Musings from some former inhabitants of the sprawling metropolis that is Prudhomme City

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Super Saturday!

So yesterday was a great day for me. First, I got a call from Ted asking me to come over and babysit the boys for a couple of hours while he went to run an errand. When I walked in, Gabe leaped into my arms exclaiming, "I want a kiss, Nanny Kate!" It was so sweet that I found myself thinking, Oooohhhh, I want a baby! I love this! Forty-five minutes later when Gabe was pummeling Sam for "making him" fall off of his bike, I was thinking, I must never, ever have one of these! But we had a good time, all pummeling aside. I got schooled by John. After informing him that he had to go back in the house and put on shoes, his reply was "DON'T fuss at me, Nanny Kate!" I obviously have a real way with three-year-olds. Also, Max and I played a lot of Hyper Dash, which caused me to wheeze and groan and nearly pass out, and I think I pulled a hammy. The most hilarious part of the day was when Sammy told me, "Thanks again for getting me that LSU hat, Nanny Kate!" Max, the oldest and wisest of the little man clan (Thanks, B Daigle, for that new moniker!), solemnly looked into my eyes and stated, "He's a disgrace to the family, Nanny Kate." Inside I was chortling and high-fiving him, but in reality, I did the right thing and made various mouth noises about being free to support any team you'd like, yada-yada. I was pretty proud of myself for that.

Later in the day, Alex and I hit the Cajundome to watch the Cajuns take on the FAU Owls. The mayor and first lady graced the Dome with their presence, as well. As I have mentioned before, my lovely parental unit purchased a pair of season tickets for Alex and me, and the seats are right next to theirs. (Thanks again, Dad and Mom!) We had a blast watching the Cajuns kick some serious Owl *ss and winning the game by nineteen points.

Cajuns on offense

Coach Lee drawing up the game plan

And I indulged in a couple of tasty beverages that make up a good ninety percent of why I love going to Cajun basketball games.!

After the game, the mayor and first lady suggested that we continue our little party. "Where do y'all want to go eat?" the mayor asked. "DEANO'S!" I yelled out before anyone else could get a word in edgewise. Since the mayor tends to indulge me, he didn't even take any other suggestions and off we went. At Deano's, we had to wait a bit, so Byron and I (okay, mostly I) ended up screaming at the TV cheering on the Giants who, at that point, were beating the Patriots. I must admit that yelling out "Shut it, Vrabel!" in a crowded restaurant does tend to draw a few stares. I really don't have a beef with the Patriots, just Tom Brady. Why, you ask? Well, two years ago Brady was my fantasy football team's QB. I just needed to win that game, and I'd have been in the playoffs. All he had to do was get the same average number of points, like 18 or 19, that he'd been coughing up without fail all season long. That douchebag had the worst game of the season and only got 2.5 points and kept me out of the playoffs. The next week, he scored 35 points. I almost bought an airline ticket, so I could personally punch him in the face. (What? Okay, so I take fantasy football a little too seriously. Is that so wrong?) Anyway, that's my beef with Brady, and it doesn't matter anyway because no matter how much I tried to put a hex on the Patriots last night, they still ended up winning the game and making history by going 16-0, blah-blah-blah. Whatever. I still hate Tommy, even though he looked freakin' smokin' hot(!!) in that three-piece suit at the post-game press conference. Where was I? Oh yeah, Deano's! This place has the best- hands down, no contest- pizza in Lafayette. We scarfed down a big ol' sampler with Marie LeVeau, Cajun Canaille, Mufaletta Pie (add anchovies for Dad), and BBQ chicken. It was yummy, yummy, yummy! Love that place! And Mom and I polished off a pitcher of Killian's Red (mmmmmm, beer) together. The best part was the conversation, though. I found out that Dad was a soda jerk and a pharmacy delivery boy in his youth. I never knew that! He claims he was the best delivery boy Church Point has ever known, setting land speed records on his bike. He earned eight dollars a week. He also told hilarious stories about C.P.'s straight-from-Italy movie theater owner and the raging knock-down, drag-out fights the guy and his wife would have behind closed doors that could be heard all the way down the block.

And then Dad and Mom paid for the whole thing. Oh my God! Could my day have been any better? I think not. And then we went home, where I simultaneously cursed at and drooled over Tom Brady on TV, and then I stumbled off to bed, where I promptly became dead to the world... awesome!

Note: Yesterday, B Daigle left a comment stating that the mayor and first lady's place should be referred to as Daigle Manor, as coined by himself and Byron circa 1994, and that Melissa's nickname is spelled Sista, not Sistah (my bad!) and that it was Aimee and Charlie who gave the little man clan (love that!) the coonskin caps for Christmas and not himself and Sista. So...apparently, I have an editor, people! Holla!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Christmas at the Manse

So I think I can safely say that the Daigles had a joyous and festive Christmas in Prudhomme City hosted by the handsome mayor and lovely first lady. You know what's comin'- photo essay! Yeeessss! (All pics courtesy of the mayor.)

Isn't it loverly?

Norman Rockwell-esque, ain't it?

Oh, tannenbaum! Oh, tannenbaum! Decorated by the mayor and Byron... yeah, chew on that one for the next few minutes.

Sammy with his second favorite gift. I think I created a monster by giving him his favorite present- an LSU hat. He's the lone Tiger fan in the Daigle clan. Traitorous at such a young sad, really. Of course, there are no pics of him in the Tigger hat...or are there? See, that's the beauty of this blog. I don't gotta do nothin' I don't wannna do, including publishing portraits of loved ones in purple and gold.

Our very own elves- Emily and Max

Let the consumerist greed begin! (What? Cynical? Me?)

Ride 'em, cowgirl! Mom and Dad got this gift for Mary Grace, but it was hijacked almost immediately by the boys.

Awww, yeah! Like auntie, like nephew. Max overate and wasn't feeling so swell.

Do my eyes deceive me, or has a certain son-in-law dared to recline in the mayor's throne? He claims Dad walked in and didn't even kick him out of the chair. He also claims that this is concrete evidence of his status as favorite son-in-law. I call it Christmas benevolence on the mayor's part.

Charlie and Aimee gave all the boys coonskin caps or, as one of them exclaimed upon opening, "Look, guys! Fake hair!" No one took advantage of the moment to break the news that they may want to hold onto that fake hair as they'll probably be needing it fairly soon. Need proof?

Yes, we passed a good time out in Prudhomme City. Fake hair, traitorous nephew, and all. Hope all of you, my fave peeps, had a super time with your loved ones. Now, you do realize that we have mere days left to stuff our faces before the New Year's guilt sets in, don't you? Well, hop to it and finish up those candy canes!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Who Dat?!? Dreamkiller Edition

So here are the top ten things heard outside the Superdome this Sunday by yours truly:
1o. D**n! It's cold!
9. Jesus, Mary and Joseph! It's cold!
8. I'm freezing my *ss off here! It's cold!
7. Let's get another beer! It's cold!
6. I'm freezing my nuts off here! It's cold!
5. You think it might snow? It's cold!
4. Well, get your *ss in gear and come on! I'm freezin' my nads off here! It's cold!
3. Let's bring Jason David out here and hope he gets frostbite, so he can't play. It's cold!
2. F**k me and Aaron Brooks! It's cold!
1. WHO DAT, BABY! It's f***in' cold!

How cold was it? 50 whole degrees above zero. Who dat say dey gonna beat dem Saints? The g****mn, son of a b***h Eagles, that's who! And so just in time for Christmas, the Saints returned to their patented and time-honored tradition of crushing dreams and breaking hearts. Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to get drunk on free beer.

Alex in the first quarter

Alex in the fourth quarter

SCORE! Free case of beer from Superdome suite!

The End.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Random Friday Ramblings

  • If you have plans to go out and about on the streets of Lafayette, my suggestion is DON'T! The final mad dash to complete the Christmas shopping has begun, and it's a nightmare out there, peeps!.
  • Speaking of Christmas shopping, I went out with a friend to accompany her search for gifts and to pick up my two final gifts, and it was a horrible experience. While I feel badly that I jinxed my friend, I am also a bit relieved that apparently things are back to normal with no extreme ill effects.
  • Today at my gym, the cute little guy that works the desk and takes the old people's blood pressure and makes sure nobody keels over told me he was proud of me for showing up to work out during the holidays. If that kid knew the amount of holiday trash I was stuffing into my face on a daily basis, he'd realize there's really no choice for me... unless Alex suddenly decides mammoth thighs and double-chins are really hot.
  • With regard to Alex and me and Christmas, we're skipping the whole gift exchange this year. We decided, in an attempt to save money, that we'd forgo it, and I must say, it's friggin' AWESOME! No frantic shopping for Alex who, and everyone who knows him will testify to this, is the hardest person to buy for in the history of the modern world.
  • Since we're not doing the gift thing, I went one step further and um...yeah, I guess I pretty much cancelled it all. If there're no gifts, then why the hell would we need a tree? If we don't have a tree, then why would I put out all kinds of Christmas decorations? You see my train of thought here, right? And I have to say, much like no gift-giving, it's friggin' AWESOME! That s**t is a lot of work, you know? I deserve a year off. That's my gift to myself.
  • After I went to the gym, I stopped by a nearby grocery store named Champagne's. Champagne's clientele is very similar to my gym- lots of old people with time and money on their hands. But that's neither here nor there, the guy I want to talk about was 50ish and was walking around at two o'clock in the afternoon with a big fat unlit cigar hanging out of his mouth. WTF? Who does that? In my mind, I saw a big blinking sign with a red arrow over his head that read "I am a giant douchebag." But that's just me.
  • On the radio today, I heard a cover of the John Lennon song "Happy Christmas (War is Over)." I don't understand why people feel the need to mess with perfection. I guess imitation is the sincerest form of flattery and all that, but when it comes to Lennon songs and covers of them...well, my message is Just say no!
  • I missed the first college bowl game of the season last night. I'm so disappointed in myself. I will not miss the R&L Carriers New Orleans Bowl tonight, though. That's the bowl with which UL's conference, the Sunbelt, is associated. At the beginning of the season, I thought I'd be there watching the Cajuns kick some CUSA *ss as the Sunbelt champion. So much for that little dream.
That's pretty much it, my fave peeps. If you're all caught up in the holiday season and don't have a chance to come by during the next week or so, I'll take this chance to wish all of you a happy and joyous Christmas and a fabulous New Year. Think of me when you're gnawing on that turkey leg and downing a highball. I'll be with you in spirit!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Boxes O' Goodness

So, peeps, have you ever, as I have, been perusing that Harry and David catalog that mysteriously appears in your mailbox sometime in November and thought to yourself Dang, those tower things sound so freakin' awesome! Food delivered to your door gorgeously wrapped in boxes of varying size, each one with its own air of mystery and suspense, revealing delicious treats inside... ugh, those seven deadly sins and that one about gluttony! at which point you put down your credit card and sigh as you resist ordering one for yourself? Well, I have, and if you have... then I am sooooooooo much luckier than you today. Guess what got delivered to the door of my little hovel? That's riiiight! I must admit that I was a bit anxious as I ripped open the box with complete abandon. Deep in the recesses of my soul, I harbored fear that this package contained only a box of apples or pears or some of that other s**t that's good for you. But, ho no! Apparently, my brother and sister-in-law, despite my recent loss of Lane Bryant fashion, know that, deep in the cockles of my rapidly-approaching-cardiac-arrest heart, I am still a gluttonous b***h with no self-control. I love them. And, before you ask, this gift was so obviously bought with me in mind and so totally not Alex. I mean, c'mon. This is a man who once said, "Ruth's Chris...Sonic...they're both really good." Need I say more? And I must admit that there was some trepidation that, if indeed concealed in this cardboard cloaked nirvana there was a Tower of Treats, the packaging would, in no way, be as lovely and binge-inducing as portrayed in the catalog. But...

And the angels sang!

Therefore, today's agenda consists of going to the gym and walking, walking, walking until my legs feel as though they will fall off or I have reached the thousands-of-calories-burned mark on the treadmill, then coming home and opening one box every hour on the hour and tasting the yummy goodness that I am certain it contains. Then I will lie on my couch watching re-runs of Take Home Chef and await the diabetic coma, coronary arrest, or bolt of lightning that I so richly deserve. And it will so have been worth it. If I, unfortunately, happen not to survive this outright flauting of one of the seven deadlies, just be sure I am like one of those Egyptian pharaohs and buried with a Tower of Treats to take with me into the afterlife. Playing the odds, no matter where I end up, I bet God and Satan have been waiting for one of these for years, just like me.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Bad Moon Rising?

So I think something really, really, really bad is about to befall me. But before all of us are swept up into the tidal wave of panic that I'm currently surfing, let me throw out my version of what has transpired, and then you can make your own informed decision.

'Kay. So today I woke up with a real feeling of dread in my stomach. Today, I had already decided, was the day to finish the Christmas shopping. Enough with the lollygagging and procrastinating. Just do it! I said to Myself. Myself replied, F**k that! You know I hate shopping, and you've got like at least five places on that list, b***h! You done lost your mind. Did I mention that Myself speaks poorly, has a potty mouth, and needs a major attitude adjustment? No matter. I bravely put my foot down with Myself. It's now or never, I told Myself. This simply has to be done, so we're doin' it TODAY. To which Myself retorted, "Noooooooooooooooo! Please! Please! We could, we could, we HoHos and watch Judge Judy. C'mon. You know you don't really want to do this. But I was having none of it. I packed up Myself and got in the Vue, and we headed off for stop #1.

Stop #1- The gym
I had an excellent workout while reading an engrossing new novel and was stunned to check the mile counter and see that I had actually walked a mile further (farther? Whatever.) than I usually do. Fantastic! I hopped off the treadmill with a spring in my step, gathered up my crap and took off for the next destination. Myself kept up a steady stream of negativity- You know this is gonna suck, right? Big time. This is gonna end up being like one of Dante's levels of hell. I'm just sayin'. The traffic, the douchebag fellow customers, the grouchy clerks. Ugh, we could be at home right now reading Jezebel posts, but noooooooo! I just hope you're happy. This day is thouroughly f***ed, missy! But I just ignored Myself because I knew what had to be done.

Stop #2- Target
I found a parking spot unusually close to the front door. The day was cool and breezy, quite lovely really, as I strolled through the parking lot. Inside, I got cut off by a cowboy (like for real…the hat, the boots, the dip-the whole nine yards). He promptly backed up his cart and gestured me forward with an "I am so sorry, ma'am! Now you just go on ahead. I'm sorry!" What the f**k is up with George Strait there? Myself remarked. Shut it! I screamed. He was very, very nice! And his butt looked really cute in those Wrangler jeans. Why do Wrangler jeans always make for the cutest butts? What was I saying? Oh, yeah! I've had it! No more from you for the rest of the day. Myself was completely non-plussed and replied, Fine. You're on your own. More power to ya, ungrateful b***ch and disappeared. At checkout, there was a line with only one person in it. I was in and out of Target in record time.

Stop #3 Academy
So near to Target and yet so far what with the abominable traffic and driving habits of people. But not today! Nope. I zipped right on over. Found the two gifts I needed with relative ease, had a nice little chat with the cheery fella who checked me out, and was back in the car in two shakes of a lamb's tail. Hurrah!

Stop #4 Ambassador Row Shopping Center- the post office, Marshalls, and Bed, Bath, and Beyond
Throwing caution to the wind, I entered the post office first. Imagine my surprise upon opening the door to a veritable gingerbread house of happy-happy-joy-joy. People were smiling and laughing. Everyone. The customers, the clerks. Merry Christmases were flying left and right! I was so high on holiday spirit by the time I left that I practically floated over to Marshall's to return Alex's last “project de botched pants”. In and out of Marshall's in mere minutes, I tra-la-la'd over to BBB and had another great experience. Wow! This day is just turning out so freakin' great! I said to Myself. I forgot that I had told her to hit the bricks, so there wasn’t a snarky reply.

Stop #5 The Mall of Acadiana- Coldwater Creek and Limited Too
Bam! Another prime parking spot! Woo-hoo! I sallied into the mall and was greeted and served in record time by a festive and cheery saleslady in Coldwater Creek. Ditto for Limited Too. No people in the mall really. I could walk as fast as I liked and didn't have anyone slowing me down by creeping along in front of me or blocking me with baby carriages. Baby carriages, I thought. I haven't heard a yowling infant or toddler today. Not one. Is that possible? Surely I'm dreaming! But no! It was decidedly so. It had been a day completely free of ear piercing wails. And I had been in Christmas time!

Stop #6 Barnes and Noble
Perused the books for a bit. Found the first book I was looking for fairly easily. But I couldn't find the other. Ugh, customer "service" time. What's this? More smiling, joyous faces? Why no, I don't need you to order that book for me, but thank you so much for offering and for smiling and for being patient when I couldn't remember the full title or author's name and for finding it anyway, and for wishing me a happy holiday with a big fat grin on your face....I love you, happy B&N clerk! Toodle loo now!

Coin Star score! Thirteen whole bucks from that Icee cup full of change that's been sitting in the closet for the past two years. Woot! Off I went to grab some potatoes and a bottle of wine. As I giddily reached for my favorite Merlot, I was blindsided by the memory of that last time I had that sweet nectar within my grasp. How I bought two bottles, tripped in the parking lot, and ended up with a soggy bag of glass bits, smirking stares, and stifled laughter.

And that's when it happened. That’s when I realized that days like this never happen for me. EVER. I’m the chick that trudges across the scalding hot parking lot from the last parking spot only to have some d**khead in the store grab the last of whatever it is that I really wanted, then stand in line behind the lady whose toddler inexplicably turns into something out of The Exorcist as soon as I appear. This lady also happens to have thirty coupons and a price check so by the time I get up there, the clerk, who was already put out, is now hating all of humanity and probably overcharges me just to get her jollies in for the day. That’s me. Not this “best shopping day in the history of the world” person. And it hits me. There will be repercussions for this, right? The Big Guy is probably throwing me a bone before he begins the apocalypse and throws me down into the fiery pits of hell to fry for eternity. Oh. Crap. At that point, I fled. Fully expecting a shelf full of yams and cream of mushroom soup to come crashing down upon me at any moment, I veritably flew out of the door, clutching my precious bottle of Merlot (you better believe I made that purchase!) securely against my chest. But it didn’t end. An employee who was gathering grocery carts yelled out, “Hello, ma’am! How are you? That’s a beautiful smile you’ve got!” as I scurried to my car. Holy macaroni! I thought. I gotta get home and get this wine open! The other shoe is gonna drop, and I will definitely need to be drunk to handle it.

So, my peeps, is this not an omen? Undoubtedly a sign of my impending doom, no? I think so, but I plan to be three sheets to the wind, so I’ll never know what hit me when the washing machine or the oven or the cat blows up as it surely is destined to do.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Who Dat!

So, my peeps, how was your weekend? Well, Alex and I ventured down to NOLA this past weekend. Lemme tell you all about it. This is the point at which you should stop reading and just skip to the pics (you knew that had to happen) if my ramblings annoy you. For those of you who choose to soldier on, off we go!

A little background as to how this trip came about- during the week of Thanksgiving, Alex's brother Pete told us he could hook us up with some Saints tickets for any of the remaining home games. But not just any tickets- SUITE tickets! Ho, ho, ho and how now, brown cow! I was all over that like white on rice! A chance to see how "the other half" lives? I'm on it! So, me being me, I called him during the week, and he endowed us with two free (hollah!) suite tickets to the Saints vs. Cardinals game. Thank you, thank you, thank you, Pete (and your bajillionaire friend).

The plan was to head out at noon on Saturday, drop by Slidell to visit Alex’s parents, pick up the tickets from them, go to the city to visit with my brother Burt and his wife Melissa, check out their new digs in NOLA, spend the night at their place, and go to the game on Sunday. Hot diggity doggedy, was I excited! But we're the Mottrams, so you know there was no escaping a few Son of a B***H!!! inducing moments along the way. Not wanting to disappoint us, the universe threw us a few curveballs right off the bat. First, I was running late. Okay, male readers, stop rolling your eyes and muttering Shocker! under your breath. In my defense, I am usually on time and ready to go at the appointed hour. Yes, really. So, at 12:30 PM (not so bad, see?), the Vue was all packed up, and Alex jumped in to start it up and get the party started...and it didn't. Start, that is. The car or the party. Son of a B***H!!! moment #1. Dead battery. We frantically threw everything from the Vue into the truck. Why frantically you ask? Because a massive line of hella crazy storms preceding a cold front (*cue Hallelujah chorus!*) was bearing down on Lafayette…aaaand the truck had no fuel. Nice. So we had to stop and get gas. And, of course, as soon as we pulled into the gas station, nature unleashed her full fury- pouring rain and twenty mile-per-hour winds. Son of a B***H!!! moment #2. Poor Alex cowered behind the pump as much as he could, but still got pretty wet. Then we drove like bats out of hell trying to get in front of that thing, which we eventually managed to do right outside of Baton Rouge. Ahhhhhh, thaaaat was better.

The rest of the day was great. We visited with Mom and Dad Mottram, and they treated us to dinner (supper? Whatever. Last meal of the day…if you’re a normal person and not, um…me) at their local Chinese buffet. Noticeably absent from dining at the buffet with Mom and Dad Mottram were the normal loss-of-appetite comments Alex subjects me to when we dine in such fashion in Lafayette. Valid proof that he was, indeed, “raised right,” as they say. Anyway, that was much fun as we got not only the tickets, but Christmas and anniversary checks, too. (Money, money, money! I love money! Oh, and of course, I love my in-laws, too!)

We headed into New Orleans proper to catch up with Burt and Melissa. Burt (nicknamed B Daigle by the NOLA set) and Melissa (nicknamed Sister- or more accurately, Sistah- by her sisters, which was then adopted by the NOLA set) moved down to New Orleans back in the summer and purchased a townhouse this fall and, nosey *ss bi**h that I am, I’ve been dying to check out their new pad ever since. It did not disappoint. Burt and Melissa got a phat crib, yo! Seriously. It's in Lakeview, which is a part of the city that was flooded during Katrina, and their place has been refurbished. It's three stories, so only the bottom floor was flooded, and they have 3 bedrooms and 3 ½ baths, real wood floors, granite counters, stainless steel appliances...yeah, you get the picture. This place is so big, they can't even fill half the rooms. It's almost twice the square footage of our house in Lafayette. If you throw in the two-car garage and work room, then it is. Is it weird that I want my much younger brother and his wife to adopt me? Anyway, Burt and Melissa are livin’ the high life over there in the big city, and I am plenty envious, I tell ya.

After a blissful night’s slumber at Chez Sistah and B Daigle's, we left for the Superdome at about 10:00 AM. Game time was noon. Of course, the cold front had come through and it was delightfully nippy. *Yay!* We had to stop at the bank to get money and stuff, but I still felt we had plenty of time to get there and be settled before kick off. Mmm-hmmm, you know what’s coming right? By 10:30 AM, we were stuck in traffic. For almost an hour, we were in line for the Dome exit off of I-10 East only to be shooed back onto the interstate just as we had reached the point where we should have been able to park. Why? I have NO idea. Maybe you needed a parking pass or something. The cop just blew his whistle and pointed us onto the ramp leading back onto the highway. I was in so much shock and disbelief, I couldn’t even launch into an impressive string of trucker epithets. I think I said, “I’m gonna cry!” three times while Alex said, “Okay, it’s too late now. We just deal with it!” at escalating volume until I shut the hell up. At this point, it was 11:35. Final Son of a B***H!!! moment of the trip. Somehow Alex got us down in the vicinity of the dome, screeched into the Holiday Inn parking garage, hauled me through the streets, figured out where to go in the Dome to get to the suite, and had me hoofing it through the hallway to the actual suite as the Saints kicked off. We almost made it! But we didn’t…but who cares cuz that suite was freakin’ SWEET! Food out the wazoo, free beer, free hard liquor and mixers, leather stadium seats with cupholder, a cute little Saints towel to wave around and a shiny new roster sheet waiting for you on your seat, flat screen TV to keep you abreast of the other games, clean restrooms with no waiting even during halftime. Yes, peeps, this is the way to watch football. If you, like I, have ever said to yourself, it can’t be that good up there, they’re not getting the real game experience, and all those other things we say to try and fool ourselves into believing that we aren’t missing out on anything. We are sooooo wrong. We are soooo missing out. Even if that was the only time I will ever get to experience it, thank you, Baby Jesus, for giving me a brother-in-law with a really rich friend, even if his pockets are lined with the blood money of Bush administration defense contracts. I don’t care. I got to watch the Saints like all those old, rich, fat Republicans, and it was awesome. As I looked down upon the great unwashed masses and imagined them queuing up for their Dome Foam and eboli infested bathrooms, I was unequivocally and blissfully happy. People, I have lived the dream, and it was oh so, so good. And I know it was a dream because the Saints actually won the game. Boo-ya! We're still alive for the playoffs!

Then it was back to reality. Upon stumbling into our humble, 1970s countertop, wood laminated abode, our cat Gizmo leapt at our faces to let us know that we had forgotten to leave out food for her. A stunning and irrefutable piece of evidence that the man upstairs was right on when he decided not to endow us with offspring. That kid would probably still be sitting in a suite at the Superdome right now.

Enjoy the pics that follow, my peeps, and then get that darn Christmas shopping done already. You can’t procrastinate forever! Oh wait…that only applies to me. My bad.

The holiest of holies- my ticket to the dream and the souvenir I got to take home and treasure forever.

This picture does no justice to the phenomenally fantastic and unobstructed dream view we had of the field. Brings a tear of joy to my eye just remembering it.

Alex watching the game- fat cat style. Notice the smug grin on his face. Love it.

Proof that dreams do come true!

Proof that I (er...I mean, we) lived the dream, if only for one game.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Celebrate! Good times! C'mon!

So yesterday I traveled with Molly and the tribe to Baton Rouge to help Noah celebrate his sixth birthday at Celebration Station. The day began with a fog as thick as pea soup and continued on to yield temperatures in the eighties and upwards of ninety percent humidity. Ah, December in Louisiana. I think this face pretty much sums it all up weather-wise.
Sing along! It's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas...if I lived in the jungles of Africa. Can you tell I'm not a fan of this climate? I'd trade places with a person trapped in a snowbank right now. At least I'd freeze to death thinking, Now this is Christmas weather!

Where was I? Oh yes, yes- Noah's party. Molly had asked me to come along to help serve as kid wrangler since Ted had to work, and since I do love spending time with my nephews and nieces, even if it means braving Celebration Station, I signed on. This place is kids' paradise and a black hole for parents' money. As a childess (and not desperately seeking one) person, I have my own take on kids' birthday parties. They usually start out all puppy dogs and rainbows but inevitably lead to hysterical meltdowns by at least one, if not more, of the kiddie participants, which can lead to eruptions by parents and, before you know it, the whole thing has morphed into an ugly scene caused by spiking sugar levels and lack of naps. Not a pretty sight. But it is one I can sit through with a great measure of comfort knowing that, while I may have to witness the transformation from sweetie pie to demon spawn, I will not have to go home with Satan's new minion and perform the exorcism. But, I have to say, Noah's party went really well. Only a few minor dust-ups. Certainly nothing for the record books. They all had a great time. Oh, and the Parent/Uncle of the Day Award goes to Charlie Roy, who drove not one, not two, not three, not four, but FIVE little boys on rounds of the go-cart track at five minutes per ride. And he was still completely sane afterward. That's impressive. Here's one of my infamous photo essays for ya. * Cue diabolical laughter* Enjoy!

The birthday boy! Ugh, he's so cute I can't even stand it. That combination of freckles and blue eyes is irresistible, no?

Noah's cake of choice was chocolate with white icing sporting a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles theme.

Makin' a wish!

Don't you think the faces are a dead give away of the soul-sucking attributes of video games? Me, too!

Max tearin' up Star Wars.

Mary Grace and her moms enjoying the party.

The birthday boy got the first ride of the day.
(This was the beginning of Chuck's torture.)

Charlie and Sam racing around the track. I think this was round four. Notice driver's face. Is it possible he's still having fun?!?

So, all in all, a great day. And, one small request from my fave peeps, if I may be so bold? Begin the novenas for a Christmas Day sans shorts and tank tops NOW! Thanks so much!

Friday, December 7, 2007

She's Aliiiive!

So, I bet you guys thought I'd dropped this blog like a big ol' hot potato, huh? Au contraire, mon frere! You should be so lucky. But no, I was merely in a prison called Dupre Library being the **tch of my cellmates named Textbook, Binder, and Notecard. Perhaps you remember them from your own stint in a similar institution? Mmm-hmm, I thought so. For me, there's a major difference between the end of finals undergrad style versus grad style. Namely that I did not go out and get completely **it-faced. I celebrated with a piece of pizza and promptly collapsed into a coma for the next ten hours. Not even a glass of wine because I was too tired to stop off and get a bottle on the way home. Yes, I know, all together now- LAME! But, the point is, it's over, and I think we can all agree that the fact that I survived is a minor freakin' miracle. And I gotta give a shout-out to the Big Guy (or Gal?) upstairs for seeing me through. That'd be God, not Ray Authement, just in case there was any confusion on your part. "Uncle Ray" is da man, but he ain't that good.

Anyway, when last I left you, dear peeps, I had promised a rousing post about the Annual Mottram Thanksgiving Shindig in Gulf Shores. Well, luckily for you, I suffer from a chronic case of CRS (Can't Remember **it); therefore, you will be spared the misery...somewhat. Unfortunately for you, I did take pics. So, while you won't have to slog through a reading of my prolific prose, you will, if you choose to conitnue, have to endure a mind-numbingly inane photo essay. Oh yes, it's a classic. And we're off!

Here's some of the insane traffic we encountered along the way. This is a shot of the tunnel in Mobile. This is at the point in the trip where we were tantalizingly close to our destination of Gulf Shores only to encounter the fourth traffic jam. This is also where I started wailing and just generally having a temper tantrum to rival that of two-year-olds everywhere. Sing along time! Alex loves me, this I know, 'cause...he didn't kill me on the way to Gulf Shores for acting like a brat. 'Kay, so that last part doesn't really go with the original song, but you get my drift.

Once we finally arrived, this was the crib my in-laws hooked us up with for this year's festivities. My reaction? A variety of age-inappropriate slang, like Niiiiiiiice! Sweet! and Hollah! At this point, I am pretty sure Alex added Taser to his Christmas wish list.

Here's muh Zandy doin' what he does best. And this was pre- Thanksgiving gorging.

This act of perfected lounging is apparently a family trait passed down through the DNA. Witness the stunning visual evidence above.

We enjoyed this every day. Niiiiice! Sweet! Hollah!

I got to force Alex out onto the beach and make him pose for pics. Thought running through his head? Prolly something along the lines of Hmmm, could I reach her with the Taser from this distance?

And more posing on the beach.

Our cutie-patootie niece Hannah enjoyed the beach. She is the happiest kid EVER! Like every day is a day at DisneyWorld happy. She's fun!

We don't get to see Hannah that often, so Alex made sure to get in some quality "uncle" time with her. They're so cute together that it almost makes me want one of my own. I said almost.

The whole fam enjoyed the beach. Check out Alex's dad. We often marvel at Paw's ability to promptly pass out and catch some Z's in any situation. I want that super-power!

Sarah, our other niece, was in charge of Bingo. BTW, she's gonna make someone a great babysitter. She played with Hannah like a champ.

Stephen, our nephew, is now a teenager, so this Game Boy-obstructed view was pretty much the status quo for the weekend. Not that I blame him. He had seven adults and two little girls for company. Not a lot of Wheeeeeeee! moments for him, know what I'm sayin'?

My darling brother and sister-in-law Chris and Pam are the parents of Stephen and Sarah. They reside in Atlanta and told us some pretty funny stories about dealing with the water shortage there. Chris is hilarious.

Two words- tryptophan overdose. Let this be a warning to you, kids. (And more evidence of why I think he really wants that Taser. I know I'd freakin' kill him if he took a pic like this of me. Forget the posting, just the taking would result in a beat down. And, no, I don't know why he puts up with me.)

Just before we left I took this picture... then began screaming NOOOOOO! You can't make me go! and was drug (or is it dragged?...ah, forget it!) off to the car by Zandy.

That's the tunnel in Mobile again. The traffic on the way home was blissfully non-existent. Lucky for me. One more "incident" and that Taser might still be on the Christmas list.

And that's it. Like a modern day family vacation slideshow, eh? Mmm-hmm, I agree, they are just as boring now as back when they were projected onto the wall of the living room. Look on the bright side, if you ever have trouble sleeping, you can forgo the sleep-binging Ambien and just come here; you'll be lulled into REM in no time flat! But I'm not paying for any keyboards ruined by drool, just so ya know.

Hope you enjoyed the post or at least got a well-deserved nap out of it, and have an awesome weekend, my peeps! You know darn well that I will! Where the heck is that corkscrew?

Saturday, November 17, 2007

You Say It's Your Birthday

So Zandy turned 60 this weekend. Not really, but I love to mess with him. Believe me, I get as good as I give. Evidence of this follows. We much not at all. I don't think going to lunch on Saturday at our neighborhood Chinese buffet (shout out to Lotus Garden!) counts, especially since Alex's favorite thing to do before we venture over to the joint is to yell out at our cat, "Gizmo, we're off to eat your relatives!" Mmm-hmmm, that's muh Zandy. He used to refer to their chicken kabobs as "rat-on-a-stick." Eventually, I just gave up and quit eating them. The reference stirred too much of a visual for me to actually partake any longer. He also refers to their egg drop soup as "snot stew." Yes, I, too, wonder why I actually agree to go there with him . Like I said, I love to mess with him but, in the words of five-year-olds everywhere, he started it! Yeah, we are screwed up but somehow it works. I do not question this. Does one question why the world goes 'round? Okay..well, some people actually do. But I don't. I find questioning complicated things usually leads to really long and boring answers that I tend to fog out on about halfway through and begin fantasizing about, like, the new gourmet flavors of Pringles or something. So I mean, really, do we want me pondering? I thought not.

Where was I? Oh yeah, the birthday un-celebration. So we didn't do anything. And, equally offensive, I didn't get him anything either. Well, here's the deal. Alex is notorious for living a very simple lifestyle. If the dude decides he wants something, he just goes out and gets it. Yeah, it puts a serious cramp on gift giving. So this year I basically just said, "Hey, is there anything you really want because, ya know, we're pretty poor, and I'm not into frantically searching my brain for gift ideas. Say, how 'bout a cake and some lovin'?" He was totally down with this idea. His cake of choice was German Chocolate. His lovin' of choice is totally none of your business! God! Pervs! :)

Below you'll find a pic of his cake, which I made from scratch. Yes, from scratch! Yeah, like sifted flour and sugar and eggs and stuff. I know, I'm like friggin' Martha Stewart over here or somethin'. Too bad baking is the only thing Martha-like that I do. Other than that, it's Banquet chicken pot pies, Kraft mac-n-cheese, and dead plants in flower pots all the way.

This is the Zandy's German Chocolate birthday cake.

Alex diggin' into a hearty slice o' cake.

I made the cake using a recipe from my all-time fav cookbook. Fannie Flagg, the author of Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe, wrote it, and if you're looking for southern comfort food, this is the cookbook for you. All of the recipes are really bad for you- tons of fat and salt and calories- really freakin' out-of-this-world delicious, and guaranteed to put you into cornary arrest or diabetic coma. Choose your poison. There's a coconut cake recipe that is soooooo delightfully sinful. I salivate just thinking of it. Seriously. I've tried to remember how long I've had this cookbook, and I remember making recipes from it back when I lived on Chestnut Street, which marks it at about a decade. That's the sign of a good cookbook, my friends.

It just so happens that Alex and our nephew J.T. have the same birthday, so on Sunday, we went over to Ted and Molly's to help J.T. celebrate. This was an actual celebration with cake and gifts. Then we all got to watch four grown men struggle through trying to figure out how to actually transform a Transformer. Riveting stuff. Aside from this, the main entertainment was listening to Max, who's eight, moan and groan over the Saints' loss. We all promptly informed him that if he's going to be a Saints fan, he'd better get used to this or find some other team to support. Here are some pics from J.T.'s party.

The Birthday Boys

"I'm this many!" Well, not really. He's three. Cut him some slack.

Wish I was still this excited to blow out birthday candles. So cute!

And now, we feast!

Really, if you can't gorge yourself with cake on your third birthday, when can you?

Mary Grace woke up just in time to celebrate.

Next week, we're off to Gulf Shores, Alabama, for the annual Mottram Thanksgiving shin-dig. I'll tell you all about it, I promise. Until then, I hope all of you, my fav peeps, have a super Thanksgiving overdosing on tryptophan. I know I will!