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January 5, 2009

Two Thousand And Nine...

...or 'Out With The Old, In With The New'

So, I didn't get in as much guitar practice over the holidays as I expected, but that's okay. I did manage to get a stinky head-cold and sore throat which finally ran its course on New Year's Day... and then I went blind. Again.

Okay, obsessive-compulsive followers of this blog will know that I'm exaggerating. I didn't actually go blind, but on Saturday I did find myself sat in A&E (Urgent Care) for the third time in 6 months with yet another painful infection in my left eye. More antibiotics, to be administered directly to the eye via a lovely gel. Delightful. It seems that the last time I had this problem the medication they gave me didn't work quickly enough and I ended up with corneal damage, which is actually where the infection is this time around. Joy. I insisted that they actually refer me to 'The Clinic' for a proper follow up this time as, frankly, I want something done about the underlying cause, dammit!... whatever the underlying cause is! Maybe it's just old age. Hey, I can deal with that, if that's the case. The hospital's party line was 'if it happens again, just come straight back to A&E and we'll give you more antibiotics'! To me that's like not bothering to fix an oil leak in your car, just topping up whenever the engine seizes.

So, being the good contractor that I am, I'm back in the office today, putting in the hours, getting the job done. It's a good thing that my work doesn't require depth perception, eh?

Doom and gloom to one side, then. I'm not one of the 'I'm sick and need to moan about it' brigade. Oh no...

Right. Xmas? Fun. Didn't spend it all with The Old Folks this year, but instead headed up to the Sofitel St James hotel to indulge in their Yuletide lunch special. Very nice. Very civilised. It goes without saying that someone in the restaurant smelled of cat pee, which added a certain ambiance. I sat there hoping to god it wasn't me (it wasn't!). Five courses then coffee with little cake thingies. Trust me, a wafer thin mint would have finished me off. When we left the place and hopped on our bikes to go visit my parents our exhaust pipes were dragging along the ground.

Sales, sales, sales...

I never do 'The Sales'. This year we did indulge a bit, though. Mostly smart clothes. Nothing too rock 'n' roll, unlike some of the festive gear that Tim got me for my pressies.

Jump forward to New Year's Eve, being careful not to land on any of those snot-soaked kleenexes I may have left lying around.

A good time had by all, actually. A play followed by the after-show cast party. Lots of rubbing shoulders with B and C-list celebs (is this going to become a habit?). Chatted with ex-Brookside and ex-Hollyoaks actors. Didn't recognise them (sorry). Did recognise one guy from 'the movies' but had to ask what he'd been in (probably a faux-pas).

Names, faces, names... bodies... I should mention at this time that by NYE I'd managed to pile on about 5 pounds in weight without putting in any gym time. Muscle? Fat? You guess! At least I now have an urgent reason to get back into shape... more later on that one! For those who can't wait, either skip forwards or figure out these clues:

King Cakes...
Bourbon Street...
Fat Tuesday...

Anyone? ANYONE?

Back to NYE. Play, party, midnight, 1:30am... should have gone home but instead went dancing. Well, you have to, don't you? No? Oh, that's just us then.

So, what's this whole Fat Tuesday malarkey, or as one of my friends often asks me, "What the hell are you going on about, Ken?"

Do you believe in signs and portents? I don't, unless it fits my agenda.

A while ago I got an email from The Derek Trucks Band, saying that they'd added an extra date to their 2009 tour schedule? When? 22nd February. Where? New Orleans.


Damn it, my fave band announces that they're playing a date in my fave city. We've not been back to New Orleans since Mardi Gras, 4 years ago, half a year before Katrina struck. A couple of days after Mardi Gras 2005, Tim and I had our wedding, slap bang in the middle of the French Quarter. It was a year before Civil Partnerships would come into being in the UK, so there was no way we could legally marry, anyway. New Orleans was where it felt right for us to tie the knot, regardless of the law.

We did the whole 9 yards: meet-and-greet cocktail party, big family wedding, guests from around the globe (as far away as New Zealand), reception, jazz band, open bar. Drinking and dancing the whole way. We closed out with a high-spirtied (drunken... the guests, not me!) 'second line' around our beloved Vieux Carre.

That evening, knowing that we would be returning to London and not knowing when we'd see New Orleans again we made the pact that no matter what happened we'd return at Mardi Gras for our 5th anniversary.

Then Katrina happened and with each passing year the desire to make our return has become more and more unbearable.

Well, we're coming up on our 4th anniversary (which is close enough to the 5th, isn't it? Derek Trucks in playing at the House of Blues on Decatur on the 22nd February, Fat Tuesday's coincidentally on the 24th, Tim's got a break from studies for one week... THAT WEEK... so taking a break and going makes sense...

Plus, this year Fat Tuesday falls late in the year, so it might actually be warm for a change!

Plus, when we emailed round to stateside friends, most of them want to join in!

Baby... we're going to MARDI GRAS!!!!

Laissez les bons temps rouler, people!!!!!

That gives me less than 2 months to get in shape. Why? Well, It's much easier to earn beads when you're a fit lad and I plan on having a record year!!!!

Of course, when we're there I plan on stuff my face with high-fat jambalaya and red beans & rice at Coops. Biscuits & gravy for breakfast (whatever time of day or night that happens to be) from Deja Vu.

Not forgetting, of course, hub-cap burgers at THE CLOVER GRILL!!!!!


Damn it. I need to get to making some kick-ass beads. Beads? Beads are like CASH MONEY at Mardi Gras! They can buy you anything! Nobody cares about the cheap-ass mass-produced plastic crap, though. Custom-made, unique beads. That's where the real gold is, man...

Look, here are some folks tossing beads from a balcony (cheap-ass ones, by the looks of them)

...and here are some catchers, begging for a prize!

Now, to get cheap crap like that I might put my arm up on the offchance of catching a throw, but baby, for skin, you're gonna have to do so much better!

Be afraid, be very afraid!

All this is very hot off the press. All the planets aligned and that was that. Somehow it'd be nice to find some way to visit our stateside relatives but we're not going to be there for long and the ones we really want to see the most live about 6 hours' drive away (which, amazingly, is still in Louisiana!) so it may not be possible. Still trying to figure out how to make that work, though...


headbang8 said...

The guitar stuff is interesting, but the life stuff is what keeps your readers coming back.

Pix of the wedding, chaps?

Make up some B-list celebrities, and drop their names. It'll only be half untrue, and your readers will love it.

Pax for 2009.

Kenski said...

Pix of the wedding? Don't even get me started! This'll turn into a blog entirely about Ken & Tim's wedding :-)

Well, one of the stars of stage and screen you may recognise was John 'Ebb-on-knee' Campbell (who appeared in the UK movie "Cut Sleeve Boys"). Other than that there was DJ Boogaloo Stu and actors Leon Lopez (from just about every UK soap and now a singer) and Craig Stein (again from UK soaps... Holby City?)

Oh, and Madonna was there... okay, so that one was a lie. The rest, well, you decide.

Col said...

Wow! The guitar stuff is best, but I enjoy the balance of life stuff too, but only because it's you and Tim who are interesting.

Furtheron said...

My wife keeps have eye infections - not as bad as yours but she's getting fed up with it as well.

I spotted New Orleans from the clues... aren't I a smart arse :-)

Never been there would love to go - I would also love it if America actually fixed up the devastated areas as well... Still given there are people still in caravans in Hull a year and more on from our floods maybe I shouldn't throw stones

Kenski said...

From the first day after Katrina it's not really been at all clear as to what the best solution for New Orleans is. Whilst it's easy to blame nature, man is ultimately responsible for what happened. First off, it wasn't a smart place to settle. Secondly, through our actions the natural defences which could have reduced the impact were eroded.

I'd love to know what will become of New Orleans. It can't be the same, though. I just hope it recovers better than Galveston did after the storm in 1900.

Rebuilding might be the politically correct thing to do in the short term, but there are going to be long term problems.

The whole subject just tears me up.