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

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Gustav Update

by CajunKate


So the Zandinator and I decided to head out and see if Sonic was open so we could get an ice cream treat but alas, Sonic, and just about everything else, was closed up tighter than a gnat's ass.  

What was open?  Well, Backyard Burgers had a line out to Amabassador Caffery, and Albertson's had a  few cars in its lot. The BP and ShopRite on West Congress were open with a few peeps in line for gas.  And, of course, our neighborhood Chinese buffet Lotus Garden was open with plywood at the ready, which I assume will be tacked up as soon as the last of the fried rice is sold.

But traffic on Johnston Street, the main drag, shows what a ghost town Lafayette is at 6:00 PM on this particular Sunday:



And many, many homes and businesses are sporting this look:



And although the weather in Lafayette looked like this at 6:00 PM:


At the Mottram hovel, I have implemented my own Hurricane Gustav plan:


And so tonight, this is my own little piece of advice to those other non-evacuees who are hunkered down in south Louisiana and to all those family members who are nibbling on fingernails throughout the great U. S. A. , worrying about those of us who are so hunkered: "When Mother Nature gives you hurricanes, invest in Merlot."  

Updates will continue until LUS (Lafayette Utility Systems) craps out on us.

Here's Da Update...uh, Nate!

by CajunKate

So, really the only change since yesterday is that BDaigle, Sista, and Baby Daigle ended up leaving for Conway, Arkansas, at 3:00 AM today (Sunday) to bunk with Sista's family.


Mom, Dad, Ted, Molly, and all the kiddos are up in Tyler, Texas.


Byron is still going to Church Point and Alex and I are still remianing here in Lafayette.


Right now, it looks like the storm will hit the coast as a low CAT 4. By the time it reaches Lafayette, it will be a CAT 2, which we've been through before with Hurricane Lili about six years ago. Also, as of now, Lafayette would be on the west side, the weaker side, of the storm. I am hoping that this track and forecast holds. Barring the dream of the storm falling apart and not even coming ashore, I'd be happy with the west side of a CAT 2. Well, not happy, but I can definitely think of far worse scenarios.


Anyway, we'll keep posting until the electricity goes out. The only people no electricity is good for is you guys because, seriously, nobody wants to be exposed to the ineveitable rage-aholic postings I'd type up while sitting in a 90 degree house in 95% humidity. Trust.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Here's Da Plan, Stan

by CajunKate

So BDaigle, Sista, and Baby Daigle arrived last night. The tentative plan is for them to head to Tyler, Texas, on Sunday, depending on what Gustav does.

Ted, Molly, the kids, Mom and Dad are heading for Tyler on Sunday morning at 5:30 AM.

Byron is staying and bunking down with a friend in Church Point.

Alex and I are staying and plan to head to his parents' home in Slidell, even though
Alex's parents are leaving this afternoon (Saturday) for northern Alabama. We will leave only if it looks like Gustav will be a CAT 4 and headed directly at Lafayette. If it is lower than a CAT 4, then we plan on staying in Lafayette. This is a decision that will be made late Sunday or very early Monday.

Aimee and Charlie Roy have plans to evacuate Baton Rouge to northern Mississippi where Aimee has family. I assume they are going to remain in Baton Rouge as long as the track stays consistent with Gustav drifting on a steadily westward track.

Those are the plans for now. I'll be updating as things progress.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Omen?

by CajunKate

So last night I came home from class to find Alex's truck parked on the street by our mailbox instead of in the driveway. Highly unusual. I trotted in and asked him what was up with that. He replied, "Look at the pictures on your camera." At this point, I , fulfilling my role as the anxious, half-crazy Southern wife, was all, "What? What? What happened?!?!? Just TELL ME!" and he was all, "God, you need meds! It's nothing bad, doofus. Just look."

And I saw this:


Now, it's not unusual to see egrets in south Louisiana. Smallish egrets...in fields...atop cows. In fact, we used to call them cowbirds when I was a kid. But finding a monster, three-foot-tall egret in your yard in the middle of the city...well, that's odd.

So, me being me, I chose to see it as an omen. And I know it has something to do with Hurricane Gustav. It's must be so, right? A huge water bird in my yard. A hurricane brewing in the gulf and seemingly intent on hitting the Louisiana coastline. This cannot be a coincidence.

With this in mind, I fired off another letter to Gustav.

(Image courtesy of NOAA)

Dear Hurricane Gustav,
While I suppose congratulations are in order regarding your graduation to hurricane status, you will not be getting a card and/or gift from me.

Here's the deal, f**ker. I think I made it exceedingly clear in my previous missive that you are NOT welcome here. NOT welcome. Despite the fact that Sista's doctor told her yesterday that her cervix was like (and I quote) the Rock of Gibraltar, and it would seem as though my niece/nephew has no plans of appearing anytime soon, and despite the fact that Sista's awesome sister Michelle has promised me a bottle of wine if I put her up during evacuation, you are NOT welcome.

See, as much as I feel relief over the fact that I will most likely not have to birth my niece or nephew in my guest room, and as much as I would enjoy free wine and getting drunk with Michelle, neither of those things is enough to mitigate the fact that YOU'RE NOT WANTED HERE!

Get it? Got it? Good! Now, shove off and go harass Florida or Texas or some other place, and leave us alone. We're still pissed off at your sister Katrina. She was a real b***h, which means you are likely to an overwhelming a**hole and /or douchebag of a hurricane.

Oh, and tell your sister Tropical Storm Hanna that she better back the f**k off, too.

With growing animosity,
CajunKate

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Dear Gustav

by CajunKate

So this is my open letter to the menace currently brewing in the Caribbean and possibly heading to the Gulf of Mexico.

(Projected Path courtesy of NOAA)

Dear Tropical Storm Gustav,
Please stay the f**k away from Louisiana. You will NOT f**k with the possible birth of my BDaigle and Sista's new babay. Are we clear?


With much animosity,
CajunKate


P.S. I heard Texas would love to have you.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Practicing for Baby Daigle's First Photo Session

by CajunKate

So today I spent a while practicing with the manual settings on my camera. I read a quote that really motivated me: "If you leave your dSLR on auto, you have essentially purchased an expensive and large point-and-shoot camera. For shame." Now, I know my camera is not a dSLR, but I still feel like I should make better use of its features than I do.

I want to be ready for my first photo session with BDaigle and Sista's new baby. He or she (the whole not knowing thing is so exciting!) is due September 2. Could I BE more excited that in less than 9 days, give or take, I will have niece or nephew # 10? That's rhetorical, of course. The answer is an emphatic, "NO! I could not!" Hot diggity! A brand new one to spoil rotten!

Anyway, here are a few practice shots from today:


Hmmmm...judging from these shots it's clear that I want the baby to be born green and covered in dew. Interesting.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Final San Francisco Recap (Days 6 and 7): Bridging It All Together

by CajunKate

So this is it! The last recap! Finally! Hurray! And YAY! I feel like I’ve reached the end of final exam week or something. Also, I am supremely overjoyed that I will never have to type the world’s longest trip title- City by the Bay Most Excellent Vacay Ever Sponsored by San Francisco Best Friend/Tour Guide Seth- ever again! Now, on to the LAST recap, which will be very short because, as you can tell, I’ve grown weary of this recap business and also because I am incredibly lazy.

On Day 6, we went to church at the Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Assumption:


And picked up Baby Jesus:


And pondered existential questions:


And then we went to the Marina to get stunning pics of the GG Bridge, but we got fog instead:


And then we walked on the GG Bridge:


And, in trying to capture the fog whipping across the bridge, I finally figured out how to use the video feature on my camera:

video


And then we went drinking and eating yummy bratwurst at Zeitgeist Bar:


And introduced Baby Jesus to their world famous Bloody Mary (Is it me or is this shot my “Do not pass GO; do not collect $200” ticket straight to hell?):


And then we drank some more at the Blackthorn Irish Pub and Tavern where we were served by a real live Irish bartender and where I didn’t take pictures. And then we ate the most delicious Chinese food ever from San Tung. Better then any I have had anywhere (and that includes NYC). Oh, spicy peanut sauce with seafood over noodles, how I wish you would move to Lafayette! I didn’t take pics of that either.

And then we went to sleep. Of course, no pics of that.

On Day 7, I said good bye to SF.


Now Baby Jesus and the only thing I bought for myself in San Francisco are back in Lafayette:

Thanks to Seth and Baby Jesus for a great trip. Oh, and to that Alex guy, too.

The End.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

San Francisco Day Five: Entertainment Day!

by CajunKate

So on Day Five of City by the Bay Most Excellent Vacay Ever Sponsored by San Francisco Best Friend/Tour Guide Seth (yeah, that’s getting really old now) was a slow day for us. Maybe it was all of the previous days’ busy schedules and all the walking, but Seth and I were definitely on a slower pace by Sunday.

The day was bright and sunny and the “hottest” day of my trip. It was the perfect day to enjoy a classic summer activity, which worked out really well since we had tickets to enjoy a baseball game at AT&T Park. The Giants were taking on the Dodgers. This made the idea of attending the game that much more fun since this is a big rivalry. Now I’m not a fan of either the Giants or the Dodgers, and I really don’t watch a lot of baseball. Basically, I watch the World Series. Sometimes I’ll try to watch the Cubs, my favorite team, on TV, but I usually end up changing the channel. (The only sport which holds my attention less when broadcast on TV is golf. I f**king hate televised golf with a passion. This may have something to do with the fact that I don’t play golf and have no interest in playing golf. Here is what I know about golf…Tiger Woods. He plays it.)

Anyway, I do luuuurrrvvve to watch baseball in person, so I was very happy to be there despite not caring which team won. Also, I’ve heard that AT&T is considered one of the best parks in the nation, and I was excited to check it out.


It is a fantastic stadium. It reminds me a bit of Minute Maid in Houston, but I liked AT&T better because it is open air. Also, I had been told there are no bad seats at AT&T, and I think that may be absolutely true. We had tickets on the left field side in the Arcade. Here’s what we saw:

Outside of the stadium it dawned on us that it was going to be really sunny and so when I heard a lady hawking free sunscreen samples, Seth grabbed some from her. We got free hats upon entrance. (Mine turned into a gift for Alex once I got home...cuz I’m cheap like that.) On the way to our seats, we grabbed beers and an order of the garlic fries. I had been told by BDaigle not to miss these, and Erica from the BBQ the day before told me the same thing. When a loved one and then a local tell you something like that, you listen. They were freaking delicious, too. I offered some to Seth, but he said he’d have some later. The only thing is that when later came I had eaten them all. Oops!

Once we were in our seats, I, um…I began to sweat. Yes, I actually broke into a sweat in SF for the very first time. There was a sea breeze off of the bay, so it wasn’t too bad for me, having just come from Africa and all, but poor Seth was sweating buckshot, and the sun was blazing down on us. I knew it was bad when Seth put on the free hat. He looked at me and said, “When’s the last time you saw me wear a hat?” My reply: “Uh, that would be NEVER!” (I donned mine as well. This would explain why, when I gave it to Alex and he went to put it on, he was all, “Hey! Somebody wore this already!” Whoops!) Seth and I both ended up using the sunscreen, but poor Seth still left the stadium wearing a stunning shade of pink on his arms. Also, there was a big brouhaha among our neighbors and some new arrivers about the fourth inning over seats and mis-marked rows. That was kind of interesting. Also, interesting were the five really drunk guys trying to heckle Manny Ramirez. This might have worked if they hadn’t been sitting a mile up from him in the third level. If Manny heard anything they were screaming (in well-timed unison, I might add) then he spent some of his millions on bionic ears. But I give them an A for effort.

At the top of the seventh, I couldn’t bear to see Seth sweating and burning anymore, so I suggested we go walk around, take some pictures, then beat the crowd out of the stadium. This worked out really well.


When we left, the Dodgers had made a comeback with a grand slam homerun, but later I found out the Giants ended up winning. So, yeah, yay Giants…I guess.

After the game we walked over to the Metreon and bought tickets for The Dark Knight, which Seth had so willingly put off seeing so we could see it together. Isn’t he sweet? My review of the movie: Good. Definitely worth the price of a matinee ticket.

After the movie, we walked around the SoMa area (south of Market Street) and took some pics at City Hall.


Final stop of the day was dinner in Seth’s old neighborhood at Sushi Bistro for some of the most delicious sushi I’ve ever had. We ordered the lettuce wraps as an appetizer. They’re named for the seasons, which I thought was neat. I had the summer which was made with salmon. I think Seth had the winter which was made with barbequed eel. Both were fantastic. We ordered a bunch of rolls, too. My favorite was the Sexy Scallop. I’ve never had scallops as sushi before, and they were soooooooooooo fresh and sweet and absolutely yummy.

Then we headed home, but there was forty minute wait for the bus, so we decided to walk the half-mile or so to Seth’s place. This doesn’t sound so bad, but it was all UPHILL. Quite a walk for a girl from the flatlands. Good thing I do my treadmill workouts on a 6.5 incline.

When we got to home, I realized I had broken Seth. The poor boy was sunburned and had developed two huge blisters, one on each of his feet…on the instep! OUCH! So while we watched the encore presentation of Oprah, we got drunk. Cuz nothing soothes tired muscles, sunburn, blisters, and mind fog better than lots and lots of alcohol. I think this prescription is in all the medical literature. If not, it should be.

Last recap will be a combo of Days 6 and 7. It’ll be coming later today or tomorrow. After I finish watching the part of the Olympics where the Russian women’s volleyball coach screams at his players until they cry, and also once I finish thanking the Baby Jesus that I am not one of those players. Remember, kids, anything screamed in Russian sounds really, really mean and scary.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Celebrity Interruption of Vacay Recaps for Weather Specialists

by CajunKate

So the Zandinator left for Tampa, Florida, this afternoon on a business trip. And there's that Hurricane Fay headed for Florida.  And lo, a text message with picture attached just arrived in my inbox.  Behold!



It's kind of hard to make him out, but that's Jim Cantore from The Weather Channel in the hotel bar where Alex is staying.  Most hilariously, Zandy and his co-workers were discussing the hurricane, and one of them said, "Well, we should be okay...unless Jim Cantore shows up...then we're f**ked!"

Olympic Interruption of Vacay Recaps for Wardrobe Inequality

by CajunKate

So can someone please explain to me why the men's beach volleyball teams dress like this:

while the women's beach volleyball teams dress like this?


Can we get a topless man, please?  It's f**king beach volleyball!  I want to see some  hotness, like Maverick in Top Gun hotness, yo!

Columbus Interruption of Vacation Recaps for Delicious Nephews

by CajunKate

So I got these pics of my yummy nephews from Colin's birthday celebration. I want to devour them WHOLE!

San Francisco Day Four: Neighborhood Celebration Day!

by CajunKate

So on Day Four of City by the Bay Most Excellent Vacay Ever Sponsored by San Francisco Best Friend/Tour Guide Seth (does this title get a little longer every time I type it, or is it just me?), we slept in to recover a bit from the jam packed first three days of the trip. After all, this was vacation time for both of us.

First stop of the day was Union Square. When we got there, I kind of looked around and said, "This is it?" I'm not sure what I was expecting but, um, it wasn't a square surrounded by large chain stores. For some reason, I had it in my head that Union Square was a train station. I think I kept hearing Union Station and not Union Square. Whatever, I have no idea where this idea came from, but I was pretty disappointed.


Our second stop was my favorite place to visit in any town that has one- Chinatown! I’ll never forget the first time I stepped up out of the subway into Chinatown in NYC. I felt like I had been instantly transported to a foreign country. EVERYTHING was in Chinese, and it had a gritty and “real” feel to it. For the most part, looking around NYC’s Chinatown, you wouldn’t see very many white faces, especially once you got off of Mott Street. In San Francisco, ummmm…not so much. First of all it was incredibly crowded because it was Saturday. Second of all, there were so many white faces if it wasn’t for the signage in Chinese, I wouldn’t have known I was in Chinatown. I was a little disappointed, and then we started hearing all this noise- drums and firecrackers and stuff. We came across some kind of “ceremony” (for lack of a better word). Two sets of dragons, one on each side of the road, were making their way down the street accompanied by trucks edging along beside them with beds filled with drummers and bell clackers. The dragons would move along the street and into a storefront at which point the music would become very dramatic, and the dragons would dance and move partially into the store until the owner or manager or whomever came out and acknowledged the presence of the dragon. If the owner didn’t come out, the music would become ominous and end with the shower and bang of those tiny firecrackers that we call “poppers” (you know, the ones you throw violently at the ground or stomp on). I am guessing it was some kind of good luck ceremony. It was really cool to see, and I tried to get a lot of pictures, but I really only got two cool ones. This is because it was so freaking crowded with tourists! But it was still really loud and fun.

(Seth: That duck is LOOKING at you!)

We only walked through the main drag, then we moved on because I could tell Seth was over it all. I don’t think he’s a big fan of Chinatowns, in general. I’d think this was strange, but so far I am the only person I’ve ever met who actually loves going to Chinatown. What’s up with that? Anyway, when I go back to SF (see how I’m doing that? WHEN, not if) I’m going to Chinatown on a Monday and getting off of Grant Avenue, the main street, and really exploring, even if I have to do it alone due to Chinatown haters accompanying me.

We cut across Jack Kerouac alley to get out of Chinatown and into North Beach, the Italian enclave. This particular alley is one that Jack Kerouac and other members of the Beat Generation hung out on. One side of the famous City Lights Booksellers, which the members of the Beat Generation frequented, faces the alley, and it has a mural celebrating the Mexican Zapatista movement on it.

In North Beach, we walked through the streets exploring and just people watching as Seth led me to the Lusty Lady Theatre. The Lusty Lady is the only cooperatively owned strip club in the nation. That means the strippers own it. This is when Seth talked me into another one of those unfortunate, ridiculous poses. And this time there was absolutely no adult beverage consumption to blame. Just me, being a freak.

Closeup of my idiotic pose. Seth's direction: "Act like a stripper! Be sexy!" I think two words can sum up my attempt- EPIC FAIL!

What better way to follow up the Lusty Lady than to go down to TransAmerica Park to see Saints Peter and Paul Church? Yep, from one end of the spectrum to the other in less then ten minutes. We skipped the TransAmerica building this trip. I mean I saw it from afar hundreds of times, but we didn’t actually go there. I’m not sure there is a reason to do so, but I’ll check it out next time (See? Doing it again!). I did take a pic with this giant phallus topped with a pyramid (What? Oh, like you’ve never heard it described like that?).


After lust and prayer time, we went over to Fishermans Wharf. Oy! Crowded was not the word. Tourist hell is more like it. We walked around, and Seth took my picture with Alcatraz. Also, I insisted on seeing the seals at Pier 39.


Then we braved the crowded sidewalks to fulfill my dream of eating an In-N-Out burger. It was so crowded in there, I couldn’t take it and went outside, leaving Seth alone to brave the burger enthused tourists. I think Seth summed it up best when, upon emerging, he said, “If Dante was alive today, that would included as one of the levels of hell!” But no matter, as we were soon gorging on In-N-Out, which I must say totally lived up to the hype, at least for me. Yummy and CHEAP!


Next we headed up to Alamo Square. Our reason for this was two-fold. One, I wanted to see the famous Painted Ladies- you know, those four row houses that they show in every TV show and movie set in San Francisco, including the opening credits for Full House? Speaking of which, Seth promised to show me the Full House house, and he NEVER did. Oh well, next time (I’m just gonna keep that up through this whole post, just so you know).


Our other reason for going to the Alamo Square area was to attend a BBQ being hosted by some of Seth’s friends. This was great as it meant I got to actually see the inside of one of those cute San Francisco houses. Here’s what I found out. They’re all carved up into small apartments. Although, the apartment I visited has a fantastic outdoor space, which I would assume is unusual.

This particular apartment was the domain of Erica and Kevin; they’re engaged, and Erica’s ring is gorgeous and very unique. Erica is the sister of Krista, Seth’s old roommate. Got all that? Anyway, Krista invited us, and it was really nice to meet her since I had heard so much about her. She’s very pretty and funny and smart, and I am counting on her to keep an eye on my Seth for me as it is clear she adores him as much as I do. Also at the BBQ were Andrew, Audrey, Kelly, and Sarita, all of whom were super nice, friendly, and welcoming. Now, I know what you’re thinking, What about your RSS? I’m not gonna lie. I balked a bit at the BBQ, but I really wanted to meet Krista, so I sucked it up…along with lots and lots of beers. Beer always helps my RSS. Also, wine. Oh, and hard liquor. Basically, the prescription for my RSS is booze and lots of it.
Oh! I forgot to mention the second coolest dog ever- Jackson! What a sweetie pie! He’s 2nd because my all time favorite dog is Ese, Jen and Tim’s dog. I didn’t take any pics at the BBQ because, even though I have RSS, I know you don’t bust out the digital camera and start snapping away at virtual strangers. At any rate, the BBQ was really fun, and I finally got to see some of the Olympics. Yay!


At about 6:30 PM, Seth and I agreed we were spent, said goodbye to Krista and the others, and headed back to his place. We stopped off at Gordo Taqueria on 9th Street to pick up burritos. I went through my traditional, “no beans” dance with the counter guy, which I have to do at every Mexican place. I absolutely abhor beans, and this can be a real problem at Mexican places. They’re very sneaky with those beans. Luckily, Gordo’s is kind of like a Subway but with burritos, so I walked up and told the guy I wanted a chicken burrito with no beans. Apparently, he didn’t believe me because when we got to the bean part of assemblage, our conversation went something like this:
Him: Pinto beans?
Me: No, no beans.
Him: Black beans?
Me: No, no beans. No beans at all…of any kind.
Him: Refried beans?
Me: No! F**K! No beans, motherf**ker! What about that do you not understand? No frijoles, hombre! Senor! Whatever the f**k I’m supposed to call you in Spanish. Got that? NO f**king beans, POR FAVOR!

Okay, so I didn’t really say that last part. I just said, “No, thank you” again.

But my chicken burrito with no beans was ginormous and MUY delicioso! Mmmmm, we need a Gordo’s in Lafayette. On second thought, scratch that. I’d be back up to my obese state within a week if that happened.

After inhaling my burrito, Seth and I watched the movie Control, a bio pic about the lead singer of Joy Division. Even if you don’t like Joy Division, I highly recommend seeing this movie. It was excellent.

That night I was lulled to sleep by a belly full of burrito, cold air, and flannel pajama pants in AUGUST. I’ll take this opportunity to thank the Baby Jesus again for delivering me into Paradise…oh, and thanks to that Alex guy, too.

Coming soon, Day 5!