My Stomach Hurts

The badmobile parked in the French Quarter of New Orleans. As you can see it was raining. I found a key parking spot...it required a few turns onto one way streets but was free!

I need to apologize. Not only for all the delays, but for the complete lack of communications. I hope this blog doesn’t have feelings…because I’ve been neglecting it. I’m really hoping there hasn’t been anyone out there looking for an update…but for the time being I can only continue the promise…more good things are coming.

There is a lot of ‘behind the scenes’ writing happening and I’m wrestling with the idea of tying in new experiences with old. I’ve got a good story, maybe someday I’ll share. In the meantime, I’m going to jump right back into hastily and poorly written blog entries that will be later updated with pictures…that seems to be working so far :)

So what’s been happening? I’ve been trying to define my current life and direction. I’ll get into the details later, but I generally feel like I need to do something with my life that breaks the mold. I don’t necessarily want to be rebellious, or strange…I just want to rise above the daily grind. I know I have more to offer, and I need more to be fulfilled. Maybe I just need to simplify my life so I can pull off a ‘plan b’ while working a nine to five.

Now that I’ve had a chance to collect myself back in the USA I needed to pick my car up from Florida…so that means road trip round two! As for my stomach, I’ve spent the last few nights in various parts of Louisiana. While here I’ve managed to find po boy’s, crawdads, fried pickles, corn bread, catfish, red beans ham and rice, jumbalaya, crab cakes, shrimp, beignets, etoufee, chickory coffee, and bread pudding. I’ve also promised a local pie shop that I won’t leave without a slice of “The best pie in the world.” Anything I’m leaving out? I’m going to be huge by the time I get back to Denver. I’ve been eating to the point of pregnancy during every meal, but I just can’t deny myself something that has been so rare and so good. Putting food in my stomach here is like putting money in the bank.

On one hand, these people need to take better care of themselves and watch what they eat. On the other hand, many other parts of the country could learn a few cooking lessons. I desperately hope the healthy eating craze doesn’t maintain enough momentum to force these flavors into history (ha, year right, that will never happen!). There has to be some middle ground though…because this grub is good. Maybe moderation is key, but if this is the taste of being alive, then life is good. Here are a few pictures that I hope you enjoy!

Nothing like my Nana's fruit pizza! It's been a long time since she was crowned prom queen, but she still looks as good as ever. She makes the pie from scratch but my aunt put it together this round...she loves halloween and you can see she added 'ghosts' to the center. How cool! I've been eating these for years, so good...

Thanks to a tip from my roommate and a good friend who used to live in LA, my first stop in the French Quarter was Cafe Du Monde for some beignets (french doughnuts) and chickory coffee. Delicious! I felt like I had taken a step back in time when at this place. Notice how much powdered sugar they use? I think the local fish must have diabetes. I can't imagine what would happen if you inhaled as you were taking a bite.

I was going downtown to check out some music and made some quick friends along the way. We were all strangers before this night. The guys were from Ireland and London, and the girl from Germany. It really is such a small world. We found some good music and also a throwback diner...

Nish ended up putting down about two and a half burgers.

Christina went with a classic burger and Owen wasn't hungry. The waiter looked like he'd been working there for a while so I asked what he thought was best. He didn't hesitate to suggest a burger with jalapenos, mushrooms, and swiss. I gobbled down that greasy mess with a smile...and paid for it later. Although I got used to eating hot foods in Asia my body still has no idea what to do with it.

Christina knew this couldn't be very healthy but still loved the place. She asked if I could send her a panorama. It's kind of a cool picture so I figured I'd post it

Times are tough! Then again it seems like there are always starving artists when times are good. I don't know her full intentions, but here she was just cranking away on an old fashined typewriter...she could have been in an office or any other setting where you'd expect someone hard at work. Her name was Erin (though I'm not sure if that's how you spell it). She was cheerful when approached, but otherwise appeared to be genuinely working. For a poet, I thought it was a great idea.

I know, I'm twelve years old. Someday I'll have an antique balzac of my own. I passed this on the way to a po boy shop called Mahony's. I was expecting cold cut meat when I ordered the roast beef, but it actually reminded me of my Grandmother's pot roast. They make everything from scratch and it was all really good. A large man at the counter said it's the french bread that makes a po boy. On the wall was 'graffiti' saying 'Guy was here' from that Food Network TV show.

The famed Parkway Bakery and Tavern. The first time I stopped by was on a Tuesday...and they're always closed on Tuesdays! That's why I ended up at Mahony's. Luckily for me I was staying only a few blocks away so coming back was no problem at all.

The wait was short, but well worth it! The staff were kind and attentive. I told them I was fairly new to this whole po boy thing but heard they had a good 'surf and turf' (fried shrimp and roast beef). They suggested I try each seperate before having them together. Since I'd already had a roast beef I went for the shrimp. Once again, New Orleans food didn't dissapoint!

Proof I was here. I just had breakfast and wanted to get on the road so I brought this along for lunch. Can't wait to dig into this!

What a meal this was at Crawdads Kitchen...a feast really. Corn bread, red beans and rice with ham, jumbalaya, crawfish etoufee, crab cakes, and here's what's left of the bread pudding. Earlier in the day I found a catfish sandwich and fried pickles at a little place called the Lazy Fisherman (if it wasn't 1/2 pound I'd have tried thier specialty: a peanut butter burger). At this point I'm literally in pain and struggling to smile, but I'm nothing short of fat, dumb, and happy. My friend taking the picture is about to fall off her chair.

I’ll be in Louisiana for another day and them I’m on to Texas and New Mexico for more friends, food, music, and general good times.

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