Friday, April 30


Jazzfest in New Orleans was a different kind of festival than I had been to in the past. I barely saw anyone on hallucinogenics and no one was holding up mushrooms as they walked by you. It was organized with different music tents labeled gospel, jazz, blues and several others and we even used a schedule to decide which shows to hear. I barely saw any dreadlocks and no patchwork pants. There weren't any hippies selling grilled cheese for a dollar, but instead tons and tons of food stands selling everything wonderfully fattening in the world! It was also different because I remember all of it..

Don't get me wrong- I enjoyed the hurricanes and all day partying- but I truly have a new respect for anyone who can drink for a day and then continue through the wee hours in morning. When I say respect -take it lightly.

Respect aside, I am glad I didn't stay up to hang out on Bourbon Street. I had heard stories and I knew it was a crazy place, but I was not prepared for what I saw when I stepped foot on the infamous street. Did I step right on it? No. There was a layer of vomit and liquid covering the floor. Did I see my sister get 'hit' with beads being flung at her? Yes. Did we turn off to take the path more traveled (by normal people) immediately? Yes, but not before creating a mental image album that won't leave me for awhile.

The festival itself was AMAZING! I had such a fantastic time hopping around from tent to tent filled with incredible talent. There were big names like Simon and Garfunkel, Allman Brothers and My Morning Jacket, but every single act, big or small, was better than the next. The food- fried shrimp po boys, delicious donut beignets, jambalaya, etoufee- was incredible! Nothing could get me down, not even the green line staining my forehead for 24 hours from the cheap green flowered lei my sister gave me! Because at a festival, you're never the weirdest person there!!

Beyond the festival, there were music acts at all hours in all the bars and on all the street corners of the French quarter. One of my favorite moments of the whole trip was the last night on the way to dinner. The four of us were starving and exhausted when we came across a smalltime band of misfits playing some great dancing music on the sidewalk. We joined the neighborhood drunks and danced, danced, danced- avoiding touching them as best we could. It was wonderful! (Even when that homeless woman hit me)

It's been a week since I left New Orleans, and I am finally starting to feel awake again and the heart burn is settling down. Thank goodness I have a whole year to recover because I'll definitely be back!

Who's coming with me?!?!

Friday, April 2

I'm Back (And on 'Roids!)

Have you ever gone to an island and burnt yourself to a crisp on the first day so badly that you literally cannot face the sun the rest of your vacation resulting in the purchase of an expensive and otherwise useless straw hat sold by a man who guarantees you a two year warranty (a year for each tooth, I'm assuming), and then you found pieces of straw intermittently strewn through your suitcase upon arrival home?
"Excuse me sir, I believe there was a two year warranty on this...."
"No habla ingles, ma'am"

Me too.

And thus began my journey to the DR.

The Doctor, you wonder?

Nope, that comes later in the story. I am talking about the Dominican Republic.

Sunny, beautiful Dominican Republic. It really was. We had a great time. Despite being so toasted that we moaned putting on sunscreen, we were still able to lay on the beach. The huge umbrella that we paid for under the table allowed us to be outside enjoying the beach, and avoiding the death rays. And, when we wanted to go in the water, and would be exposed to the rays, we wore shirts and hats in. What? You would have, too.

Nights on the island were fun, too. We were sleeping above a nightclub that pumped a special Domincan beat- in the word's of the great Lional Richie, "All Night Long".  Luckily, we were so tired from the sun, it barely woke us up. Niether did the earthquake that occured. (It was my first!) Another great thing about the night was that there were barely any bugs on the island! This was especially exciting to me as one of my least favorite parts of summer is the unbearable amount of misquito bites I get after the sun goes down. They love me so much that people use me as bug repellant. 

'Do you need bug spray?'

'Oh, no, I'm fine, I'm sitting next to Sally.'

True story.

So, in the D.R. I wore flowery smelling lotions and perfumes without a worry that any bug would find me. When we stepped out for dinner, I did not have to cover my legs and arms and it was fantastic!  It wasn't until I got on the plane home and the pressure from the cabin somehow found some bugbites (1-see foot note) and swelled them up to the width of a tennis ball on two parts of my forearm, that I realized everything was not fine.

Being the disciplined person I am, I resisted scratching the bumps.

I'm kidding. Of course I scratched them! I ended up with huge, swollen, red, horrible bumps all over my arms and as if things couldn't get worse, one popped up right between my eyes. RIGHT BETWEEN MY EYES!

It was around the time a bump formed BETWEEN MY EYES that I went to the doctor, who perscribed me steroids. Great, I thought, anything to get rid of these bumps. Steriods seem like a really neat idea.... (this is what I like to call foreshadowing).

Now, I am a generally happy person, so when the 'roids took me to the happy place, the giggly, on top of the world elation that comes only from drugs, I won't lie, I kind of liked it. It seemed fine, no big deal. However, when it took me down to the burst out crying at dinner, barely controlable rage from reading an email place, I knew something was wrong.

Then I made the mistake of reading about it on the internet.

Suddenly, I was sure I had every symptom possible affiliated with steroid use; neseau, anxiety, panic attacks, insomnia, euphoria, false feelings of being mistreated, weakness in muscles, extreme fatigue, etc., etc., etc.. And I won't even get into the withdrawal symtoms once you come off it.. I was reading stories about long-time and life-long users and comparing my measly few days with their troubles. The people closest to me got the worst of it as I tried to remain as quiet and alone as possible in public. Steroids affect everyone differently, but personally I have found that they are not my friend!!

As of yesterday I am off the 'roids and starting to feel better.

Meanwhile, I'm not sure if anyone caught yesterday's edition of MuscleMadnessMagazine...

"Sensitive Sal has canceled her plans to compete in the upcoming MuscleMa'am competition in Daytona Beach, FL this June. She had just signed up this week. When asked for a comment, Sal's manager said she would be dedicating her extra time to Adventures with a Sensitive Sally."

Live from CT, it's Sensitive Sal!!  I'm back, baby!

1 They were not bug bites, but some kind of freak allergic reaction to the sun (2-see other footnote)

2 Either the sun or some bug bite...