able to walk to the mailbox without worrying about getting mugged. I don't think that's unreasonable.

I talked to some people at work today about all this and they suggested getting a can of MACE to keep with me at all times. I haven't decided how I feel about this yet. One one hand that seems like an unnecessary overreaction but on the other...well...maybe not such a bad idea.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

What I'm Reading

Alright, so this may not appeal to everyone. I get that. But if you're looking for a grossly fascinating and gruesome read, I would highly recommend this book. Zack got this for me for my birthday and I started reading it immediately. My goal is to finish it tonight (though that may be hard since Jim and Pam are getting married tonight on the Office and I can't miss that) but if not tonight then definitely by the weekend.

Without giving too much away I'll just tell you that its the true story of a couple from here in New Orleans and their murder/suicide that took place a few years ago (2006) shortly after they survived hurricane Katrina. I think at the time the media had a field day with the story but now that I'm 2/3 of the way through the book I realize that there's a LOT more to it than what was probably reported at the time. I think it's also fair to say that both of these people were kinda, sorta ABSOLUTELY nuts.

Maybe I'm more interested in such things now that I live here but like I said, while graphic and gruesome it is fascinating.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

My Birthday

This past weekend was one of the best weekends ever. Yes, it was my birthday but more importantly it meant that Mom and Dad were in town for a visit! Zack and I had been looking forward to seeing themfor weeks--ever since they bought their plane tickets and decided to come down for my birthday. This was the first time we've seen them since we moved to New Orleans in July.

I'm getting ahead of myself though; there were LOTS of great parts to this weekend that I don't want to leave out. I'll start with Saturday night, when Zack decided to cook dinner for me in honor of my birthday since he knew we'd go out to eat while my parents were here. Of course, I got to pick the menu which was kinda tough because everything he makes is always so good. I hemmed and hawed (sp?) and finally decided I hadn't had a good steak in a long time, so thats='s what he did. He made me an incredible filet with a whiskey pan sauce and asparagus and french fries. Yes, this is what I requested. He also baked my birthday cake Saturday night; an oreo cheesecake with a chocolate ganache swirl (Heaven) and then promptly tried to convince me to eat it that night.


As incredibly-awesomely-wonderful as that thing looked, I'm a big believer in not eating birthday cake or opening presents ahead of time. You have to wait until the actual real day or it doesn't count. The same goes for Christmas, but that's beside the point.

So sunday morning I dropped Zack off at school to study for a couple hours then headed to the airport to pick up Mom and Dad. For some reason Mom was convinced that my looks had changed significantly in the three months since she last saw me, so I made sure to wear my bright blue UK jacket just in case they wouldn't recognize me. For what it's worth, I'm 99.4% positive I still look almost exactly the same as I did when we moved.

We picked Zack up on the way back into town and grabbed lunch at one of my new favorite places here in NOLA--the St. James Cheese Company. Oh. My. Gosh. I love this place. Its this little cheese and sandwhich shop in the Garden District that imports cheeses from all over the world and gets a lot of its meat from a local charcuterie. The sandwhiches are nothing short of incredible and if money were no object I'd gladly eat here three or four days a week. I'm drooling just thinking about it.

Since it was rainy and gross outside (you're shocked, right?) we decided it maybe wasn't the best time to do the cemetary tour we had been planning to do, so we opted for the National WWII Museum instead. Believe it or not, it was actually really, really interesting--and that's coming from someone who is by no means a "history" person. When I suggested going there I figured it had a 50/50 shot at either sucking and being a complete waste of an afternoon, or being really really good. Lucky for us, it was definitely on the really, really good end of the spectrum. I doubt the history museum is the first tourist attraction most people associate with a visit to New Orleans but after going through myself I'd highly recommend it.

Dinner that night was at Parkway Bakery and Tavern over in Mid-City. We figured we couldn't let Mom and Dad leave without experiencing the greatness that is the classic N'Awlins po' boy and Parkway happens to have the best ones we've had since we've been here. (I realize this post is turning into a glorified play-by-play of what we ate all weekend. I'm ok with that). I tend towards the more simple fried shrimp po'boys but Zack and Dad went with the famed "surf n turf." Picture a footlong loaf of crusty french bread stuffed with sliced roast beef, covered in gravy and then topped with fried shrimp and you've got the surf n turf. One of the sloppier, more impossible sandwiches to try eating with your hands but well worth the mess you make doing it. Ah-mazing.
Disclaimer: I didn't take these pictures myself. Thanks, Google.

This brings us to yesterday, which was my actual birthday. I had to work so Mom and Dad entertained themselves by taking a plantation tour and then a Hurricane Katrina devastation tour. Meanwhile, my new friends at work threw me a surprise party! And by surprise I mean complete and total SURPRISE. I had no idea they even knew it was my birthday, much less that they would do anything to celebrate it. It made me feel really good to have only worked here a month and already made friends who are nice enough to do such a sweet thing like that.

Dinner last night was (of course) yet another phenomenal meal. We went to La Crepe Nanou (I'm dropping all these names in case someone reading this blog ever comes to visit the city and wants to know what places are worth trying) which is this little french place over on the edge of the Garden District. What can I say? It was great. It was a perfect place to go for my birthday dinner and I think I speak for all of us when I say is was a perfect way to round out a great weekend. After dinner I got to open presents (yayyyyyyy!) and then dive into the birthday cheesecake I had been waiting TWO WHOLE DAYS to taste. It was every bit as heavenly and wonderful as you'd imagine something like that to be. I'm so lucky to have a husband who not only bakes me birthday cakes from scratch, but who is so darn good at it to boot. There's still roughly half of it left sitting in our fridge which means that I'll be indulging in cheesecake for the next several days. Of course, then I'll probably moan and whine and feel guilty for a week afterwards but I think it'll definitely be worth it.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

One of Those Days

Yeah, it's been one of those days.

You know what I'm talking about.

It was one of those days where everything was just a little bit off, nothing quite worked the way it should have and now at the end of it, I just want to crawl into bed and go to sleep so that the day can be over and tomorrow will hurry up and get here.

It all started this morning when I got to work and tried to login to my computer. The company has a big network with a lot of users so sometimes it can be a little slow. I realized I had a problem though, when I had been staring at the blue screen of death for about fifteen minutes. Boggled down server aside, it definitely shouldn't take that long to get going. So, I called IT and was told that a technician would be over immediately to see what was up.

Well the techs work in a different building and before he could get over to my office my boss came out and announced that his computer wasn't working either. (You can guess who's computer took priority once the tech guys got there). While it made me feel marginalyl better that at least this was probably a bigger problem than I realized and was not confined to just my computer, it didn't bode well for our collective productivity for the rest of the day.

So the techs spend probably 45 minutes working on his computer before announcing that they're going to have to take it back to the lab for diagnostic work. (Read: they had no idea what was wrong with it). Meanwhile, I've now spent the first hour and a half of the work day starring at a blank computer screen and accomplishing absolutely nothing. Right about this time another lady from the office strolls up and notices that my computer still isn't working and decides to take matters into her own hands. She completely dismantles the thing! I'm talking parts strewn all over the place; it looked like a small bomb had gone off on my desk by the time she got finished. Long story short, we put the thing back together and it still didn't work. Yeah I know. Shocking, huh? Fifteen minutes later I was back to starring at the blue screen of death when all of a sudden, out of nowhere, my computer just woke up and came to life. It was a miracle!

I made it through the rest of the day with little incident, thankfully, but my frustration level shot right back up as I left work. One of my new friends down here in NOLA had invited me to meet her and some other girls downtown for a happy hour after work. Now, you know that happy hours typically aren't "my thing" but in the name of meeting new people and making new friends, I thought this one sounded like a lot of fun. Plus I work downtown and the place they were going was right on my way home so why not?

The "why not" came about an hour later when I still hadn't managed to find a working parking meter within three miles of the place. I'm not exaggerating. I spent an hour driving around (in downtown, rush hour traffic no less, which just did wonders for my already elevated blood pressure) looking for a place to park that would put me within a safe walking distance. The first meter on the street I tried ate all my money then promtly refused to print out a ticket for me to stick in my window. I've heard the New Orleans police are extremely strict about parking illegally, so I wasn't about to leave the car without the ticket in the window telling them that I had in fact paid to park there. With no change left though, I was forced to look for meters or parking lots that would accept a credit card. I tried three different places; all of them scanned my credit card but wouldn't print me a parking ticket. I thought the impound lot in Lexington was a scary place to visit--there's no way I was going to risk leaving the car and getting it towed down here in New Orleans. I finally gave up, texted my friend, and let her know that I wouldn't be able to make it. Even to me this sounds like a really lame excuse, but by that point I was so frustrated with the city and its stupid parking meters that I just wanted to go home.

The final insult of the day came on the way home when I stopped at Rite-Aid to pick up a prescrption. As the cashier was ringing up my order, she casually asked me if I have always paid $62.50 for these pills? Why yes. Yes I have. I have because when I specifically asked the pharmacist back home whether or not there was a generic brand of the same drug that would be cheaper he told me NO. He told me the brand I was getting was the only choice for that type of pill. "Well, I only asked cause I take the same thing," the girl behind the counter went on, "Only I get the generic brand and it costs like less than $10." UUUUUGGGGGGGHHHHHHHH.

My lawyer-in-training husband offered to try to sue the pharmicst who told me there wasn't a generic option, for the $315 difference that I've paid over the past six months. Hmmm...