Being from Louisiana, food is a major topic of conversation with me and my friends, and I constantly hear, “You know, I make the best ” Well, I gave those people a chance to put their food where their mouths are.  Or someone else’s mouth to their food…anyway, you get the picture.  Plus, I made it into a contest with prizes!


Also, since a few of us were so inspired by what we saw at Lindy Gras, we knew that we had to re-enact parts of it.  Naughty us.  And speaking of naughty…my pig had a good time too.  Ride the pig!  (or Erin.  Either way is fine with me.)


Back to the food…Some of entries were:



  • EXP appetizers (brought 3 hours after the party started! 🙂 )
  • Couscous a la Melissa
  • Girl Scout Cookies
  • DA-BOMB Sushi (Some in reference to previous mischief at Chef Tommy)
  • Gourmet Mac and Cheese
  • A most tasty Filet Mignon
  • Taco Salad
  • Mucho Alcoholo!
  • 125 Jello shots!
  • …bunches of other things that I have forgotten, or didn’t eat because I was quite toasty that night.  (Many mega super happy thanks to Andre and Angie who brought me liquid happiness:  Smirnoff Ice!)

One of the more interesting events was when Matt M. bet me $5 that I couldn’t eat one of his Sushi rolls without blinking.  Scoffing at his offer, I got a big crowd to watch me as I threw the tiny morsel of seaweed in my mouth.  For about 5 seconds of chewing, I was fine.  Then it hit me.


 


Once everyone was satiated, Teel whipped out:  The Tingler”.  Words themselves cannot describe the sensation of being “Tingled.”  Next time you’re out dancing at the Sons of Hermann, ask Teel about it.  Just make sure that you’re sitting down and don’t get too carried away, else you’ll contort it and then have to pray to the “Tingler Diety” for forgiveness.


 


We then sprawled out the always-faithful party-enhancer Twister.  Except Helen had something else in store for us:  Jello Shot Twister.  If you landed on a spot that had a shot, it was yours. 


 


The prize for winning the Twister match?  Once again…Tommy’s house.


 


I tried defending my title, and almost succeeded.  I got too anxious and knocked everyone down (including myself), so the judges defaulted to me, the defending champion.  (Studio 54 Party)  However, it was then noted that Helen took the most amount of shots and was on the mat the longest (we didn’t start at the same time), so in the spirit of the Olympics, Helen was the declared the winner.  But it’s now been 24 hours and she hasn’t claimed her prize, so I get to keep the house.  Woohoo! 🙂


 


After some more drinking, it later hit me, “I should stop.”  So, I did.  But the room didn’t.


 


Many many glasses of water later, I was ready to bed, which happened around 4AM.  There were still people on my couch chatting, but like I tell people, when you come to my house, you’re family.  Which also means, don’t expect me to fix your plate. 🙂


 


When I woke up, those left over from the party, (Myself, Melissa, Lee, Janice and Brian) were treated by the master cooking skillz of Monsieur Gibson.  Complete with homemade waffles topped with strawberries and syrup. 


 


For those that missed out…next time bring a pillow.


 


Some of the more interesting quotes overheard:




  • On how to have the most out of life:  “The more you eat, the more you can drink…the more you drink, the more you throw up…the more you can eat”


  • Let’s not do that again:  “Wiskey always makes me butch.”


  • Let’s do that again:  “Whatever you do, you can always do it better with more women.”


  • Let’s make sure do do that again:  “You know you’re drunk when you don’t know whose navel you sucked it out of.”


  • On tough issues:  “Hit one little brown kid with a Stretch Armstrong and all of a sudden, YOU’RE the racist.”


  • No parking here:  “These (lift boobs with hands) are just for show.”


  • Bad girl, good girl:  “, you’re being a bad girl.  Go to Tommy’s Room!”  (I did not say that!  I swear!)

Now that I have been exposed to the deep, dark underground that is Swing Exchanges, I will admit that I have become addicted.  On Feb 14-17th, I danced and partied my arse off in New Orleans for their first exchange, Lindy Gras.


I was hesitant to make the 8 hour drive there, since I waited too long to get tickets at a reasonable price, but Greg and I later decided that we’d make the hike together.  We finally arrived at our David’s (our host for the weekend) very shag-a-riffic house around 7PM.  Equipped with a dry sauna, pool, and a Jacuzzi, I knew that this should would be perfect for crashing after the 1-5AM after hours dance parties.  At this point the party was Gene, Dan, Craig, Greg, Helen, David, Jeff, and myself.  Needless to say, Helen enjoyed the ratio.  But we had a problem.  We were hungry. 


David, once again, had the great hookup because there was NO WAY we were going to find a restaurant with a decent wait time on V-Day…on a Friday night.  So, we went to a club with a live band and some home cooked jambalaya for a $7 cover charge.  I was in heaven.  Let the dancing begin.


 


With full stomachs we headed out to the Registration/V-day dance not too far from my Alma Mater, Tulane.  Met some people. Danced some dance.  The generous people of New Orleans even put on a “Dating Game” skit for our amusement.


 


But then the real dance fever came out…at the after-hours Pajama dance.  I was in my comfortable “Suga’ Daddy” regalia while others donned more fitting nightware.  Oh yeah, watch out for the Killer Frogs.  Not all were able to hang in till the bitter end, but some tried.


 


The following morning, David took us out to Jaegers on the Lake, for some good eatings.  It had been too long since I’ve had boiled crawfish, so I was quite content.  Thankfully, we didn’t get into too much trouble since Jeff was harassing our waitress and she swore that we just let him loose out of a Psychiatric Institution.


 


But my food craving were not to be completely satiated until I got my beignets.  Man, I miss Café du Monde.  Back in college when I had the only car, I would be my friends’ beignet/car pimp.  If they needed a ride, they would have to feed me.  Café du Monde was the standard payment.  Strolling around New Orleans, we felt the urge to visit Coyote Ugly.  Who knew that we’d find so much good clean fun?  (Complete with the down home hospitality.) Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves quite a bit.  Even Helen and Jeff.  Thankfully, Jeff didn’t mind us sticking him in the trunk since we didn’t have much room in the van by then.


 


Back to dancing!  We arrived just in time to watch them crown the King and Queen of Lindy Gras.  Lo and behold, the Queen was Dallas’ own Jamie!


 


But before heading out to the After Hours party for some more 1-5 dancing, Andre, Greg and I decided to be boys and visit Bourbon Street for some sights.  Believe it nor not, my favorite was the disproportionately sized truck.


 


Timing was apparently on our side, because right as we got back Andre jumped into a Birthday Jam for him and a few other Lindy Gras’ers.  But not everyone knew that it was Andre’s Birthday. J  Afterwards, Jeff and Atalanta did a good job of stealing the show. (FOCUS, Jeff!)


 


sleeeeep


 


My mom and sister (on left) were in town, so I went to the Olive Garden and had lunch with them.  Let’s hear it for free food! J  I then drove like a demon to Lindy in the Park.


 


Here’s where I’m going to get all sentimental on ya, so just brace yourselves:


 


Growing up, I was always the social outcast.  Everyone poked fun at me, and I didn’t seem to fit in anywhere, except with the other outcasts.  Even then, it didn’t always feel right.  When I went to college, I didn’t really do much.  I stayed inside, played on my computer, rarely partied, and only drank once or twice.  Needless to say, I’m making up for it now.  So, when I was dancing in Audobon Park, right across from Tulane, it was a truly spiritual experience for me.  It was a testament to how far I’ve come.  How much I’m enjoying life.  How rich of a life, I now have.  And how very grateful I am. 



 


I’m really happy with how some of the Park pictures turned out.  But then again, some of the best pics are done with the cooperation of Mother Nature.  Good dancing too, next to a lake.  Just had to make sure that I didn’t fall in, or do a swing out and find my partner all dripping wet.  (And not in a good way.)  This was the “say goodbye” dance for lots of people. 


 


Nap time.  Then the last dance of the schedule:  Rock and Bowl.  Take an old fashioned bowling alley, add some very tired, but party hardy swing dancers, and a DJ, and you’ve got Rock and Bowl.  (Plus a little celebrity endorsement.)  A brief, but fun finale to the scheduled dances…


 


And that’s when the cat’s got let out of the proverbial bag…


 


Bourbon Street.  World renowned for it’s drunken fests, parties, good music, great picture ops and dancing.  Now add people who know how to get drunk, get their party on, deal only in the best of music, love attention and traveled hundreds of miles to dance…that might give you some small sense of the intensity of the night.  I could write an entire journal entry just on Sunday night, but I’ll only give highlights.


 



 


Needless to say, this was one of the grandest times of my life.  It’s two days later and I’m still trying to catch up on all of my sleep. 


 


Some of the more memorable quotes of the weekend were:


 



  • “What better way to say someone you love than with beer?””Say it with a lager.”
  • (After the lights came on at 5AM and people were screaming and running away)  “We’re like roaches!”
  • “Munbah netch kha””You read my thoughts!”
  • “Full contact Lindy Body Shots”
  • Insight:  “Demons are spawned from (chocolate) Jeff’s loins.”
  • On a church outside sign:  “Stop Drop and Roll doesn’t work in Hell.”
  • “Hey Baby, wanna go out?””Save your breath for your inflatable date.”
    ”She cancelled.”
  • In reference to Jeff’s loins:”Bring the Devil out.”
    ”Is that what you call it?”
  • Heard from someone who needed to talk to a fellow Lindy Hopper that was driving away:”Stop the wedding!!!”
  • “There will always be auta’s, shoulda’s and woulda’s”
  • Count the boobs: “If you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them both.”
  • Spoken by the lead singer of the Blues band after mentioning that it was his birthday:Murmur from the crowd.
    “I’m a pussy?!  Oh, a pieces.”
  • On kissing:   “Have y’all kissed yet?””Not officially.”
  • “Don’t hate the player…hate the game.”
  • “Sometimes, it’s good to be the bitch.”
  • “This weekend raised the bar.  But then again, the bar is now at lesbian booty.”
  • Passing by a cop from Venus, TX:  “I’ll be damned.  There is a guy from Venus.”

 


I wish I had a more profound ending to this story, but all I can come up with now is:


 


Thank you, New Orleans.


 


Now I’ve just gotta get myself ready for my own “Food and Spirits” party this Saturday and practice giving Penalty Shots.  Then, another possible trip back to New Orleans for Mardi Gras.  Phew.  It’s a good and busy life.  Gotta love it.


 


And when I got back, my new toy was waiting for my at my doorstep.  I’m so happy.


 


You can see all of the pics here, and the best of the pics here.

For those still not aware of my new habit of going to Lindy Exchanges, get used to me mentioning them.  I should be hitting quite a few this year.  The latest one which I am preparing myself for tonight is Lindy Gras, hosted in one of my old neigborhoods of New Orleans.


Most of the dances will be right by alma-mater, Tulane.  I’m really looking forward to it.  Although the drive (Yes, I’m driving there instead of flying), will be quite an 8 hour hike which I’m not looking forward to.  Thankfully, I’ve got Greg to keep me busy. Plus, I just found all of my missing MP3 CD’s!  Yea!  Each CD is about 11 hours of music, so we’ll never run out of music.  Yarrr!


I’m also planning another trip down to New Orleans in two weekends for the classic celebration of Mardi Gras.  This time, George, Lee, Michael and I are planning to make the journey.  I’m not sure how that will turn out since George is our more “pure” friend joining us.  I wonder how his brain will handle the massive visual breast intake.  Will it fry his brain?  Or will Pat O’s do it first?


Planning a trip to New Orleans always concerns me.  Living there for 4 years and hearing about your friends getting mugged, I’m always the cautious one, watching my step.  I hope that this will be a safe time for me and my fellow Lindy Hoppers.  May God keep us safe.  Especially through this time of international tension.  I hope that no crazy guy decides to bomb New Orleans while we’re there.  Pray for a safe trip for me.


Dancing like there’s no tomorrow,Moi.


P.S.  I also have the pictures from Matt Weyandt’s 80’s B-day party up.  It was a total blast, dude.  Complete with Rubix Cube cake and almost working Atari’s.


The above conversation was an excerpt from a conversation I had with a drunk kid one recent Sunday morning when I told him that I told him I graduated from Tulane. (where he was studying) I then told him that he was a long way from home.

Drunk people amuse me. At least the ones you find at Denny’s and IHOP at 1-2 AM. Having had a relative killed by a drunk driver, that is about the extent of my tollerance of them. Oh yeah, and then there was that time where Evil Roommate Steve was so drunk that he got me laughing because he was so loony. At one point he turned to me as he was sprawled out on the couch and said, Hey Tommy. What?

PHART.

In some sort of dumb male way, it was really funny. But not as funny as Whataburgerwhat? Heh Heh.

On a less than humerous note, the growing tension surrounding Iraq and N. Korea. Part of the US is Pro-Peace, and part is Anti-Saddam. I don’t know where I stand yet. I think that a peaceful resolution would be to the benefit of the world, but how? And what can I do to help? As I drove by downtown Dallas last night, looking at the skyline, I turned to it and said, “Don’t go anywhere…ever.” I’d hate for one of the building in Dallas to be destroyed and then replaced by a less than practical solution.

Peace Out! (And I mean it)Tommy.