Tech And The Single Girl Part II: Digitized
In New Orleans
Returning by reader request, the continuing saga of a Web-enabled girl
geek on the road.
Spent the better part of the last week in New Orleans, doing nothing
particularly impressive or noble, unless you consider holding competitions
to see who could swallow the most horseradish on her oyster
impressive, or buying one more round on Bourbon Street than everyone else
noble. In the days of yore, one was able to fly away on vacation, forget
about the real world and get busy doing things of which one's mother would
not approve. But tech-addicted as I am, this is, of course, a laughable
Friday, January 25th
Drinks: None yet, but pending
Blistering insults uttered to digital navigation equipment: 37
Cell phone calls to bed-and-breakfast pushing back ETA: 4
Have recently discovered why most other people use old-fashioned paper maps
to navigate. Cartographically challenged as I am, maps are only used as
vehicular placemats on which to set drive-through food that has an
exceptionally high likelihood of becoming a permanent and unwelcome part of
one's car upholstery. Have found that western Massachusetts is particularly
desirable to sop up poorly placed ketchup, while southern Ohio is very good
for scraping spilled coffee off the steering column. With aforementioned
paper map in use elsewhere, loaded digital
map onto Handspring, and swerved wildly over the roads of Baton Rouge in an
attempt to read a faintly glowing, two by two inch screen. Got lost anyway.
Travelogue note: people in Baton Rouge are nice to lost Yankee girls
quivering at the roadside in an attempt to find out which way is east.
Believe they were laughing with me, not at me.
Digital photos taken: 10
Bourbon Street is exactly where I left it last time, so found little need to
whip out the Handspring or the GPS unit. The sound of drunken "whoo-whoos"
carries through the fabric of space-time faster than the speed of stupidity.
Digital camera was brought out for posterity, but upon waking the next
morning, could not figure out why it contained nine photos of the curb and
one of large Styrofoam duck feet. Head hurts. Must've whacked it on
something. Sixty-four ounces of unnaturally colored sports drink and some
reruns of Sex And The City on the portable DVD player have very nearly
remedied the fact that I had not a single molecule of water left lurking in
my entire cellular structure.
Saturday, January 26th
Digital photos: 15
Transfer rate of photos: Slightly less than 9 Kbps
Proper tourism is pointless when one is a slave to peering through the
digital camera in a never-ending quest to capture images that will make
friends back home wish they hadn't been too cheap to buy a plane ticket. Of
course, inspiring such jealousy required locating a data port that had been
installed in the basement of the hotel shortly before the Battle of New
Orleans in 1812. At such a transfer rate, I imagine our friends will be able
to view the pictures we sent them sometime just before the middle of this
century, when we're all too old to remember how to do what it was we went to
New Orleans to do in the first place.
Innocent oysters who lost their lives: 36
Web sites accessed to plan spontaneous evening: 17
Cash spent at camera store for forgotten cable, extra digital
Have discovered that Mapquest is just slightly less
reliable than standing on a street corner and bellowing "Does anyone
know how to get to St. Peter Street?" At least by the latter method,
one meets some interesting people, even if they are police officers
attempting to coax you down from the street lamp up which you shimmied to
perform the aforementioned bellowing. Turns out, the nice police officer
knew the way to St. Peter Street, anyway.
Beers: Buy one, get three free
Web sites accessed: 5
Further oyster victims: 18
Best friend and self spent time comparing the Web sites of New Orleans tour
groups. Discovered we had a choice between one run by lavender-scented,
blue-haired old women named Bitsy and Prudence, or one run by attractive men
in tight trousers and velvet waistcoats. Hmmmtough decision.
Four milliseconds later
Have decided on the latter of the two choices, Haunted History Tours.
Decision had nothing to do with the photos of the tour guides on the Web
site. Men's voices just carry better than women's.
Photos taken of reportedly haunted buildings: 5
Number of photos that captured ghostly images: 0
What self-respecting ghost would allow its image to be digitized?
Number of drinks: Information available on a need-to-know basis
E-mail addresses of new friends recorded: 3
Pulled out Handspring in an attempt to record the e-mail address of new
acquaintance. Discovered it's easier to impress men with technology when a)
The PDA is held right side-up; b) the cover is off; and c) the stylus is
used as opposed to a soggy swizzle stick removed from one's Red Bull and
vodka. Think faux pas went unnoticed.
Sunday, January 27
Number of outgoing cell phone calls made to organize social structure of
upcoming evening: 7
Nursed best friend Lisa through rough morning period that may have had
something to do with a combination of Bourbon (the street) and bourbon (the
liquid). Pity DrKoop.com went bust. He would have known what to do.
Number of Carthusian monks that know secret recipe of Chartreuse: 3
Number of glasses of Chartreuse consumed in Pirate's Alley: 3
Number of alert brain cells left after three glasses of
And one of those three brain cells is thinking of giving up the good fight.
Digital photos taken: 28
Digital photos of those 28 that will be viewed by parental units: 3
Odd. Though my PDA, cell phone and GPS unit all broadcast the time, it's a
bizarre coincidence that all three of them could be so wrong. It is, of
course, impossible to still be out having a good time in the French Quarter
as the sun is beginning to peek over the horizon. The satellites must have
gone haywire sometime during the night.
Monday, January 28
Escaped the gravitational pull of New Orleans unwillingly and by the skin of
our teeth. Had to leave, though, as we were running out of smart media
cards, megs, batteries, CDs, DVDs and cash. Not to mention brain cells.
The author may be contacted at email@example.com.
Names have been changed to protect the innocent. Lisa, Rene and Sidney will
kindly refrain from pointing out errors or omissions. Tech Girl stands by