Saturday, April 17, 2010

Monday, and then Monday

I have averaged 10:20 per scheduled day of work since Melvin's and my cross-country tour last summer and I headed into this trip fairly exhausted. This led to malapropisms and other nonsensical comments, including my tendency to refer to any day in the past as "Monday." Now somewhat rested, it appears we saw the Biscuits on Thursday, Braves on Friday and Zephyrs on Saturday, making Sunday the first full day of the conference. My plans for the evening never gelled--by now, what else would I expect?--but that was for the best. I had already been asleep for an hour when Mel texted he was finally done for the day, an almost algebraic formula for how late he worked and how early I hit the sheets.

Monday was really Monday, and better things started happening. Melvin's girlfriend, who I will call Watson in case she guest blogs, flew into town. After my morning sessions, we met for an unintentionally leisurely lunch at The Green Goddess, which is too small for the demand generated by the food. Since expansion seems not possible, the kitchen is just going to need to dumb down the cooking to fit the room. Watson had shrimp and grits and I had a bowl of applewood-smoked duck breast soup and the Cuban Luau sandwich (above). I had a bottle of the “Spice Routes” (Route des épices) Rye Peppercorn, a very tasty beer from the Dieu du Ciel microbrewery in Saint-Jérôme Quebec, about a half-hour northwest of Montréal. (Thanks to Melvin for the details.)

I returned to the Morial Convention Center (which served as an evacuation point after Hurricane Katrina; photograph by FEMA) for afternoon sessions. Watson poked around the French Quarter. Mel kept working. Later, Melvin, Watson and I were joined by others for an excellent dinner at Cochon. (Photograph by Tammy Camp.) We started with interesting cocktails, followed by flights of rye or bourbon. Watson attacked the namesake dish. Melvin ordered rabbit and dumplings. I had the brisket. Lots of shop talk, but it was the conspiratorial and gossipy kind, so we had a grand old time. We finished the evening with a round of shots, corn-mash whiskey tricked up so you can't tell you are drinking moonshine

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