In the past I’ve posted random pictures I’ve taken. This one I took a couple months ago. I think what struck me at the time was this was a perfect image of how I, or I guess most people feel sometimes. I don’t want to come across as a pity party but you ever feel like where ever you go there is a dark cloud looming over you? Like everything is just working against you? Well this particular day this cloud was hanging out right over our house when I walked out. It wasn’t much bigger than what was shown in the picture and appeared exactly like that- no filters. I saw it and felt “Yep. There you are.” At least this time my dark cloud wasn’t invisible. It actually showed it’s face.
Category Archives: NOLA
Since sharing the happy news of my engagement to Cristina, occasionally we get asked when our wedding will be. Our answer is always that we are unsure because we are waiting on SCOTUS (Supreme Court of the United States). Our hope is that SCOTUS will make marriage equality the law of the land. Assuming that is the case, we will be married in Louisiana so that our family and friends may attend. Plan B is that we would be married in Florida and that our family and some close friends might join us. So we anxiously wait. And although chances are this will be announced on the last Monday of the SCOTUS term, you never know. Until then I stay glued. Everyday reading my twitter timeline and Yahoo news for the big headline.
In doing so I came across an article by Michael Abernethy on PopMatters.com about the upcoming SCOTUS decision where he quotes an episode of Glee. I thought the quote was humorous and couldn’t be MORE truthful so I wanted to share it. A character named Brittany tells her girlfriend’s homophobic grandmother, “You know The New York Times said half the increase in support of gay marriage is due to generational turn-over. That’s what smart people call crazy uptight bitches dying. You guys lost, okay? And honestly the rest of us are just going about our business being normal and waiting for you to not be around, not because you can stop us from getting married, but just because you’re kinda annoying.”
So whether marriage equality comes down in a couple weeks or if it delayed a bit longer eventually it WILL come to the other 13 states. And it will be a very sad day for you crazy uptight bitches.
As I am more than sure most people reading this know what the Second Amendment states, for those of you who may not I’ll quickly recap. The Second Amendment of the United States Constitution gives us the ability to keep and bear arms. Guns people. That’s the topic today because a few weeks ago I decided that I will be exercising my right to own and carry a gun.
I must admit that the thought has been in the back of my mind for a few years. I think about it here and there especially with all the stuff I have been reading in the news (thanks, Twitter). Nothing sealed the deal for me though then my experience a few weeks ago.
Cristina and I were on the way to pick up our daughter from the airport as she was visiting her Uncle Richard in Texas. After being in the car about 7 minutes I realized we needed to get gas before getting on I-10. Since having an experience with purchasing bad gasoline in the past I really only like to stick to gas stations I know and trust. But because we were running a little late and didn’t really have the time to turn around to go to our usual spots, we opted to stop at the nearest station. My mindset was that I would only get a few gallons worth ($10) to get us there and on the way back I would fill up at our trusted vendors.
Well I made the purchase and hopped back in the car. Exactly 2 miles later the car started behaving strangely. It was acting as if the car didn’t have gas although the gauge reported it did and we KNEW it was not empty. I made the decision to turn around and attempt making it back the two miles we traveled from the gas station but the car gave up. It wasn’t moving any more.
Well now I’m in a pickle because 1. there is no way I’m making it to the airport in time and 2. the area where the car decided to quit is NOT a good area. Unfortunately in New Orleans there are many good/safe areas in the city that are neighbored by bad/unsafe areas. And many times to get to a destination or good area you must travel through the bad. Well we were in the bad and I knew we were unsafe. Lets also add that it was night time and a nearby street light was out- it was dark.
After making the call to my future in-laws and asking them to run to the airport I made the call to a tow truck company. I opted for one that was physically close to us hoping that the wait time would be minimal. I was glad to hear it would only be 30 minutes. Well that quote wasn’t very accurate. I called 30 minutes later and was told it would be 20 minutes. I thought to myself “Okay. So far so good. I can do 20.” 20 minutes later I called again and was told 35 minutes. 35 minutes later I called again and I’m told 30 more minutes. In my frustration I hung up and looked up from my phone. I was startled as I saw man dressed in all black with his hip leaning on our car two feet from my seat. He was wearing a hoodie over his head and I couldn’t see his face. He just sat there peering into the car for some time. In my mind I started running the worst case scenario. How do I make sure Cristina’s safe? How do I keep his focus on me while she runs? How do I escape? Instantly I thought “I wish I had a gun.” That man leaned on the car staring at us for what seemed like forever. Finally he started walking slowly past me and around the car. I was following his movement in my rear view mirror and then he disappeared. I asked Cristina if she saw where he went and she hadn’t.
Well I called the tow truck company yet again and was told it would be another 40 minutes. I was so angry but knew I had to keep my cool because unfortunately we were at their mercy. I dialed another company who told me they were in the area and could snatch us up rather quickly. The second tow truck company arrived and actually stated he would wait with us while the first tow truck company came. His reasoning was he didn’t want to jump the other guy’s job and would never want his wife or daughter to be sitting in this area alone at night so he would wait with us. As angry as I was with the first tow truck company I said, “Don’t worry about them. You got the job!”
Needless to say the first tow truck company was very angry I cancelled. Supposedly they were ten minutes away. Sorry buddy. I don’t care. You basically said that over two hours ago. Our second tow truck driver named Super Dave had us home 20 minutes later. We were safe and I was thankful. Once home we had to jump in our other car and pick up Raimee from her grandparent’s house.
I couldn’t shake the adrenaline rush I experienced when that man was leaning on the side of our car. I felt helpless at the time and didn’t know what I would do if we were attacked. Since this happened I have been increasingly aware of murders in this area. There has also been shootings, assaults, and murders around popular locations we frequent. That night as soon as the car stopped and we were in the dark I thought to myself I wish I had a gun. And when I saw that man staring at us I thought it again. I have decided for the protection of my family I will be a gun owner and a responsible one. I have picked out several classes I will attend with a private instructor and even take the Concealed Carry class. I plan on putting in many hours and months at the shooting range to be proficient in being a gun owner. Since I am deciding to do it, I will do it right. No that does not mean I will be sporting a gun daily but if I feel the need to or have one with me in my car I can do so legally. Do I think I could have shot that guy if we were being attacked? Absolutely. For my family’s safety I wouldn’t think twice.
Now to deal with getting bad gasoline a second time in my life….
Mardi Gras season is once again upon us and so far it’s been a pretty good one. Last year Cristina and I joined the Krewe of Cleopatra after being invited by Cristina’s friend. She mentioned having two spots available on the float and also mentioned some of our other acquaintances that rode as well. Although we both had ridden in a parade before we haven’t done it together and since EVERYTHING we do together is a blast- how could we resist?
I will admit that since it was our first time in this Krewe with mostly a bunch of strangers we weren’t as sociable as we could have been. We skipped meetings, get-togethers, the Coronation Ball, etc. Cristina felt more badly about it then I did but since none of it was mandatory I didn’t really care. I knew one event we would be attending was the Rendezvous Ball which is the Mardi Gras Ball for Cleopatra. Cristina told me as soon as we joined that there was no skipping that one. She wanted to go.
Well we got dressed to the 9s and attended the Ball with the friends we joined the Krewe with. It would be our first time meeting the rest of the people on our float and to my surprise they were very friendly. The very people we avoided couldn’t have been nicer. Our lieutenant (person in charge of everything for our float) was very personable, thoughtful, and an all around good time. The drinks flowed, food was good, company was great, and that equation makes up for a pretty fantastic night.
Fast forward several days and it was time to get the float loaded. Now as I mentioned before we skipped all the extra curricular activities which meant we missed Float Day. That is the day you get to take family and friends to an event where all the floats are on display to marvel in their beauty. Well with a combination of a miss-marked float and missing Float Day, we almost packed all of our overflowing bags onto the second deck of the wrong float. That would have been a disaster because loading your throws is not exactly fun, much less having to unload them, tote the heavy bags to another location, to then reload them again. Crisis averted we were loaded in the right spot.
The very next day was the day of the parade. Our float lieutenant arranges a pre-party to the official pre-party that the Krewe hosts prior to the parade rolling. Cristina and I dubbed that party the pre-pre-party. It was a private party held in the warehouse district of New Orleans. Again with drinks flowing and the great company it would be impossible NOT to have a great time. At the conclusion of the pre-pre-party we all walked together to the nearby official pre-party of Cleopatra and continued to have a great time and make awesome memories. I think it was at that time I maybe started feeling a teensy weensy bad about not attending the other events. Everyone there was very nice and included the two rookies into their Cleopatra family. Lesson learned.
Well needless to say Cristina and I will be riding Cleo again next year. We quickly learned by speaking to other members that they were previously on other floats within Cleopatra and transferred to ours because it is known to be the funnest group. I can confidently say in my experience of that day: I concur. Hail Cleopatra!