I began my April 15th at the birthday party of marrus. Bacchanale's on Poland and Chartres in the Bywater. For those who haven't been by, it's technically a wine shop, but the experience more resembles walking into a friendly little neighbor's house, browsing his wine selection while munching some homemade pesto and bread, play some cards, get a manicure or massage, chill out and chat with friends old or friends new. Think Mr. Hooper's store.
What I didn't know is there is a large, and well-landscaped garden out back, dotted with massive round tables and speckled with xmas lights and tiki torches. The garden seems available for party planning, and really works well in that capacity. Buy a bottle of wine, wander around the garden talking with people. Finish the wine. Buy some more. So laid-back and relaxed. A great shop, Bacchanale.
After a bottle and a half of wine and another bottle of Framboise, and after flirting with a meaty little man-thing who claimed to be a microbiologist with a hobby of raising orchids [hhhhhot?], Ben and I left Marrus's cumpleaños for home. Ben wanted to go to Jammy Night at the Oz. I was tempted, but my Tax Baby duties were far from over. I lent him my black cotton "one'sie" with the buttony butt flap. "How do I look?" "Great, but your stuff's hanging out. Try some underwear."
We caught a ride in Branden's van, delivering the Decatur Street Blackouts' band equipment to Lounge Lizards. Bumped into revned and motel666 there and hung out for the show. (Following Decatur St. Blackouts was a band with one of the best names I've heard in a long time: The Mexican'ts!)
I smiled so much and laughed so hard with Denver and Miss S-K that my face began throbbing in pain, and no amount of drinking could sufficiently anesthetize me. (Sarah-K, please write about your arobics workout the other day. I swear I peed myself.)
After the show, we three made a dash to Monaghan's to meet victorine for her birthday party. changingthesky was in the backbar with Micha and we were informed that we had just missed them. Well that sucks, but might as well have more drinks while we're here, what?
Hespeth gadded off to bed. Denver and S-K and I schlepped across the Quarter to the Dervish where I encountered a very charming, very drunk Victorine, made my contribution to the money-pin, then continued to laugh and smile till my cheeks were bleeding from all the banter going on around me.
Okay, I've been reading motel666 for a while now, but I wasn't prepared to find the woman behind the words so goddamned riotously amusing in real life as well. Usually it's one or the other, in my experience. I can't remember the last time I laughed so hard. My cheek muscles are slowing throbbing now, noon the next day, from the aftershock.
Anyhoo, she and Denver grabbed a cab eventually. I wandered next door to the Not-Hideout to see Country Club Chris*, laughed some more until I thought my face would seize up and fall off entirely, then poured myself into a cab and somehow managed to climb the stairs and go to bed.
To sum: It was one of those nights that reminds me why I chose New Orleans as my home, and why I can feel assured I made the right choice.
* NEW ORLEANS FUN-FACT: In New Orleans, there are no last names. And since first names are common among several people, you will find many whose names are qualified by where they worked when you met them. Thus, though he hasn't worked at the Country Club in a couple of years, he will always be Country Club Chris to me, even when I'm seeing him at his new bar, the Not-Hideout. Or, for example, Genevieve, who years ago moved to New York, will always be Abbey Genevieve to me. A qualifying bar is not necessary to those who have original names. i.e., one does not need to qualify "Shim Sham Churchy."