Monday, September 27, 2010

Weekend Update - 9/25/10

Les died Saturday night after having a really good day according to everyone who saw him. We didn't get over there and I'm sad for that but at the same time I basically said my goodbyes on Wednesday night. Although I didn't say that word I was still saying it and I'm sure he knew it.

By Thursday at lunch time he refused to wear the oxygen mask anymore and by Friday they had him home. I called mom a little after 2:00 on Saturday and she said he just laid down for a nap about 40 minutes before I called but wouldn't be getting too much more sleep because Wayne and his family and Scott and his two kids would be heading over for a visit. He had been visiting with people all day up until his nap so I asked her if Sunday would be better for HDT and I to go over. She said yes, that would be perfect.

Saturday evening all the brothers came over as usual to watch the UFC fights along with Les' grandson Buck. After he had been there about 15 minutes or so he gets a call telling him he needed to get home so Ron took him. We all wondered but didn't say anything to each other as to why he was leaving. Ron gave a call to Curt after they got there to let us know that Les had passed away before they got there.

But as I mentioned, everyone said he had been smiling and joking and picking on people as he used to do. When mom told me that I didn't say it out loud but thought that of course he was, he knew it wouldn't be too much longer and he was home where he wanted to be. He had made piece with it all. After Curt got the call we all talked some and all agreed on that assessment.

He'll be cremated but we're not sure what day yet. They still have to get a hold of the place he was wanting his memorial to be held at to make sure it'll be available and when. The memorial will be open to everyone but the internment will be just family. After that we'll head back to mom's for a cookout of brats, hotdogs and hamburgers and sit around the fire in honor of him.

He was a great dad, stepdad and husband... he will be greatly missed.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Sickness - one gets better while another hangs on

So yesterday just before lunch time I'm talking to HDT on his cell phone about Poydras. Poydras and the two kitties got their rabies shot and he got the distemper shot as well. They all also received blood work to make sure none of them have heart worms. Our neighbors new dog that they got from the pound had them and since we were lax in giving Poydras his medicine we wanted to make sure all were well.

Within about an hour of being home he seemed like he was hurt. He didn't want to jump up on the couch with me or go up or down the stairs. HDT thought it was his front left leg but I said it was just because he got a shot in each thigh and the muscles were probably just sore; the same as our own muscles get after a shot.

But HDT thought it was more than that, so I told him we should just keep an eye on him for the rest of the night and see how he is in the morning. He still didn't want to go up or down any stairs, I had to coax him to do so but he did do it. And outside he still walked around sniffing the ground as usual before peeing; he just did it a lot more slowly.

So when the vets office called him to let him know that all three tests came up negative for heart worm he asked them about Poydras. They said what I've been saying that he's probably just sore and sometimes dogs will have a negative reaction to the vaccine itself. So they said since he is still moving around and he ate his breakfast without any problems that we should just give him some baby aspirin and let him continue to rest.

So Jess got the medicine for us and went over there around 11:00 to give it to him and stick around a bit to make sure he would keep it down or didn't react to it in any other way. It did wonders for him and so did the resting. By the time I got home after 5:00 he was just as spry as he's always been.

But back to HDT and me on his cell phone.... he was letting me know what Jess had to say about Poydras and while he's talking he stops himself and says, "911 what is your emergency" so when he does that I usually just tune him out cause I know it'll be a bit before he'd be able to come back to me. Next thing I know my phone is dead silent so I didn't know if he hung up or just put me on mute. I wait for a bit and the decide he's gonna be awhile so I hang up.

A little bit later he calls me back and says that the call was from my mom, that Les is having a stroke and he's unresponsive. It's lunchtime now so I tell him I'll give her a call on my way out the door. She answers and says that he's now responsive but that she has to go because the paramedics need to talk to her. She told me to keep in touch with her though.

I get home and a few minutes later my brother Leroy calls and gives me a little more information. Says that Les has been in going back and forth still between wanting to just let it all end and having good days. Tuesday was a bad one, he just didn't want to be around anymore but yesterday was a good one. They were talking about him laying out on the deck watching mom while she worked in the garden and all the birds they have flitting around.

So Dave says when mom called him up from the basement that's what he thought she wanted, his help in getting Les outside. But instead she starts telling him how she thinks he's choking because he's not breathing or making any sounds, just drooling. But he wasn't choking so they figured it was a stroke. She was already on the phone with HDT before she called Leroy upstairs and the paramedics got there in record time. They thought the same thing as well.

But then when they got to the hospital the hospital thought it was a heart attack. But after doing test they realized that it wasn't either one of those. Because he can't breathe very well because of the bleomycin toxicity he takes very shallow breaths. So, because of that, he's not pushing out the carbon dioxide like he needs to and is not getting as much oxygen intake as he needs to. So therefore his co2 numbers were rising within his body, throughout his body. Basically it was like he was in a garage with the car running. So right now he's in ICU with a mask over both his nose and mouth to make sure he gets enough oxygen to counteract the co2.

His numbers at 8:30 when we got there were much better, better than they've been in days the doctors said. Which would explain why the last few days have been so negative with him. He's been feeling like total shit.

But at 5:00 when I talked to mom she said he's feeling awful and can't stand the mask and just wants it taken off. So mom and one of his daughters asked the doctor what the outcome would be if they removed the mask, the doctor said he'd die. Mom says, so what are we talking minutes, hours or days. The doctor says hours. So mom's telling me that they have a very hard decision to make and she doesn't know when they're going to make it one way or the other.

She wants me to go to her house and basically babysit Leroy cause he's all emotional and says he needs to be busy so he was gonna go cut up wood using the wood splitter. He's also an alcoholic so without saying a word we both knew all three of those things are a bad combination. So I head over there after changing and feeding the babies. I take Poydras with me and let HDT know I've taken some clothes with me for him to change into so I'd like him to come out there with me. I've also given a call to all the other brothers to let them know what's going on.

I asked her if she wants me to get Leroy and he and HDT and I go to the hospital. She just responded that she didn't think Leroy would want to go. But she didn't say no and she didn't say yes, so basically it was left up to us.

Leroy says he's fine, he's actually only had one beer so far. HDT comes out and we discuss dinner, Leroy says we don't have to babysit him. There's plenty of food there for him to eat and he has plenty of things to keep him busy so he'll be fine. So HDT and I decide we'll give mom a call and see if she needs anything and while I'm leaving her a message she calls me back. So she says that she would like a long sleeved shirt and her toothbrush and toothpaste. She says Les is doing better, he's not talking about wanting to take the mask off the way he was before.

So I grab those things and we take Poydras home, grab some McDonald's since we're both starving and head to the hospital. So yeah, by the time we got there he was doing even better. We learned they did have to put a stint in because one of the arteries was getting blocked. But that wasn't what was causing any of the issues, it was all the co2 shit.

We stick around for a little while visiting with his kids and then just after 9:00 we're able to get in to see him since they were only allowing 2 people in at a time. Mom goes with us though, she's the exception, and we visit with him a bit. He of course can't talk very well since the air is blowing so hard. It's very difficult to understand him so he tries to lift the mask up but they've got it on him pretty strong and he's so weak right now that he gave up, he even swore once when he gave up trying.

But I gave him a kiss on his cheek and told him I loved him then just stayed there a bit touching my cheek to his. He said he loved me too and said "this is nice, this is nice" as I kept my cheek next to his. Then I told him to get some rest and get better and that I loved him.

We went back to say goodbye to his kids and they asked us to take a picture of them since they haven't all been together like that in a very long time. They were just missing one sibling, a sister, since she lives in southern Illinois. She had just left her house around 8:00 that night so she wouldn't be up here until early morning.

As of now, 10:47am, mom hasn't called to say they've made any decisions so I'm keeping hopeful that that means he's doing even better than before. We can only pray and hope.

Media quote of the day: A portion of Hold On by Sarah McLachlan

Am I in heaven here or am i...
At the crossroads I am standing
So now you’re sleeping peaceful
I lie awake and pray
That you’ll be strong tomorrow and we’ll
See another day and we will praise it
And love the light that brings a smile
Across your face

Oh God if you’re out there won’t you hear me
I know that we’ve never talked before
Oh God the man I love is leaving
Won’t you take him when he comes to your door

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Scary game but on the bright side autumn is upon on

Man oh man was that a scary/good game last night. They barely pulled out that win. But as HDT says, everyone wants to beat the Superbowl champs so they're coming at the Saints harder than ever.

Our prayers go out to Reggie for a swift recovery. HDT said he's out for six weeks, ugh, we're gonna miss him. I wish we still had Bell, last year when Bush was out and Bell was in it was almost like we didn't even need Bush 'cause Bell was doing so well in his place. Oh well, we'll still be strong.

So Jim and his two girls came over last night to receive their gifts we got them while in New Orleans for taking car of the cats and dog. We got Ambrosia a small Saints pennant and a New Orleans Fleur-de-lis magnet, both for her locker at school. Rhiannon received an orange and black boa and an orange shirt with a kitty face bedazzled on it with New Orleans underneath. She was very Happy with all the orange. And both received one of the free flags we got upon entering the dome. Yeah, they were both very happy with their gifts.

And in even better news... yesterday I received my first official check as an official employee rather than a temporary employee. Wooo Hooo!

And in even betterer news... it's the last day of summer today, the best season of all is upon us. I was so happy to see the first leaves changing, you can not even imagine how happy. Although summer has decided to make sure we know what we're leaving behind with the hot and humid today. It's expected to get up to 88 degrees with high humidity. Glad I'm in the office with air conditioning.

Media quote of the day: Autumn Fires by: Robert Louis Stevenson

In the other gardens
And all up the vale,
From the autumn bonfires
See the smoke trail!

Pleasant summer over
And all the summer flowers,
The red fire blazes,
The grey smoke towers.

Sing a song of seasons!
Something bright in all!
Flowers in the summer,
Fires in the fall!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Weekend Update 9/17 - 19/10

So this was a weekend of catch up sleep for me. The week of the vacation and last week I didn't get much sleep at all. I knew this but still didn't think it was all that bad. But Saturday morning after getting up with HDT at 5:30 to help him get ready for work I went back to bed and slept until just before 11:00. I woke up a few times but it was really just to roll over. At one point I thought I was awake enough to get up but after petting Poydras for a few minutes I guess I fell back asleep.

I got up and got ready to do the grocery shopping, came home put everything away, made a sandwich for lunch and watched a few X-Files. During the 3rd one I started to doze off so I turned off the tv and laid down on the couch for a nap. I set my timer for an hour so I wouldn't sleep too late. When it went off I decided to take a bath in hopes it'll revive me, plus I wanted to soak the tattoo as it's still peeling. I figured the warm water and steam would help slough off some of the top layers of dead skin. It did.

HDT got home a little after 6:00 and we made hamburgers for dinner. Watched some tv then went to bed. I went to bed with him but stayed up reading for an hour or so but was asleep just before midnight.

Sunday I was up by 9:00 and feeling more awake finally. Made myself some breakfast and, did a load of laundry and watched some tv. I finished the X-Files show I was falling asleep during then watched a few recorded shows of Hoarders and Hoarding: Buried Alive or whatever it's called. Some of them just want me to get up and clean/declutter and others just skeeve me out completely.

I watched the last 6 minutes of the Bears/Cowbays game, yay Bears! and then after mowed the lawn. We had ground bees in the front yard and every time I'd walk right next to or over their hole a few would come flying up to see what the hell was going on. They never bothered me or even came close to stinging me, if anything they'd try to attack the lawnmower. Well, as I start in on the front lawn I notice a patch of dirt where it looks like the grass quit growing more than anything. By the time I get close enough I see that it's actually kicked up dirt like an animal had been making a hole. Then I realized that it's right where the ground bees hole was. Sure enough a large hole has been dug into the ground, I'd say about the size of a Hills Bros. coffee can, maybe even a bit bigger. There are two tunnels off of it, one goes north and the other goes northwest. There were also 5 piles of feces just a couple of inches surrounding the hole. They're bigger than what Poydras leaves so I'm figuring whatever it is is bigger than him.

We have skunks in our area but they've never made a hole in the middle of the yard before; they have made their home(s) in our culvert under the driveway though. I don't know what else it could be though if not a skunk. HDT said he saw a raccoon the other day, which is unusual actually. In all the years (10) that we've been in the house we've never seen one before. But I've never heard of them living underground. And there's no way it could be any of the many rabbits since the droppings are clearly not a rabbits. So yeah, I guess we'll have to keep our eyes open to see what it could be or somehow try to close it up.

After mowing I cleaned up and read for awhile then HDT got home and played with Poydras for a little bit in the backyard. I made chicken breasts and noodles for dinner. We watched some Grey's Anatomy season 5 shows and in between would switch over to the Giants/Colts game since HDT had one of the Colts players on his fantasy team.

Around 10:30 or so I went up to bed, read for about a 1/2 hour and the finally laid down to sleep. HDT finally came up around 2:00.

Friday night we thought about going to see a movie but by the time he got home from work he was exhausted from a rough day so we nixed that idea. We just watched some recorded shows and some Grey's Anatomy. We also played a few games of dominoes. I was kicking his butt too but then it got too late for him to stay up since he had work the next morning so we had to stop before reaching 100.

Today I finally feel rested so I guess I caught up on the sleep I needed.

Media quote of the day:

Sleep. Just one beautiful night's sleep will make everything better... again. - Dexter

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

New Orleans Vacation Recap

So, the vacation was pretty good. We got out of town around 1:00pm which ended up being a good time since it put us right at dinner time at Gambino's Louisiana Restaurant in Taylorville, Illinois. Unfortunately they don't have a website, the menu is the best I could do and it must be somewhat old because the hours on there are incorrect. They don't open until 4:00pm, unless that's the fall/winter hours and what's on the menu is the summer hours. Hmmm, don't know. I apparently didn't order what I thought I was ordering. I thought I was getting crawfish etouffee which is with rice. What I got was a crawfish pasta dish. It was ok but nowhere near as good as the etouffee would've been. The others felt about the same as me with their food. HDiTty was upset that his fries tasted fishy. Although I think he was just "tasting" it since mine tasted just fine.

After dinner we talked with the owner about places to go and see while in Louisiana and he gave all of us a t-shirt (with his restaurant on the front) that he'd had from a party the town had had during Labor Day Weekend, an end of summer bash shirt. We had a few pictures taken with him and then were on our way again to Tunica, Mississippi. We ended up not going anywhere he mentioned but HDT and I plan on doing so when we'll be there again on our own.

We got there around midnight or so, got a couple rooms, put our stuff away and then headed to the casino. We all played a few video poker games at the bar to be able to get a free drink and we also ordered a shot of Jager for everyone (which we had to pay for of course). Then after that HDT and I found an open $5.00 table for blackjack and proceeded to play. The others said they'd be along soon. HDT and I were up and down and both almost out of chips before Scott showed up. After I made it back to the original $50.00 I started out with I started to put aside my winnings to make sure I'd leave with something. My winnings totaled $85.00 and I gave one $5.00 chip to the dealer so I ended up with $30.00 net winnings. HDT lost all his $50.00 and any winnings he had cause he just wanted to keep playing, so together we were only down $20.00. But we had a good time and that's what matters. I cashed out and we met up with the others and headed back to the hotel to get some sleep.

We were on the road again around 11:00 or so, can't really remember now exactly what time. But with a few stops for gas and bathroom breaks we made it to the hotel in good time. We put our stuff away and were going to go get something to eat when the two girls asked if we could go by Walgreens because they needed a few items. Since we did also we headed there first and then to CVS because Walgreens didn't have everything they needed. Scott got pissy and took off to find some food when we went to CVS. Rather than speak up and say he really needed to get something to eat he just huffed off. Oh well, whatever.

After we took our things back to the hotel we headed to Crescent City Brewery for our first meal but discovered they were closed until Friday for a private party. HDT and I were very disappointed. But Dana had mentioned she'd like to go to Bubba Gump Shrimp so we headed back there. I got my crawfish etouffee and it was delicious. We all got a mixed drink in a souvenir glass. Our waitress played a trivia game with us and two other tables about the Forrest Gump movie. Which was very fun, all three tables did pretty well. We took a picture with our waitress, who was very good but unfortunately for her from Minnesota so she's sort of a Vikings a fan. She isn't really into football but was rooting for the home team none the less.

After that we headed over to Jackson Square but they were already closing it off because of the NFL parade the next day so we headed to Bourbon Street. Checked out a few shops, got some drinks and then settled in at a bar that had a zydeco band. We stayed there for quite awhile when I started to feel really tired and needed to go. Plus I could tell the girls were getting a little restless. So we headed back to the hotel, those 3 talked about going out again and then someone mentioned Harrah's. So I said if all we'd be doing is sitting at a table playing some blackjack that I could get behind that for awhile. So we went back to the hotel so the girls could freshen up and then headed to the casino. They didn't have any cheap tables, the lowest starting amount was $15.00, there's no way we'd pay that so we all just played some slots for a little while then went back to the hotel.

The next day was game day. We got up and joined Dana for brunch; Jess and Scott had already been up and had breakfast so they weren't interested. We went to
Mother's Restaurant which was just up the street from our hotel. It's a busy place, so much so that they have a doorman that will tell you when you can come in because the line is too long and there aren't any seats yet. But we didn't have to wait very long. The prices were good and the food even better. At least for HDT and I, Dana got an omelet which came with grits and two homemade biscuits, she said the omelet was ok and definitely cheesy like she likes them, but it was still just ok. She didn't care for the grits and since she's watching her carbs didn't eat either of the biscuits. She let us try a pinch though, they were really good. Although my crawfish etouffee wasn't as spicy as the one from Bubba Gump it was still just as good. I could've had more though, it came in a bowl and wasn't quite large enough for my taste; but I was still satisfied. HDT got the Mother's Ferdi special (Po Boy) and was very pleased. We both agreed we'll have to go there again.

Afterward we went to the Riverwalk shopping center. Jess and Scott were supposed to meet us there but decided they'd go to the World War II Museum instead. We three flitted from shop to shop buying stuff here and there and wishing we could buy other things; such as a few gorgeous paintings. But at $600.00 and $1,500.00 they were just a bit outta our price range. Heh

When it was around 3:45 we headed back to the hotel to change into our game day gear. The others met us there. None of them were going to the game; Dana decided to take a nap and the other two decided to go to the Riverwalk to check it out. I wrote about the game in my last post so won't say anything here about it.

By the time we got back to the hotel room and freshened up it was after 11:00 and we were both hungry. The other three met us and we headed over to Krystal's for a couple burgers and fries. After that we went walking down Bourbon Street which of course was crowded as could be. Mostly made up of Saints fans of course but also a few brave Vikings fans still wearing their jerseys. HDT really wanted to head back to the Bayou bar for some more zydeco music. We lost the other three in the throng of people. Eventually Dana made it to us and shortly afterward Jess and Scott did as well. Those two didn't really want to stick around for the music so they went and did their own thing.

We three hung out, got a drink, enjoyed the music and the people dancing for awhile. Then since Dana had been wanting to get her fortune read using tarot cards we headed out to Jackson Square since that's usually we're all the tellers hang out. But unfortunately they were still cleaning up from the parade and concert so we just ended up heading back to the hotel for the night.

Friday morning we got up and texted everyone to see where they all were in the getting ready stages. Both girls said they'd need about 45 minutes to get ready, turned out they needed over 2 hours. They didn't make it down to the hotel lobby until close to 1:30pm. Not long after that before we had left the hotel it started to pour down rain. We sat around waiting for it to blow over but it was taking it's sweet ass time. At one point it looked like it was done so we headed out, but nope, it was still coming down good enough that we didn't want to go walking out in it.

Finally it stopped so we headed over to Crescent City Brewery. We found out from our waitress that the NFL bigwigs were the private party that closed it down. Everyone agreed that the food was good and those three enjoyed the beer sampler and each ordered their favorite. Jess at one point sort of jumped in her seat and then asked HDT if he had touched her on her side. He said no and I let her know no one had walked behind her. She said at the same time she felt the touch she got a huge chill all on that side. So she's kinda freaked that it might have been a ghost. We all got a kick out of that.

After lunch we were going to head out to the St. Louis Cemetery, which houses voodoo queen Marie Laveau. But it looked like rain so we decided to catch a cab there, which ended up a good thing since the cemetery closes down at 3:00pm so we would've walked all that way for nothin. On our way back to the hotel HDT mentioned how he still wanted to get a tattoo while we were down there and Jess piped up that she'd like to as well. I wasn't too keen on the idea of us going since I knew it'd take at least two hours for HDT's tattoo alone. But Dana was interested as well so we four went to a place that HDT had heard about from a guy he had met when he was in Houston last month for the conference he went to. Scott didn't want to get one and didn't want to hang out while they were going on so he opted to go to the casino on his own.

We got HDT's jeep and headed out. He got a gorgeous fleur-de-lis on his right arm. Jess got a tattoo on her back on the right shoulder blade area - the first couple of lines of a song that their grandma sings to all the kids. Dana got a lily on her right foot - mostly on the top but a little of it going down the right side and a little bit going up the ankle. I ended up getting my first and only (and will be the only) of a heart with a fleur-de-lis inside it. Again, once I get pictures downloaded from the camera I plan on putting them up, maybe this weekend.

Sure enough it took hours to do all four of them but we had a good time while it was going on. Afterward we went back to the hotel to freshen up and change to go out. We were hungry again so decided to go to the Market Cafe but by the time we got there (after stopping off and getting three daiquiris and one hurricane for Jess) they were closed. On our way back to try to find a restaurant we were going past Jackson Square again and decided to finally get Dana's fortune read. That was a treat. When the chick started out talking, almost for the first five minutes - maybe even longer, everything she said made Jess, HDT and I all think of Jess and what she's going through. It was quite amusing.

By the time that was done, and I gotta give the chick credit, she took a long time so got her $15.00 worth that Dana gave her, it was around 11:45 and we were all really hungry. The few places that we really wanted to go to were of course closed so we headed to Bourbon Street in hopes of finding a decent place, if not we'd stop and get a hot dog from one of the vendors. But we spotted a couple cops so Dana asked them about a place to go and the only place that they said was still open for food and was a good to go to was
The Alibi so that's were we went. The food was good but the service wasn't the best. We knew about the whole they're "not a restaurant" deal but still, the dude behind the bar could've been better about getting Dana her food.

But at least she got hit on, quite a bit, by a guy that was sitting at the table behind her. Although she wasn't interested at all I could tell she was still flattered. The funniest part was that at the very beginning he shows her a picture on his iphone of the Saints Superbowl ring. She just shook her head and said that she wasn't a fan and couldn't care less about it. His face fell all the way to the floor, was pretty damn funny to see.

After that we went back to the hotel for some sleepy time. We got up the next morning and did our packing and called down for a bellhop and cart. They held all our luggage while we walked down to the riverwalk. We were gonna go to Mother's again but the line was out the door, down the steps and up the sidewalk. So we went to, hmmm, now I can't remember the place. But it was outside the shopping center. Anyway, I got my last crawfish etouffee meal, which was a ton of it and very good, of the trip. Our table was right by the kitchen (which is open) and at one point all of a sudden one of the chefs starts to scream and shout. We couldn't really understand anything he was saying though. We couldn't decide if he'd been fired and was shouting about that or as I thought I heard he was shouting about someone that he didn't want in there and he never wanted to see them again. Either way it was quite exciting, the whole restaurant looked up and over his way as soon as he started.

Jess really wanted to go
Cafe Du Monde so after lunch we headed that way. It was hot as hell and sweat was pouring down our faces but since she wanted to go we obliged. I tried to tell her that she wouldn't miss out on anything by not going, that there was one in the mall where it was air conditioned and if she really wanted to sit outside we could still do that but it'd be on the river where there'd at least be a breeze. But she wanted to go to the "real place" so that's what we did. Sure enough, we get there and it's crowded and hot as all hell. She did admit that I was right, she wouldn't have missed out on anything. And then, she didn't even finish one beignet. Whatever.

We headed back to the hotel taking our time looking at all the artwork along Jackson Square. The two girls ended up buying a painting from one of the artists and HDT and I bought a terrific black and gold fleur-de-lis painting from another one. She said she was actually sad that she was selling it to us since it was her only large painting and it's what brings in the looky-loos. Also, she could paint five of the smaller ones to just one of these. But that's the one HDT really wanted so she agreed, especially since we're actual Saints fans and not just likers of the painting. We had her autograph it for us even though her signature was on the front. She wrote on the back for us to stay Saints fans.

We stopped at some shops along the way back to the hotel to get last minute gifts bought and were finally on the road/highway by 4:40pm. We made it back home some time after 9:00am on Sunday. Gave the cats and the dog a lot of love and then I took a nap for about an hour while HDT stayed up hanging out with some of his friends watching their team's games.

Every time a local heard my name they'd do a double take and say something. Many of them actually laughed. So my media quote will be what our waitress said at Mother's Restaurant.

Media quote of the day:

Hey, hey (while patting the shoulder of another local at the table next to us) meet Katrina, she's right behind you. She's here to say hi again." The whole table looked, there were about 6 of them and the table next to them who were also locals looked as well. I couldn't help but wave and say hi, they smiled and said hi back. Yeah, it was always amusing whenever someone heard my name.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Who Dat!!

So, where to begin. I guess I'll have this post be about the game experience and another about the trip in general.

We left the hotel after changing into our Saints gear around 4:15 with three others that we had met at the hotel bar and chatted with whenever we saw them coming and going. Upon walking out the hotel door we entered a small crowd heading to Poydras and when we turned on that to head to the dome it was like a sea of black and gold. It was a beautiful sight. Every couple hundred feet or so there were people on the side of the sidewalk selling water and beer out of coolers. I've never ever seen that at any game we've ever been to, whether it was there in New Orleans or any other city. At least I don't recall it going on in New Orleans before, it has been over five years since I've been back, so I suppose it's possible.

We didn't take a camera this time, but we had our iphones so I may be able to put some pics up later from them, we shall see. But just a couple blocks from the dome there's a building with a statue in front of it and someone had put up a blowup doll on it with its right ankle taped up and a sign in front saying something like "Hey Brett, how's the ankle?" It was quite amusing.

When we turned off the sidewalk to go up the ramp to the dome we lost the three guys we were with. They must have gone straight to the section that had a stage where Benson and others were giving speeches and holding up the Lombardi Trophy. It was way too crowded so we continued up the ramp and watched for a bit and took a few pictures from there. Then continued up the ramp to the dome. It was only 4:45 or so and the doors weren't opening until 5:30 so rather than stand in line so soon we decided to go ahead and walk around a bit. And besides our gate was G and we were at C which already had people standing at the opening. HDiTty got a corn dog and we each got a drink and stood along the railing people watching while he ate. Afterward we decided to walk some more and then realized that people were coming out of the team shop. So we went back to the entrance and right when we walked up the guy was shutting the gate and said that they couldn't let anyone else in until the doors actually opened at 5:30. They had to have enough time to get everyone out of there by then so they didn't have to worry about who actually had tickets and who didn't.

Which ended up sucking big time because when we got to our gate we realized we were on the side that the sun was shining down right where we needed to stand. We were only like the 5th or so people in line but after being there 5 minutes with sweat pouring out of all pores we decided it wasn't worth it to be there for another 25 minutes before doors opened. So we went and stood in the shade with several others just a little bit away.

Upon entering they were handing out flags to wave so we each got one. Then as we're heading to the NFL shop we see that they're handing out more but in a plastic bag with 5 of them bundled in. We each got one of those as well, they'll be simple/cheap gifts to give to the kids. We got to the shop and looked around. The shop is so much bigger than it ever was before and is very nice. Much more room to move around in compared to the old one. I'm not a claustrophobic person but the old shop could get me feeling that way sometimes when it was extremely crowded. After looking around the only things we saw that we really wanted to buy was a purse for me (black and grey with a grey fleur-de-lis) and a couple of towels for him. I didn't look closely at them but I think one was a Superbowl towel and the other was an NFC Championship towel.

After that we stopped and got some jambalaya and coke for lunch and headed to our seats. We kept climbing and climbing up the ramp and after awhile at every turn I would think, this has to be it but nope just another turn of the ramp. Finally we made it to the next level and started heading around to our section. And of course we passed many food stations along the way but since we've never been that high we didn't know they sold food and drinks up there as well. Lesson learned. But by the time we got to our seats and were able to eat we discovered the food was still warm so that was nice. But yeah, we entered the seating area at row 1 and our row was 36. And with steps that were quite tall we were very tired to say the least by the time we made it up there. It was the very top row in our section so we had the wall to our backs. We found out from our seat mates that there used to be 5 more rows behind us but with the remodeling they cut them out to make a press box/coach box. So the upstairs coaches were right behind us along with Bobby Hebert. One of the season ticket holders was telling someone else about it and he said Bobby is there for just about every game.

Which was really cool. Once the first person noticed that he was up there a chant went out "Bobby, Bobby, Bobby" and he stood up and leaned forward a bit and started waiving and giving thumbs up to us all. HDT got a picture or two, maybe even a little video of him with his phone. We were only 7 seats away from the stairs and every now and then before the game a security person or two would head down them and then a bit later head back up with a "suit." At half time security came down and cleared off the steps and then all of a sudden several guys start heading down real fast all with clipboards or papers in their hands. It was kinda fun to see.

During warm ups every time our guys would leave or come on the field loud cheers would go up. There's always cheering for the home team at every game but these were so much louder than normal. There were boos for the Vikings. I don't agree with that but whatever.

We had 5 flat screens right over head so every now and then I'd look up. Three of them were showing the concerts by Taylor Swift and then Dave Matthews, the other two were showing stats and starting line ups. The only problem was there wasn't any sound but that's ok, I was recording the pregame show at home.

The tent thing goes up that the players run through, the cheerleaders come out and next thing we see is a float coming out with Harry Connick Jr and Benson on it. Harry has a speech and then ends with the Superbowl flag being revealed. The place went nuts and the Who Dat chant went up. It was a version of the wave, it always came to us from the left and then went on to the right. Then our beloved Saints came running on the field.

The opening drive was absolutely awesome. After that it was a bit of a struggle, the offense couldn't seem to get much going, the yardage for everyone seemed lower than normal. But still, Pierre Thomas looked good. Defense did well holding them to just 9 points and blocking that extra kick. I had even said to myself that I hoped they blocked it and then looked down right when it was being kicked so missed the block. When the stadium went nuts I look up and see our side all excited and the fans high fivin' each other. I was sad to say the least. But oh well, at least it happened.

After burning up outside in the sun and humidity I was freezing inside. I went from extreme heat to extreme cold. We each had an empty seat on either side of us and only a young couple in front of us who also had empty seats on either side. So we didn't get all the surrounding body heat one normally would at these events and being in the top row I had the air blowing on me the whole time. I was absolutely freezing, I had goosebumps the whole time. We stood for the entire game and every now and then I'd sit during timeouts, etc. to relieve me feet and then huddle against HDT for warmth. A little before half time the couple in front of us put on jackets, I wanted to rip them off and snuggle in. Heh

At one point, near the end of the game when the Vikings had the ball the screaming and clapping was so loud to distract them that I could barely hear my own screaming and clapping. I have never heard it so loud in there before. Several people, including HDT, were banging their fists on the wall behind us and stomping feet. And then when Brees had the ball it was unbelievably quiet. More quiet then I remember it ever being before. Both were something to behold really. Every time Reggie was at the ready for the return a chant of his name would go up. And at the end of the game, during the final few seconds the Who Dat chant went up again.

We stayed at our seats, along with the couple that were on HDT's side, letting the majority of the people leave. They gave him their ticket since ours were just the Ticketmaster printouts. HDT was very happy about that. When there were relativity few people left we decided to head out. I was able to get into the bathroom without a wait, which was really nice. And no crowds walking down the ramps which was even nicer.

By the time we got back to our hotel room and washed up and changed to meet up with the rest of our vacationing party it was after 11:00 and I was starving.

Bourbon Street was of course crowded with all kinds of people but mostly the fans and shouts of Who Dat could be heard periodically. Bands would put the Who Dat chant in the middle of songs. Yep, it was a great game and a great night. We are so happy to have been able to be a part of it.

Media quote of the day:

Great team win last night against the Vikes. Have to say, the Who Dat chant to start the game was unbelievable! Greatest fans in the world - Drew Brees on twitter - 9/10/10 at 9:46pm

Thursday, September 2, 2010

I gotta quit being a worrywort - not good for my health

So nothing much has been happening around these here parts for the last few days. HDT started his vacation yesterday, he's off through the 12th. I've given him a to do list for the next couple of days. A few phone calls mostly but they need to be handled sooner rather than later. The most important is calling his stepmom to see if she'll be around and willing to take care of the cats as my mom won't be able to help as she usually does. If she can't I guess we're gonna have to breakdown and buy one of those automatic feeders. And when we walk in the door they're gonna be starved for attention more than usual.

I've started doing my normal worrying about how are we going to get everything done that everyone wants to do. It's really only a few things but with the way time just seems to fly when you're on vacation I have a feeling at least one if not two of them are going to have to go by the wayside. If we don't get into to town until mid afternoon Wednesday then that'll be too late to do anything but hang around town and partake of the food, drinks and music. Which is good and will probably be done every night. But we won't be able to do the swamp tour, cemetery tour or plantation tour that late.

Then there's Thursday. HDT wants to be at the Dome early, which is fine by me but I don't want to be there as early as noon as he says, maybe closer to 3:00ish. But still, to be on the safe side we should hang around town again as we won't want to take a chance of getting back from anywhere too late. Although the cemeteries aren't far away. So it all depends on how early everyone gets up and is ready for the day.

And Saturday we plan on leaving between 3:00 and 6:00, so again, depending on how early we're up and ready will determine what can be done if anything other than walking around town again.

So Friday is really the only day that we have all day to be able to do those 3 things without any timeline to worry about. With the boat tours having set times it's the only thing that we'd have to really watch the clock for. The other two things we can pretty much do at any time because we don't have to take a set tour for the cemeteries and Oak Alley starts a new tour on the hour every hour. But both still have to be done during morning or afternoon hours, nothing going into the evening.

So basically, I've just told myself not to worry about it anymore because otherwise I'll start to get agitated on trying to make sure we hurry to finish whatever it is we're doing to be able to be where ever on time. And that's not fun for me or for anyone I'm pushing along. Which really would come down to constantly telling HDT that we "need to get going" and that's just gonna get him all pissy. So yeah, I just have to let things flow however they're going to flow.

Basically, no matter what we're going to have a good time which is really the most important reason for me not to worry about it. If things don't get done then that'll just be an excuse to make sure we all go again some other time.

Media quote of the day:

Meet me at the cemetery. Twenty minutes. Come alone. - Spike - Buffy the Vampire Slayer