January 15, 2004
Alive and Kicking
Today was my first payday, hurrah! During lunch I marched down to the bank branch in my building and set up my free checking and savings accounts (so long as I direct deposit my paychecks). The banker told me our workplace banking plan was better than what the bank's employees get.
Settling into the job okay. A few flubs here and there, but easily corrected and no "omigodwhathaveyoudone" responses such as I was wont to hear in regard to equally minor incidents before. Could it be that people here really are this nice? Even the banker told me his brother works in our firm's DC office and that he likes it.
Was in Nawlins over the weekend. Stayed with my friend Herman - previously known to me only online. Amusing and surreal to be acquaintances yet still meeting in person for the first time. We shook hands and proceeded to try out his vintage pinball and skeeball machines - he has this lovely house filled with all manner of old toys. As a whimsical house gift we'd found him a Herman Munster bobblehead. He's another hardcore academic, so we didn't see him much over the weekend.
We ventured on our own around the Garden District and the French Quarter.
Realized we'd passed the Anne Rice house when we saw people taking pictures of it. Covered six bookstores in two days and tried to get a good sampling of the local fare. Surprisingly enough, drinking was not the highest priority, though I should've had a daquiri just so I could walk around with an open container.
For lunch, great burgers at Port of Call - a cheeseburger is presented with a mound of shredded cheese and a baked potato on the side. Full-size bottles of Tabasco at tableside - no surprise there.
Later, met up with Herman to get our name on the list at Jacques Imo's, another famed local joint, then came back in an hour to continue the wait for perhaps another hour and a half. Fortunately, when we each checked with the hostess during the wait, we spoke with different women, so we weren't completely harassing them. Ah, the food - completely worth the wait. The appetizer, Shrimp and Alligator Sausage Cheesecake, was absolutely divine. Good green salads and hot cornbread all around. New Orleans Style BBQ Shrimp for Scott, Paneed Duck with Sweet Potato Shrimp Sauce for me, an Eggplant Pirogue with mixed Seafood and Lemon Cheese Sauce for Herman. We also split a slice of complimentary triple chocolate mousse pie, headed back to the house and passed out - it was midnight by then.
Sunday was another day in the Quarter. Beignets and cafe au lait at Cafe du Monde, bookstores, a brief ferry ride across the river and back, walking around taking pictures with the new digicam (to be posted soon). Lunch at Acme Oyster Bar (House?) - red beans & rice & sausage, some fried oysters, hushpuppies, hot sausage po-boy and gumbo between us. Late, but uneventful flight home.