Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Back Home

Flew back yesterday. Everyone sent some extra pictures.  We call these lagniappe:

Let the good times roll!

Monday, December 29, 2014

NOLA Day 3

We caught the Harrahs limo at 9:45 headed to Ralph's on the Park for Sunday brunch.

Located in City Park, Ralph's is owned by Ralph Brennan and has tasty items like shrimp and grits, Crab Benedict and "endless" mimosas.  Cole ate his hand and a few dozen spoons (all of which wound up on the floor). 

Then it was off to the French Quarter and a tourist stop at Pat OBriens, the premier piano bar, patio and Hurricane purveyor. It was like a flashback for me. Most of the waiters have been there for 40 or 50 years. Joe, our waiter was there for 47. He remembered serving me when I was probably 14 (the age that you can start drinking in New Orleans).

I walked with Nikki back to the hotel so she could get packed to leave that afternoon. About a half hour later, Debbie called to ask me to come back to Pat O. Our group was dancing on tables, singing loudly and ... Yes ... drinking.

We met lots of new friends. My favorite family wore tee shirts that were numbered Drunk 1, Drunk 2 ... Grandma was 80 and was Drunk 6. 

Nate met a pirate in the bathroom. He apparently stood a little too close at the "trough" and held a conversation. Creepy (note to female readers: guys don't like to hold long conversations with other guys while relieving ourselves). Got this picture of the pirate when we left. 

We headed back to the casino after that and ate poboys at Grand Isle, gambled until midnight ... What else is new. 

By the way, caught this great shot of Cole and the sisters in the limo. 

Sunday, December 28, 2014

NOLA Day 2

Someone once said ... "All you do in New Orleans is eat and drink".  That's pretty much the case for us. The weather still was miserable yesterday so we had to drown our sorrows with beignets, shrimp poboys, gumbo, bloody Mary's, dirty martinis and ... And ... More food.

Started at Cafe du Monde (in Riverwalk) continued at ACME oyster and ended at Landrys. In between, we drank coffee, beer, liquor ... And some other liquids that no one could identify.

The baby was a trooper. Pretty much dragged through the sloshy streets of NO , he still managed to pose and smile at Landrys.

Alissa was happy on her golden Godess machine at Harrahs.

Forgot to mention that when we landed at the airport, I was told that the cars were oversold and that cars we reserved were unavailable. 

So ... Stranded downtown without transportation, we are (now at least) wet but happy in our little corner of the world 

Saturday, December 27, 2014

NOLA bound

We landed in New Orleans yesterday at 2:30. Josh, Alissa, Nate and Theresa flew with Deb and me from Tampa. It's been raining ever since.

Nikki, baby Cole and Steven flew from Savannah. They were delayed because TSA searched Cole's 5 suitcases and scanned his drinking bottles for illegal substances and baby weapons apparently. 

They arrived a few hours before us. 

We ate at NOLAs on St. Louis St in the Quarter. One of Emiril's restaurants, still one of my favs. 

After that ... We headed for Harrahs for a night of gambling, dancing and drinking. Deb and I lasted til midnight. The kids stayed a little longer. 

Alissa won the Dance Fever award. I promised not to show the video but if you want a visual ... imagine Elaine from Seinfeld drinking four margaritas and waving her arms wildly. She was feeling no pain this morning. 

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

I Can See !!!

I know it's silly to dedicate a whole blog post to the fact that I got my eyes checked and refitted for glasses but it's the little things that excite me. 

Because thanks to my nephew, Mike Levitt, Ophthalmologist to the stars (and me), I can see again. Ever since my surgery, my vision had changed dramatically but I didn't really notice it until recently. There were clues ... People waved to me from across a room and I didn't know who the hell they were, I knew there were letters on street signs but I didn't speak Chinese, I walked into things a lot (okay ... So maybe that's not because of the glasses). 

But now it's crystal clear ... so for all those people over the last year that waved to me or smiled at me and saw just my blank stare and thought "he's pretty rude" ... I'm so sorry. Now ... I will see you!

Of course I still might not know who the hell you are. 

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Old Age

Man do I feel old today. 

I heard from a former student of mine who I taught in 1978. He's not the first student I've heard from over the years. With the advent of Facebook, I get friended now and then by former students who have kids, grey hair, some have faces I can't quite remember ... Many still call me Mr. Momberg. 

But today was a little different. The student who wrote to me today ... Just retired!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

My mother in law, Joanne Gallagher passed away on Saturday. She was battling the effects ovarian cancer and congestive heart disease. She was and will always be a very special lady.

One of my favorite stories about Joanne was one that I wrote and have reposted today. It was published when she first was hospitalized:

Jewels from Joanne

(originally posted January 2, 2011)

Joanne is my mother in law.

She has a very strong faith and has great courage in the face of adversity. She also has given birth to seven children that she knows of ... including the twins, Debbie and Dennie. Immaculate conception aside ... Joanne apparently knew more about sex than her children give her credit for ... or not. Certainly, married to Larry, she needed a manual to understand the mechanics (I think even she probably admits that she should have taken a test drive first).

Joanne also has an interesting vocabulary all her own. While she has been in the hospital, she has shared some of her "Jewels" :

1. Cuomo....  No this is not the former mayor of New York. Mario was certainly not in her thoughts when Joanne asked "When do I start the Cuomo treatments?"

2. High Wig ... This is an interesting term that is probably a cross between a highbrow and a bigwig. Joanne was referring to some of the influence she felt that my brother in law Mark and I had in the medical community when we set her up with some of the specialists that are now treating her. She told daughter Keli that " Joel and Mark are certainly High Wigs in the community!"

3. Ice Packages ... A reference to frozen plasma. As Joanne said to the nurse, "Are you giving me more ice packages this morning?"

4. Passing Gas ... Actually, Joanne got this one right. One afternoon, she was taking a breathing treatment as the sisters were relating embarrassing stories. The subject of gas passing came up (as it always does when embarrassing stories are told). All of a sudden Joanne interrupted us with a story of her own.

"You know," she said without turning her head from the breathing tube. "I once passed gas when I was taking communion."

There was dead silence. None of us could believe what she just said.

"So ... Joanne," I finally had to speak up. "What did you do?"

"Well, I looked at Larry and I said .... 'Was that you, dear?'"

Ballad of the Big Prostate

Here’s a little country tune I wrote just yesterday to commemorate a dark day in my history. I don’t have a tune but realized you can use an...