This is tech week for the show. I am not super involved, other than painting until 2am yesterday, but Shoobs is. So it has been lonely, and disasterous in the kitchen. And Shelby comes home tired, hungry, and frustrated and that makes both of us sad.
This is also prep week for the National Medical Laboratory Professionals week. It is basically a week long employee appreciation event that none of our employees appreciate and/or volunteer to help with. Exciting highlights from today include…
…stuffing 900+ cups with 7 pieces of candy and a list describing what each one means
…counting said cups into individual lists and trying to distribute to supervisors
…using lists that are soooooooo confusing it’s hard to see
…providing our headcount to the meal caterer only to find out they can’t cater the meal
…explaining for the 50th time why we are not yet ready to sell raffle tickets to people who told us yesterday they haven’t turned in their raffle items
…watering 25 plants someone thought it would be a good idea to buy
…dividing prizes for games which range from a pen or highlighter to a bag of coffee product from Starbucks
I could go on, but why complain. It is a beautifully rainy day with a hint of disaster in the air.
Wait, breathe in, breathe out, and let me say that again. I COOKED!
I don’t cook. I can, theoretically, but I shouldn’t. So I don’t. I once made chili with olives (from a can) and raisins. I’ve eaten half baked potato covered in slightly still frozen broccoli and cheese. I’ve burned instant rice, melted frozen pizza, and have even managed to ruin salad. Shoobs, on the other hand, is a marvelous cook. Clear divide of household duties. Shelby cooks, I do laundry, I water the plants, I clean the house when I can and clean the kitchen when I’m allowed in it. I do not cook.
I usually do theatre. That means my schedule is pretty tight in the evening. If I leave work on timeish, I get about half an hour at home before heading out the door again. Only this time, this play, I am not the one doing theatre. Shelby is.
We also had a recent discussion regarding our eating habits, and grocery expenses, and brainstormed ways to stay healthy without pre-packaged foods or ludicrous costs. I decided to bite the bullet and built some recipes on Allrecipes.com. I printed out the shopping list, and followed the instructions step-by-step. I only panicked twice. I made eggplant pasta. And it was totally edible! And the Huz had a decent meal before a long night at a painful rehearsal. And he even got to relax a bit.
Since New Orleans was my real birthday gift, and I took the trip two weeks before my birthday, the actual DOB was rather low-key. It was a Monday. I went to work, met Shoobs for lunch, and later received a bouquet of tulips delivered to my office. I went home early, and it was a beautiful day, so I slapped on a swimsuit and sat out in the backyard for an hour. I got lots of phone calls, lots of texts, a few e-mails, all wishing me a royal welcome into “The new decade”.
I got an interesting text that evening. My friend Rachel asked if I was going to be alone. Shelby had rehearsal with her husband, so the answer was pretty obvious but I replied that I would, in fact, be watching crap TV alone. Her response…”Miranda and I will be over in an hour.”
Miranda is 8. She is wild. She is very sweet, but is kinda crazy, and she is 8. I flew about the house making sure it was 8 year old ready. And then I got a text that it would be better if I came over there. So I did.
When I arrived, I was forbidden to leave the front room. Miranda came out of her bedroom with her hands behind her back and a huge grin on her face. She presented me a bouquet of fake flowers, and a birthday balloon. From the kitchen, I could hear the frantic sounds of wrapping. Miranda and Rachel, having realized it was my 30th birthday, ran out to the dollar store and bought me 30 gifts to unwrap. Miranda handed them to me one by one, telling me which gifts she picked out specifically and paid for with her own money. Not only that, but a funfetti birthday cake with funfetti icing was also waiting for me.
We ate cake, put the kids (they have a son too) to bed, and walked the 500 feet up the street to crash rehearsal and share cake. The theatre bought us some free wine, and we had a wonderful time being lazy and loungy. And I got see my husband for more than an hour. All in all, pretty sweet day.
The sis took us back to the hotel to freshen up a bit, and then we hit the quarter for some grub. Bourbon street was bumpin! It was close to March 17 and the kiddies were already on spring break. We managed to find an oyster joint that wasn’t too crowded, and we were sat in less than 20 minutes. We ordered our drinks from our drink waiter, and our food from our food waiter. Kinda weird, but I guess if you have to share a table, that’s the best way to break it up. Shelby ordered a flight of Bourbon. A flight, like a sampling of three different bourbons. Fitting while on Bourbon street, but not the best dinner for someone who doesn’t really ever partake of the alcohol.
After a very chatty, very flirty, very revealing evening, I got Shelby to agree that we would go to the hotel, and then decide if we should really go to the bar for more adult beverages. Luckily, once he felt the sheets and comfort of the mattress, he agreed that sleep was better than dancing anyway. Needless to say, when the morning came, the last thing he wanted to do was spend the day with enthusiastic nephews. Luckily, Cak had just what the doctor ordered, a relaxing day on the water. Oh yeah, and GATORS!
It was a beautiful day, very cool. We were in a covered boat. We glid around the bayou. Our guide was funny, informative, and very smart. He not only gave us facts, but told us stories.
There is another single grave several hundred feet away. The grave belongs to one person who believed in Mary Laveau and the power of Voo Doo, enough to be shunned when Mary Laveau’s hurricane killed more than half the town.
We didn’t just look at gators, we got to hold gators!
After a wonderful few hours on the bayou, we headed back to the sleepy city. And of course, barely slept at all.
Jack does this thing, so cute mostly. Anytime a camera looking device gets pointed at him, he automatically starts saying cheese. That doesn’t mean he smiles, he just says cheese over and over. His face usually looks like this…
So I called him on it. He’s almost 4, he’s going to have to learn someday. “Jack, you still have to smile, you don’t just say cheese.” And this is the face I got…
And then he always asks to see. Isn’t it funny to think that Jack and Liam will never have memory of a time when you couldn’t immediately see the picture you just took. They don’t know about film at all. How old are we?
The best birthday gift was seeing Jack’s face light up when he realized I was actually there. I was in the back office wrangling a toddler or a cat or a dog, and I heard the front door open. “Aunt Amanda, let’s go see the sharks. Mom, she’s not here.” “Yes she is baby, go to the back.”
By then, I had poked my head far enough around that once he came past the couch he could see me in the back room. His joy will make even the hardest of hearts melt. He ran toward me, face alight, giggling and squealing. “Sharks Aunt Amanda!”
So we got our hugs and squeezes in and headed straight out the door for the aquarium.
We played around in the car, and eventually got Jack to pronounce aquarium correctly. So cute. At one point, he asked to see my foot and was shocked when I pulled it out of my shoe and showed him my naked foot. “Put your shoe back on!”
The sis has a free pass for two adults and two children, but with Uncle Shelby, we had too many. So he agreed to hang out on the Riverwalk for 30 minutes while we tore through the “Huge Fish!”
We arrived about 30 minutes before the place closed, so we did take the fast track through, not only to get through as much as we could before they closed, but also to meet up with Shoobs.
We walked around looking at the boats and playing in the fountain. We walked through the mall. When we hit the section of the mall where you could hear the music really well above the clammer of the crowd, both boys got an incontrollable strut, arms raised, long strides, head bobs.
And then we loaded back in the car and headed to the house. We bathed and dressed the boys in jammies, and then got the sis dolled up to take Shoobs and I for a night on the town.
Sadly, the day after our wonderful boat trip, we had to leave the island. 😦 Our taxi driver offered to hide us, and I enthusiastically accepted. But when it came down to it, he drove us to the airport, the liar.
This is the year I turned (gulp) the big three oh. Entered a new decade. Started my climb up the hill. All the other kind things alleged friends and family reminded me of on the day. Since I was having a big birthday, I wanted to celebrate in a big way. So I made the huz get back on a plane less than 24 hours after returning to the country and we flew to New Orleans.
Shoobs had only been to Nawlins once, and we wanted to get another visit in before family moved away, so it really worked out for both of us.
We went straight to the hotel the night we arrived and made plans to catch up with my sis the following morning. We spent a good chunk of the morning walking around the quarter. Our hotel was on the outskirts, and we needed to catch the trolley uptown. A very nice local helped us out when it was clear we were headed in the wrong (read sketchy) direction.
After a long morning of walking, we met up with G in the park and continued walking toward the river for some grub.
We caught up, chatted about the HM, and headed toward Cafe Murder? No, Dante’s Kitchen, which it turns out is not Dante’s Kitchen for lunch, but a friend of the owners BBQ joint, but that suited us just fine.
We diddled, piddled, and fiddle-faddled around and then rode the trolley back toward the house to see the boys. A topic I will discuss tomorrow, as I am being kicked off the computer by the huz.