January 30th, 2004

I Will Not Defame New Orleans.

At this time...

"At this time I would like to ask all passengers to buckle their safety belts at this time as we are about to hit some turbulence at this time..."

Midnight flight home from San Francisco last night. I pointed out the overuse of this grammatically dubious phrase peppered with too much inappropriate conditional tense heard too often by corporate instruction-givers and every time the pilot uses it, we giggle.

"At this time I would like to ask the flight attendants to secure themselves in their jumpseats due to turbulence at this time..."

I am stretched across three seats, head resting on muppet coat on The Boyfriend's lap, so so so so so glad to be going home at this time.

I say, "I would like for us to be landing this Boeing 737 at this time."

He says, "I would like it if you would shift your head ever so slightly at this time."

Two weeks away from home only boldfaces, italicizes and underscores just how much I love to call New Orleans home at this time.

Marvelous two weeks, celebrating my recent (chosen) unemployment at this time.

A week in a sweet suite in Stateline, Nevada; view of the majestic (apologies -- only word that fits) mountains and the awesome (apologies again) crater of Lake Tahoe. Grand luck in the casinos.

California so close you can spit on it, and believe me, I do.

Gondola ride up the mountain. Inappropriate leather-soled cowboy boots make snow hiking a disastrous adventure at this time.

Day at the spa. Roman baths, Turkish steam, Swedish massage hosted by a Mexican.

At this time, we depart for Vegas for Miss Patticake's Elvis-themed wedding at the Graceland Chapel. Handfuls of French Quarter bastions, L.A. hipsters and rockstars attend. Patti in her white satin gown with black laces up the corset, cleverly matching her white Hi-Tops with black laces. The groom as a lounge-swank cowboy. Elvis sings, "Wise man say only fools rush in," at this time.

Cocktails with said friends and rockstars at the Double Down Saloon which I have heard of for years and was touted as the Vegas equivalent of The Hideout. I'll be damned if the place didn't smell the same: Spilled cheap beer, slight dog kennel aromes and a hint of cocaine; ahhh, home.

Stayed at New York, New York in another fabulous suite. Jacuzzi hot tub in the foyer. MGM Grand and roller coaster out the window. I like to hear people screaming while I sleep. It blends into my dreams most agreeably.

At this time, I feel hypocritical as in New Orleans I ridicule people with neon plastic hand grenade bottles full of daiquiris, but in Vegas I clutch onto my silver plastic Statue of Liberty daiquiri container with a fierce protectiveness known only to double Leos.

Teaching Pamela to play blackjack. "I just want to win enough for my Cirque tix." At this time, she was successful.

Off to San Francisco, one of my ex-homes. I feel not much nostalgia for the city, but gosh oh golly do I miss a few select someones at this time.

Kallisti and new huzband, Winnifred who probes the psyche with unmitigated accuracy, Patrick my first roommate from London a zillion years ago and adopted little brother. At this time, I feel totally gypped that I didn't get to see the inimitable Mordantia Bat as she was ill and failed to escape the confines of her deathbed.

The Boyfriend and I travel well together, which is a good thing since we have many, many plans for many, many more trips at this time.

1am landing in New Orleans, I 'overhear' a conversation at the airport between two Wardies and I can't understand a word of it. Security guard asleep. The cab driver lights a cigarette. We are home at this time.