Real South travel plans
Monday, February 9 2004
Gretchen and I will be going to New Orleans on the 19th of February. We'll actually be there at around Mardi Gras time, although this isn't the reason we're going. That particular festival just happens to coincide with a time when Gretchen and I will both be near a major international airport. We'd much rather visit New Orleans at a less annoying time, when people aren't drinking and puking their hurricanes up and down Bourbon Street, but somehow it just ended up this way. The winter up here is a bitch and we need to go to a milder climate for a few days. If anyone has a place for us to crash, we might take you up on it, although we've also reserved various hotel rooms, mostly out in bayou country. I'm more excited to see the Real South than I am to see New Orleans. Mind you, I grew up in the South, but it wasn't a pure South. Near Staunton, the culture is more Appalachian the southern. And in Charlottesville, the culture seems to have more in common with Washington than it does with Richmond.
My esophagus (or whatever gastrointestinal entity has been acting up) continues to cause me discomfort, especially in the evening. Sometimes it feels like a strange dance of peristalsis, a weird clenching and releasing above my stomach. It's never really painful - it's uncomfortable in the way that choking or having something stuck in your throat is uncomfortable.
I was talking about my medical problems with Gretchen and she wondered if maybe my body was finally objecting to all the abuse to which I subject it. "You're almost 36 years old," she said, "maybe finally you're body's trying to tell you that you can't treat it the way you used to." In particular, she was concerned about my near-continual consumption of caffeine, which starts every morning with three big cups of black coffee and continue throughout the day in the form of Red Rose Tea (the kind that comes with the little porcelain animal figurines). I'd been more suspicious of alcohol and had been abstaining from all forms banned by the 18th Amendment, but it hadn't helped.
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