I went out for a mellow evening after completely cleaning out the kitchen pre-travel. I had a beer at the R-Bar, talking with the smokers outside, and ended up at Three Muses for an excellent cocktail and a good bowl of gumbo. Monte, the piano player, sat next to me at the bar and he had noticed that I was one of the only people in the dinner hour who was paying attention. I stashed for one set of Meschiya Lake, a vocalist. I had forgotten how nice the little club is when you are in the mood.
I stuck my head in the door at the R-bar, and it was Monday night barbering night, $10 for a haircut and a shot. I had not had my mustache trimmed in a year or so, and it is hard to get it even when you do it yourself. I waited my turn, and then told the guy what I wanted, just a trim, even around the mouth, and nothing too drastic. He repeated back to me, just a trim, about the same as it is now, just cleaned up a bit. This is a bar, not a barbershop, so there are no mirrors to see what he is doing, and I heard him run clippers for about thirty seconds.
A glorious mustache was gone in thirty seconds. I went from Pancho Villa to Freddy Mercury in less than a minute. Arlo Guthrie should write a song.
I had taken my lobbying mentor seriously when he suggested that distinctive facial hair is the key to success, and had cultivated the look for decades. It is like if you went in to get your hair dyed blonde and the hairdresser dyed you red. There are even bible stories about men and their hair. It will grow out, but I’m feeling naked.
The Thanksgiving holiday was great. It was good to see Mom, and her place. I am pleased that even after a debilitating illness she is coping well. Winter is coming, the hardest part of the year for her, but she seems to have developed work-arounds for the hardest parts. Sue is a great hostess, and it was good to reconnect with Dave, Sue and Jimmy. Sue’s kids are great, and I spent time talking with Virginia Rothwell, Jim’s mom, for longer than I had before. Jimmy even gave up his kitchen for a day to let me experiment with a turkey and sausage gumbo. Sue’s friends are fun and it was good time with a full house. I liked the tour of Columbia’s entertainment venues.
Travel back to New Orleans was a bit of a hassle, with a flight delay out of Columbia. You know you are in trouble when at 9:30 pm for your scheduled 10 pm flight the announcement is “We are boarding for the scheduled 6:30 flight to Chicago.” To their credit, I only missed the door closing on the midnight flight at O’Hare by five minutes, but the only advantage to that is there was a crying customer service agent who had just been yelled at who was apologetic and appreciative of good manners. United did a much better job than their reputation, re-booking me for a 5 am flight and messaging me with no input required from me. I signed into their re-booking computer and it looked like a 24 hour layover, but got the message before I pressed the button. It was still not fun zombying my way through the airports in Chicago and Houston, but it was efficient.
The flight over the Gulf Coast from Houston to New Orleans was fun, with a window seat and a good view of the coastal plain that I have been reading about.