Last week was the afore-mentioned Mardi Gras Adventure, complete with full-on drunken debauchery, new friends, and about a billion beads. Kathleen and I were discussing how completely foolish it was, in retrospect, that we could ever reasonably expect to make any kind of dent in the number of beads being distributed. I also completely underestimated how freaked out I would be by people throwing stuff at my face. It was total brutality! You don't have to be doing anything at all to be pelted with beads... just bending over to help someone fix their camera, I was an unwitting target for all sorts of stuff.
Not to discount how completely amazing it was... my friends are SO FUCKING AWESOME and they made the whole thing so amazing. We went to almost all the parades (I missed a couple) and really did Mardi Gras.
And the people were so friendly. On the last day (Mardi Gras itself), I dropped my wallet and a guy chased me down to return it to me, money hanging out of it and all! (I was so flabberghasted that I didn't get the opportunity to thank him beyond "omg thank you!" so if you hear of anyone who did this, please thank him wholeheartedly... you saved my trip from becoming totally terrible) Almost everyone we ran into or met up with was absolutely genuine, cool, kind, and very un-jaded by the whole thing. It was a real surprise to me.
Of course, New Orleans itself is really something special and magnificent. I love that city. It's still my favorite city in the world, even with the crazy weather (which we got a lot of) and gross French Quarter. Someday, I hope to move there (hopefully before all the residents are reliving Waterworld).
After all that, my favorite part of the whole trip was when Kathleen and I drove to the bayou on Wednesday just before she took me to the airport. We were both getting sick and it started raining a whole lot when we were on our walk, but it was still absolutely wonderful. Being out in the cool air smelling the damp plants... it reminded me of how much I am a person of nature and not a person of the city. The city is an amusement park of concrete and attractions, but at the end of the day, I belong outside of the city.
It was a wonderful end to a marvellous trip.
And then both Kathleen and I got really, really sick. Over lunch, we both felt pretty terrible. By the time I got on the plane, I felt like I might be making use of the vomit bags, and by the time I got home, I was a sweaty mess. Aside from what I absolutely must do, I have been doing nothing. I've been going to work (must do category) and helped my dad move some books (must do) (and he took me to the grocery store so I didn't have to struggle through that by myself -- love him!), but other than that, I've been laying low at home, reading the Tao Te Ching, cleaning the apartment, and watching Freakonomics.
It has been very nice.
Sometimes your body has to put its proverbial foot down and make you settle down for a while. It's best to pay attention.
For Lent, I've given up drinking and going out to eat (excluding going out for coffee).