Jamey told me that my new mantra is, “You have everything you need,” and I am invoking it as frequently as possible. It’s already helped the past few days and considering how crazy I’ve been, imagine how much crazier I would’ve been without, “You have everything you need.”
Let’s talk about food for a moment. Or an hour.
Can I just say how impeccable and lovely the meals always are at the Monteleone Hotel? The food is wonderful and the service is to die for, cordial and consistent. I always feel like I’m living my dream life when I’m in the rooftop dining room, looking out over the curve of the Mississippi and eating my vegetables like a good girl. Words and Music, the parts I attended, was divine this year, as usual. It’s always chock-full of memorable people and experiences.
Afterwards, I dashed into Beckham’s Bookshop (which, if I remember correctly, was the first bookshop I ever visited in Nola ten years ago) to buy James Nolan’s Perpetual Care. Then, went into Southern Candymakers to buy some pralines. I’m always welcomed there like an old friend and I amuse them by selling candy while I’m in line by recommending my favorites to the tourists. I was shocked and enormously pleased when they gave me a discount. I once had an argument with somebody over which was the best candy shop in the city and after about five minutes of intense disagreement, we realized we were talking about the two locations of the same shop (at either end of Decatur). Another friend insists Laura’s Candies is the best, especially their truffles, which I’ll admit I haven’t tried, but my money is always on Southern Candymakers, especially for pralines (but also try a Jackson Square or their huge peanut butter cups or their white chocolate macadamia tortues or their covered Oreos or their fudge or anything really). One of the candy sellers and I have an intense ongoing debate about whether pralines are best served warm (him) or frozen with milk (me). Either way, peanut butter and coconut are my favorites.
After my candy purchasing, I hopped in the car with Martin and was whisked away from downtown to Oak Street and the New Orleans Po’Boy Preservation Festival. Great fun all around and ran into some of Martin’s friends and some of my own, which was nice and always the best part of festivals. However, I will name my favorite discovery of the festival. At the suggestion of Martin’s cousin’s friend’s girlfriend L, and then the smell of my friend T‘s po’boy, we ventured down to the Parkway Bakery tent and got a $2 roast beef po’boy that was simply to die for. We’d already had two excellent po’boys (and a beer) between us (and there’s no counting how many the two of us have had in our lifetimes), so you can trust me when I say that this was one of the most amazing gustatory experiences I’ve ever had. My friend V created the best adjective when I was clumsily trying to describe it to her later: po’gasmic (you’ll have to bring it up with her if you want to use this in advertising). [Martin loves picking on me when I’m tired and reminded me that L is not his cousin-by-marriage’s girlfriend, but rather his cousin’s friend’s girlfriend. Oh, south Louisiana…]
Which brings me to the last thing I wanted to discuss today. My novel has been TRULY making me crazy lately and in her usual, knowing way, Toni has written what I needed to read in today’s Murderati blog, called Comfort Reading. Go read it now. If it doesn’t make you cry or start writing immediately, as it did me, you have no heart and no eyes.
I’ve been enjoying watching the counter shoot up. Thanks to everybody who’s reading.