Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Hurricane Mary(‘s Birthday Party)

Tropical Storm Bonnie may not have been much, a “shoo shoo” as Annou would say (I’m writing it phonetically because I have no idea how it’s spelled—or even if it’s ever spelled), but the night was a hurricane of another sort, one eternally seared in my memory, which we shall call Hurricane Mary(‘s Birthday Party). The storm first developed in the humid tropics of our house (really, it was very warm), a dense mass of diverse folks, fueled by Sarah’s cooking (pork buns, a variation on these) and my mixologing (Gin-Gin Mules), but it reached full force when the party moved en masse downtown to the Chris Owens Club for that eternal diva’s show.

The night was extremely edifying. Things I learned:
  • My lady is the best good cook this side of anywhere. (Actually, I already knew that.)
  • Gin-Gin Mules do have gin in them (though just the regular amount; not sure about the “gin-gin”), but they contain absolutely no mule.
  • Gin-Gin Mules are delicious.*
  • Even chaotically disorganized former tropical storms still make really cool clouds.
  • Chris Owens is amazing. I confess, my expectations were low (she is, to put it bluntly, not a spring chicken), but that lady is an entertainer of the sort they don’t make anymore, able, with the assistance of her well-trained team of minions, to whip a room into a giddy happy silly frenzy, the audience members laughing and dancing as they’re dragged, in turn, onto stage to make good-spirited fools of themselves for each other’s gut-busting amusement.
  • Famed Channel 4 news personality Angela Hill has been married to her husband for ten years. I know this because the other large group at the event was their anniversary party, a good couple of dozen folks, including other Channel 4 on-air personalities such as Dennis Woltering and Meg Farris. (In a bizarre confluence of minor celebrities, regional and otherwise, Gennifer Flowers—yes, that Gennifer Flowers—was also in the audience.)
  • Seeing Angela Hill and Dennis Woltering in person is more exciting than I would have thought. (The couple of stray out-of-town tourists were clearly mystified by the hoopla.)
  • I can shake my ass better than Dennis Woltering (though he was a very good sport).**
  • Walking around the French Quarter in the drizzle of a dissipated storm having just witnessed a whirlwind of flash-bang hilarity is oddly compelling: the wilting ladies carrying their high heels in hand; cooks leaning at kitchen side doors, smoking; glimpses of fancy galas; buskers under awnings; lights reflecting on the streets...
  • It’s fun playing paparazzo. (It’s also fun saying “paparazzo”: pa-pa-raz-zo.) Pictures, please (because really, words fail):

These clouds rolled in right around sunset, a uniform line stretching from horizon to horizon.

Mmm, cake.

Angela and Mary

Johnny and Mary, dancing to the sweet sounds of Chris and her sidekick. (I don’t really know what else to call that guy. He worked up the crowd beforehand and then kept things going as Chris did her thing.)

Mary, shaking her maracas

Mary and Chris Owens’ boyfriend. (They don’t make them like Chris anymore. They also don’t make them like him anymore.)

The sidekick and Dennis, busting their respective moves

A conga line of sorts: Mary, Meg Farris, another lady, Angela Hill, Gennifer Flowers, and another-nother lady

Whoomp, there it was.

* Gin-Gin Mule:
2 oz gin
¾ oz simple syrup
¾ oz lime juice (approximately half a lime)
sprig of mint
ginger beer
Muddle the simple syrup, lime, and mint in an empty rocks glass. Fill the glass with ice. Add the gin. Top the glass with ginger beer. Give a slight stir, and serve.

** Afterwards, Ms. Owens told me, “That was a hot dance, baby.” I can die happy.


  1. Teresa2:34 PM

    OMG! How did I miss this! Best pictures ever.

  2. Emily4:37 PM

    Seriously incredible.