by Niall Doherty


I didn’t drink last night — four years now since I had a tipple — but feeling hungover today. Twas a mad weekend of parades and parties and battling that old familiar foe known as approach anxiety. I spent all today on the couch, struggling through the work, while a few blocks south the parades rolled on. Mardi Gras: once again, you kicked my ass.


Sometimes these Momentos come easy, words roll off the fingertips and I’m done in a matter of minutes. Other days though, I could be sitting here half an hour trying to craft a half-decent paragraph. But I like the daily practice of it, the forced concision. It’s a great little exercise for improving my writing. 721 days consecutive days now.


I was living with 4.5 humans and three dogs. Now I’m living with one human and five cats. The place I just moved from was fantastic. I couldn’t have asked for a better return to New Orleans. My hosts gave me a comfortable place to sleep and a quiet place to work, and stuffed me full of delicious home cooking. Not sure I conveyed my appreciation sufficiently.


Basketball first brought me here. I came over and lived my teenage dream, first with season tickets to my favorite team, then a media credential, sitting courtside, locker room access. Basketball barely factors in my life now, perplexed when I hear others get worked up over this player or that trade or the last play. It’s just a game.

Rebirth Brass Band at The Maple Leaf

Rebirth Brass Band at The Maple Leaf


I tell her travel has me worn out, and she asks why. Mostly it’s the money, or rather the lack thereof. Traveling on a budget is fine for a while, but ultimately exhausting. You spend a lot of time looking for a cheap meal or a hotel you can afford. They say money can’t buy happiness, but it can buy time and freedom. And those things make me happy.


Tonight I was invited to join a group of out-of-town chicks at a strip club, had a cute redhead insisting we hang out  tomorrow, and a hot blonde asking me to kiss her. I also  danced with strangers and had a good long chat with an old bass player named Larry. The difference between a magical night like this and a rough one like last Friday? Mostly internal.


There’s this weird thing we do when we’re tired: we don’t really rest. We just kind of laze about, half-assing it. Instead of 100% getting shit done, or 100% recharging, we’re in limbo, failing at both. Today I was on the couch, half-working, half-watching Gladiator, when I realized what was happening. So I took a nap, then went to a coffee shop and knuckled down for an hour.


A friend sent me this article, spent more than an hour reading it late last night. Mind completely blown. And it’s left me with a deep sense of wonder and gratitude. The fate of humanity will very likely be decided in our lifetime. Regardless of whether that fate is good or bad, most of us will be here to witness it. Front row seats to mankind’s last challenge.

Saying hello to the last job I ever had

Saying hello to the last job I ever had


Rebirth on Oak Street. I meet a dude back of the Maple Leaf who tells me his struggles. He’s a web designer, too, but just getting started. Someone paid him $75 for a website and it took him 25 hours to build the thing. So he made $3 an hour. That’s near incomprehensible to me now, almost can’t relate. I’ve banked $4k already this month.


I dropped by Loyola University today, the last place I was employed. It’s been 1,559 days since I quit, hard to believe. I appreciate the upside of 9-to-5 a lot more now than I did then. Same with flying. Having been through 30+ countries on four continents without a flight, few people appreciate air travel as much as I do.


My handlebars snapped, so I’m at a repair shop. Dude fixing my bike looks as sloppy as his establishment, talks shit about his ex-wife, and believes Obama to be the antichrist. He said he’d have me back on the road in 45 minutes. Two hours later I’m still here, watching him take his sweet ass time, hearing him laugh at his own jokes.


Thinking back on that interaction yesterday. Even though I didn’t like that dude, I failed to display any dissatisfaction. As far as he knew, we got along swimmingly. This is a problem. If I don’t like someone, it should be obvious. Otherwise they’re not getting accurate feedback. If your behavior isn’t well-received, you want to know, right?


Three hours watching improv was fantastic but killed my momentum. Now it’s almost midnight and I’m rolling solo. The easy thing would be to get food and head home. But I’m not going to do that. Tomorrow-me will wish I took action, faced those fears. So I approach, tell a pair I have a secret crush on one of them. “Why not both of us?” Game on.

Improv legends Stupid Time Machine

Improv legends Stupid Time Machine

In the comments below, let me know which of the above Momentos is your favorite. Which can you relate to?

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