Thanksgiving in South Louisiana

November 30, 2009 at 9:55 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , )


So, I apologize for the fact that it’s been a few days since I posted.  I’m sure all of you out there in cyberspace have been waiting with bated breath for my newest entry, so my tardiness in unacceptable.  I got home last night from my grandparents house and then had internet troubles at my apartment, but thanks to a combination of determination, intelligence and pure luck I am now back online.

I spent Thanksgiving with my dad’s side of the family; my aunt and her three kids, my uncle and my grandparents, whom my sister and I refer to as Grandma and Grandpa Honey.  Is the last name on my paternal side Honey, you may ask?  Why, no.  The story goes that when my sister and I were little and would visit my grandparents, they would always call each other “Honey”; we just figured that was their name.  I think we were around nine and ten before we realized the name was a little unusual, but by then the damage was done and it simply stuck.

Grandma and Grandpa Honey live in a tiny parish about a half hour from Baton Rouge.  The latest store open is a Wal-Mart that closes at 7:30pm, if that gives you an idea of the size of this town.  For those of you that have never traveled to Louisiana, let me just say that it’s like a whole other world down there – even the air smells different.  Not in a bad way, though; just a peculiar combination of pecans, sugar cane and swamp.   I love to go visit, see family and spend a bunch of time doing nothing much in particular.  On Thanksgiving Day we typically eat lunch (or dinner, as it’s known there, since supper is the last meal of the evening) a little after noon and then everyone takes a big fat nap.  It’s been tradition for the last few years for all of us excluding grandparents to head out to the local bar sometime during our stay together, and this year was no exception.  Let me tell you about Fluidz.

Here’s a picture of the front of the bar (and that’s my dad’s bike).  Yes, a bottle of beer and a mug have both been incorporated into the bar’s logo because people might not have known what the place was otherwise.  The bar has a jukebox, a pool table and not much else.  It epitomizes everything that I love about a dive bar, and of course when my family goes in we create quite a scene.  This year my aunt had dipped into the wine a little early and was feeling pretty good by the time we even got to the bar.  My sister and I went undefeated in pool (don’t ask me how that happened) and we all had a pretty good time.  I even got asked by a local to go a ride on his motorcycle (I never did figure out if he was serious or if this was a euphemism).  I politely declined his kind offer.

The next day we all drove the roughly two hours to another favorite place in Louisiana – New Orleans.

Ah, the French Quarter.  Jazz, street performers, shops, drinks and strip clubs.  I absolutely love walking around Jackson Square and perusing all of the art that lines the streets.  We had beignets at Cafe Du Monde and spent the day just wandering around.  New Orleans isn’t a place you can experience in one day and every time I’m there I want to stay longer, but a short visit is better than no visit at all!

The highlight of this trip, for me at least, was my time spent in Marie Laveau’s House of Voodoo.  On a whim I decided to get a tarot and palm reading done by the reader in the shop, a short, mysterious bald guy with dark eyes.  It’s not something I’ve ever done there but the Voodoo Queen’s former stomping grounds seemed as good a place as any to go for it.  And while I went into it with a good deal of skepticism, I have to admit that by the end of the reading I was quite shaken.  When I sat down, the man took my hand and held it while remaining silent with closed eyes.  He didn’t say anything for a minute, and then he asked me if I’m a vegetarian.  If you know me at all, you know I’ve been a herbivore for around a dozen years, so obviously his question gave me pause.  He said my iron is low and that’s how he could tell.  Right off the bat the guy did have my attention.

I’m not going to get into every little thing he said, because we talked for about half an hour and there was a lot to it.  Naturally, there were a few things he spoke of that were completely off base (I have absolutely no stomach problems after eating dairy, for instance) but for the most part, I really left feeling like this guy knew what he was talking about.  He asked about my photography (I recently bought a very nice Nikon and have been practicing) and about my creative writing.  He knew that I’ve been published and said that I would get published again.  This is already technically true, since I write for a monthly magazine that will print another issue in January.  He mentioned that I’m really good at scheduling and organization, and that I make lots of lists.  Okay, this is all true too.  He told me he felt I studied Journalism, which was actually my declared major before switching over to English.  Then he asked me if I’d recently been to Australia or New Zealand, which again was striking since I was in New Zealand two months ago.  He asked if I had liked Italy, Greece and Prague but those are places I haven’t ever been to, and when I told him that he said that I would get there and like Prague the best (which is funny, because Prague is a random place I already I have a travel book for).  He also knew that I don’t wear heels because I have weak ankles and constantly twist them, and that I only run when I’m being chased.  That last part is exactly, word for word, what I tell people when they ask me if I’m a jogger or runner.

Let’s see, what else…he told me that my last relationship had held me back, which is always nice to hear from a psychic right after a break up (he also thought my ex and I were together for between three and four years – we split up at three and a half).  As for things pertaining more to the future, he seemed to think I would adopt kids and stay either in Chicago or go to California.  I’ve talked about both staying here and moving there, so that was kind of funny.  He asked if I had gotten my raise, which I laughed about because our entire company went on a ten percent pay cut in March (it’s “supposed” to be re-evaluated in January).  He reassured me the pay cut would be lifted soon, which would be nice.  He also told me that my family should remain healthy for a while and that I myself have a deep life line so I should live a long, happy life.  Oh, and apparently I’m going to be married in three years.

It’s okay, take a minute, I laughed too.  He said that I would meet someone through a set up, we’d be married in three years and owning property in about the same time.  He seemed to place a lot of stock on this set up because he mentioned it three times and right before I left he reminded me to take it.  I told him I didn’t know if I’d be ready to do anything like that for a while but that I would keep what he said in mind.  But just in case, if you have a friend you think would be perfect for me feel free to let me know!

That was pretty much the reading.  In all honesty I thought the whole experience was interesting and even spooky at times, and what’s not to like about being told you’ve live a long happy life and soon fall in love with the person of your dreams?  I know that most times the things told at these readings are vague and general enough to apply to just about anything and anybody, but some of the things this guy said really impressed me.  I didn’t tell him anything about myself or my life and if he was purely guessing then he did a pretty good job.  I don’t know how all of the palm and tarot readings are in New Orleans, but if you ever get the chance and are around Marie Laveau’s I recommend you go for one of these readings.  And I guess if by some strange alignment of the universe I happen to be married within three years…well, that will be spooky indeed.

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