Thursday, April 29, 2010

Photo of the Day: Star

Took this last weekend as I sat in my little front yard reading in the warm, spring sun. This is a flower on my pomegranate tree. This tree flowers beautifully and I love that the flower looks like a fruit arrangement for a garden party. And the tree does bear fruit, but never ripe enough to eat. Any master gardeners out there know how to fix that? Eh fuck it. I'm moving in a couple months anyway. 

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Nazis, Racists, and Bigots, OH MY!

Did I ever tell you about the time I met a Nazi? I mean a real, live, honest-to-blog Nazi. Seriously. I haven’t? Awesomeness. Well then pull up a chair, my good friend, settle in, curze this story’s a good one. 

I was traveling in Italy in 2006 with my friend Alice. We had been in Rome a couple of days and made friends with these adorable and kooky Australian girls with fabulous tans and even more fabulous laughs. (If you’ve traveled at all, you know how Australians seem to swarm the globe with their awesome travel habits. I’ve made Aussie friends in almost every city I’ve visited.) After group dinner at our hostel (free Italian food!), we decided to make our way to a bistro for drinks in a piazza not far from our hostel. 

Best thing about Europe: walking. No drunk driving!

Joining us on this excursion was: the Awesome Aussie Girls, Picasso (Our token tortured artist. He was from New Zealand and had a great accent. But he practiced his asshole impersonation constantly and, in between sips of his drink which he constantly stared into or puffs of his never-ending cigarette, he’d pepper our lively conversation with bursts of “THIS IS ASININE” or “MORONS.” I had to wonder why he came along if we were such idiots, but I think he was actually lonely.), Goofy Italian Guy (who worked the desk at our hostel and constantly flirted with every female in sight, but to no avail), and Italian Tattoo Artist (HUGE guy, covered in tattoos, wearing a black T-shirt that would fit a Barbie doll. I think he was friends with Goofy Italian Guy.). 

I sat between Alice and Italian Tattoo Artist with the Aussie Girls across from us. Picasso and Goofy Italian Guy were at the other end of the table. We had been drinking and laughing and sharing travel stories for a couple of hours, (Well, Picasso wasn’t. As we know, he was nursing a cigarette and shouting tourettes-like into the universe) when a new guy entered our group. I didn’t know this guy. He was tall and thin with a warm smile, big laugh, and olivey skin (Is olivey a word? Well it is now). He squatted down next to Goofy Italian Guy to chat, but we had a free chair at my end of the table, so I invited him to sit. He didn’t hear me, but Italian Tattoo Artist leans over and tells me that I shouldn’t do that. 

“Why not?” I ask.”Well,” he responds in his heavy Italian accent, “he’s Muslim.” Matter of fact. As if that answered my question completely. If he were a 20 year old from Santa Monica, he would’ve added: DUH. Duh. But I didn’t see what was so obvious. He’s Muslim so he can’t sit down with us? Why the hell not? So I ask as much. “So he can’t sit with us?” He looks at me and as calm as a Buddhist monk on lithium and with the slightest of smiles tells me, “I’m a Nazi.”

He’s a Nazi. Of course he is. Clearly.

But, let’s take a moment to think about this situation for a second. I’m torn. On the one hand, my innate reflex is to tell this guy what a racist asshole he is and that if there is a hell, it’s full of burning Nazis, and that no amount of recompense can lessen the atrocities of the Nazi party. Ever. On the other hand, I want to live. And every movie I’ve ever seen about WWII tells me that I should smile and pretend I’m okay with that or else I could end up with a bullet in my head or starving to death in a work camp where one day I’ll go to take a shower and end up dead. Or, more realistic: end up dead in this guy’s basement after he tortures me with Nazi memorabilia. 

I chose life. I didn’t respond at first. I think I hid my fear well, but I just kept quiet. He proceeded to tell me all about the Northern Italian village he grew up in near Switzerland, where it was very common to be a Nazi, blah blah blah. Give me a break. I was soon able to extract myself from the conversation when one of the Aussie girls started pretending to be pregnant while she downed a beer just to get shocked looks from other passerby in the piazza. 

But I was shaken by that. I was raised knowing fully about racism. I’d read a million books and watched a thousand movies about the Holocaust. I was fully aware of America’s racist roots and the KKK still alive and well and Neo Nazi protests in Southern California. In my literature studies, I always found myself drawn to issues of ethnic studies, of culture clashes, and white colonial dominance over the world. Bigotry always fascinated me, perhaps because I could never understand it. 

But it’s another thing entirely when you meet such overt racism right in the face. 

This brings me to a conversation I was pulled into on a friend’s Facebook page yesterday. My friend EJ wrote as his status: “I am surprised I am not seeing more comments about what is going on in Arizona on Fbook.” Which sparked a bit of a discussion (I put that mildly) and I joined the convo at the behest of another friend who asked for some backup and I came into it like 10 comments in. You can see I very quickly lost my temper. And I apologize for the political commentary, but you know me. 

(I’m editing out some comments for the sake of brevity)

Cause no one cares

I care! It's unconstitutional, offensive, and I'll gladly avoid spending any money in AZ or on AZ goods as long as the law remains.

I will make a point to cross over to AZ and spend money there. Thank god vegas is close enough.

No one is commenting on AZ choice to get rid of illegal's! Wtf. Why not. Let's call them equal too. They take all your resources. Let's give them more rights! Illegal gays get more free insurance thanks to equal rights and thomas jefferson!


So is americans giving away their rights.

have fun in AZ, but make sure to avoid the dirty immigrants (since they must all be illegal according to the color of their skin). maybe throw in some racial epithets for good measure. oh, and cook your own food. clean your own hotel room. park your own car. avoid any hotels or parks with landscaping. also, make sure to take your birth certificate, and social security card. wouldn't want to get caught without proper documentation and get thrown in jail now. I know there's a huge risk of identity theft if you carry that around, but better safe than sorry. oh and I know! maybe we should just get a symbol of some kind for legal immigrants to wear on their clothes so we can tell them apart from the illegal aliens. I know that was a very successful program for Hitler.
*and scene*

Umm u have to do that when going into any other country. Why not ours???

no you don't. just when crossing a border. when I lived in France, I kept my passport locked away so it wouldn't be stolen.

Oh that's right because illegals get god damed everything when they cross our borders. That's right I forgot. Stupid me.

nothing like a blasphemy against god in the name of discrimination.

my point is not about the illegal immigrants. they wouldn't have documentation anyway. now, try and follow this logic: the anger here is not about the illegal immigrants. it's about the racial profiling against Latinos who are here legally or are citizens and who should not have to carry sensitive documents to prove such and who will be casualties of this law. still follow? do you have to prove your citizenship on a daily basis? no. these people shouldn't either, simply because they have dark skin or have accents does not constitute rationale to treat them as trespassers, criminals. what if you were pulled over for speeding tomorrow and had forgotten your drivers license? do you think an appropriate punishment is being sent to a foreign country? that may very well happen to many citizens and legal immigrants of Latin descent.

Oh well. Too bad they left their license @ home. Responsibility is key here. I am glad they will be profiling. It can finally be acceptable. Maybe we can speak english again and my tax money won't pay for their kids food and medical expenses. Good bye mexicans

I can see how hard it must be to have any sort of tolerance or empathy when someone has led a sheltered, pampered, uneducated life. so, I'll stop trying to fight with logic. clearly that was too much to ask for. when we let fascism in, the line is hard to draw. so when the laws begin to encroach on your rights (maybe it's your home or your children or your freedom to be in public), those of us who warned you will say: oh well. too bad for her.


you wanted a discussion, EJ! haha!

Obamas already doing that. Open ur f ing eyes!

I am glad people r getting arrested for looking illegal. Maybe it will scare the crap out of the jack asses that hang out @ home depot and they will scatter like rockroaches. I am not worried about getting arrested for living where I was born and belong

That I did... lol

Okay. Do you know what fascism is? Google it. The world's two best known fascists were Mussolini and Hitler. neither bothered with health care. their policy for the feeble and old was genocide. are you condoning genocide? really?

okay, clearly we're just dealing with a racist and a bigot. there is no reasoning with that kind of hatred. maybe you would have felt at home in Nazi Germany. 

They both died maybe obama will follow suit.

you're insane.

Its not hatred its reality. Go hug a tree or a gay and make yourself feel better. I am gonna go about my day knowing I live in america legally and get to have health insurance because I as a woman am married to a man

And it was at this point that I gave up. I like a good debate if the other side can be rational or logical and employ rhetoric, but this was hopeless. The conversation didn’t stop and others tried to make this girl understand, but you can’t argue with crazy, with hatred so deep. What finally got me was that she honestly admitted to racism. Usually these types will push their agenda and keep the stigmas of racism and fascism under the rug. It’s still shameful to associate with one of the largest genocides in history. But there she was, the bigotry spewing with pride. And this is an average woman, my age, living in Southern California with her children.

Good god. And don't get me started on her grammar. What is a rockroach anyway

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Random Thoughts of a Crazy Lady

The guy working the drive-thru at Del Taco asked me for my number today. There are so many things wrong with that scenario, I wouldn't even know here to start.

I seem to not be able to stop eating tonight. After a delicious cheeseburger, fries, ice cream, cheez-its, and a hefty stomach ache, perhaps I should take a break.

How is it only Tuesday?

Sometimes something as small as a text message can perk up my day. It's the little things.

Sometimes a single bitchy comment from someone can really fuck up my week. Think about that the next time you feel the need to be snarky to a friend. Get your snark out elsewhere. I find a blog is an excellent place for that. Or therapy. Or making quiet fun of random girls who insist on unflattering clothes and/or haircuts.

Reading Chookooloonk's blog today, I've decided to make a Life List. No clue when I'll finish it, because I want to take my time on it, really make it valuable. But I promise to keep you in the loop, Internet.

I sat down with my calendar yesterday and planned out my weekends for the next two months. If you're not already scheduled in, I'm sorry. No room for you.

I love when I see timid little old ladies purchasing romance novels with husky, half-naked men on the covers. I can't help but picture that cute old lady with her white hair and pearls, knee socks and orthopedic shoes, comfy in an overstuffed arm chair with doilies on the arms, sipping tea out of a very dainty cup, reading about Rodericko's turgid member.

This situation in Arizona infuriates me. If you join me in my detestation of fascist states and bigotry reminiscent of Nazi Germany, then get involved now. It takes 30 seconds to sign a petition. Or join the boycott. Or even make phone calls. For info and instructions:

And then there's this (thanks, Coco):

And this:

Monday, April 26, 2010

synching up my cranky pants

Seriously fighting off a bad case of Annoya right now, Internet. Yes, Annoya is a very real affliction. It's when annoyance and nausea get together and have very irritable babies. Not that I'm irritable right now, per se.

I did actually have a very good day today. Got a lot done. The office is quiet and that means I get more done (some days I swear if I disconnected my office line, I would double my productivity. I swears.).

I had a fabuloso therapy session.

I added Mad Men season 3 to my Netflix queue (mmmm, Don Draper) and it should come soon.

And I decided to return that bathing suit that is ohsocute, but just doesn't quite fit. It's a one piece. An attractive one piece. That neither makes me look like Dora the Explorer nor Dame Edna (pee to the ess, click those links. dooo iiiit.). So this was a find. A FIND! And I've been holding onto it for a month. But the thing is, it's just a little too small. A smidge. In the midsection. Not too tight. But I have a somewhat long torso. And so like one more inch of fabric lengthwise would make it fit. But it doesn't. And the next size up is roughly the size of Texas. So I'm returning it.

I'm okay with that. I think. I can wear my bikinis for one more summer.


I just wanted to be all Audrey Hepburn. With my classic black suit and huge sunglasses and my hair in a chignon. So chic. Oh wells.

Anyway, that's not why I'm annoyed. I'm annoyed at something right now. Something I  shouldn't talk about, especially in my bee ell oh gee (Don't know why I spelled it out. I'm not annoyed by a two year old child.), even though I doubt that thing actually deems my blog worthy to read. But nonetheless I'm irritated by said thing. And my bullshit meter is going off the charts. And I just want to pull up my cranky pants, synch them tight, and settle into a spectacular pout.

So I bought ramen (which I can't even eat the mix for because of food allergies, so I just heat up the noodles in water and make my own flavorings with hot sauce and sesame oil) and Cherry Garcia and Cheez-its. Yes, I anesthetized with junk food. Works every time.

Hey! Shut up. I ate vegetables for lunch! I can afford a night of eating my feelings a little thankyouverymuch.

And now, since I have officially crossed over from Cranky Town to Crazy City, I'll call it a night. And leave you with one little morsel of wisdom from the lips of this girl: it is a truth universally acknowledged that people are dumb.


Sunday, April 25, 2010

Love Song Sunday: Let It Be Me

Since I seem to be all about the mixing it up on Love Song Sunday, I bring to you today...a DUET! Hacha! Watchout! This girl is on FIYA!

Okay, okay. Settle down.

This is a duet by Rosie Thomas and Ed Harcourt. This is my absolute favorite song of Rosie's. I often find myself skipping right to it on the album because it's so full of sweet sunshine and happiness rainbows. Plus I lurve duets done right.

I have no idea what the history of this song is and I'm not about to spread celebrity gossip when I have no clue what I'm talking about. Suffice to say that Rosie Thomas is married now and it isn't to Ed Harcourt. But let's just forget all that and enjoy this loverly song as it is. There is absolutely no video here. Just a photo of Rosie and the song. And I couldn't find any live footage of it, so whatevers. We can deal, right, Internet?

May this song make your heart smile as it has mine. Enjoy!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Photo of the Day: Pollen

It has been pretty wet and rainy lately and, as a result, my roses are blooming like crazy! They're all all plentiful and plump and pink. Oh and did I mention that I'm in love with macro lately?

Friday, April 23, 2010

Your Gyno and You

If I haven't scared away all the male readers of this blog with my posts about babies and vibrators, this post should do the trick nicely. I had a gynecological appointment today (pee ess, are you impressed that I can spell gynecological without spellcheck? hacha!). The first with a new doctor. See, I had the same gyno for the last forever years, we'll call him Dr. A, but my employer's insurance changed and I can no longer go to said doctor. Which is traumatic.

See, a woman's relationship with her gyno is complicated. Important. It's important to see the same gyno over the years because your body changes and that history is crucial. So for that, I miss my doc. But, even so, Dr. A could be a little Judgey McJudgerson when it came to my love life. Always nicer to me when I was in a serious relationship, always pestering me about my marriage and baby factory plans. Which I found stressful. Dating is hard enough without the judgement of my damn gyno, mmmk?

A word about male vs. female gynos: I have never had a female gyno. Mostly because I've never had the opportunity. Usually these women are in demand and hard to get an appointment with. And I'd rather get a good appointment with a man than wait 3 months to see a woman thankyouverymuch. Plus, a friend of mine had a female gyno that wasn't understanding or gentle at all. So there's no guarantee that female is better when it comes to your lady bits.

How to the ever, going to a new gyno today was still scary. Sca-a-a-a-ry. And the whole experience today made me miss Dr. A. Dr. A who knew me. Who asked about my job and my travels. Who was kind and his walls had Monets and his light fixtures had paintings of clouds. Dr. A whose nurses had the kind of warm smiles you see in airline commercials. Dr. A who had a changing room in the exam room so you could undress in comfort and privacy. I was very much missing Dr. A.

The experience isn't pleasant anyway. You recount every period and pain for a nurse, who weighs you shoes on (that pound is crucial!), and then sits you down in a cold room full of pictures of adorable babies that (depending on the day) either make you overwhelmed, depressed, annoyed, delighted (unlikely), or suicidal. The room also has posters of the stages of gestation or the female anatomy in full color. The room screams: BABIES AND PREGNANCY! If you're a single girl with ovaries that are not in use, you feel like a Swede on a train in Japan. Then she hands you a piece of fabric, makes you undress completely, and sits you on a table covered in  the kind of crappy, rough toilet paper they stock in rest stops on the way to Vegas.

Then the doctor comes in. He asks you the same questions about your period and your pain and any abnormalities (none for me, thanks). He checks your breasts for lumps, which is uncomfortable physically and emotionally. Then he sticks your feet in stirrups. STIRRUPS! And scoots your ass to the edge of the table. Your naked hooha might as well be sitting on the edge of the Grand Fucking Canyon and you can sure feel that desert breeze. Then the exam starts. And it's not like you can see what he's doing down there. He's sticking things up your vajayjay that feel like cooking utensils at best and torture devices on Fringe at worst and he's scraping in places that shouldn't be scraped. It's uncomfortable and awkward and often painful.

And you want the nurse and/or the doc to be making small talk through this. At least I do. It distracts me from the mayhem that's going on in my poonanie area. The nurse today was nice. She had kind eyes. It helped.

And once the doctor has finished poking and prodding, he takes off his gloves and announces that my uterus is tipped. Casually. Like I hear that news every day. Did you know that you have blue eyes? And your uterus is tipped? Good god, man! I tell him that I didn't know this (did Dr. A miss it or is this a recent development?). And he tells me that it's common and no big deal. Except, I did a bit of research today and it could be a big deal. It could cause fertility issues. Which makes me totally upset on a near hysterical level.

Seriously. Have you heard about the Baby Lust? It's avery real affliction that many women my age are stricken with. We cannot help it. And there is only one known cure. So this news is, like, ARG! So fucking frustrating!

On the up side, after much research, I decided to get the HPV vaccine. I'm not in the recommended age range for the vaccine, but I'm close. And I'm not on the vaccine bandwagon, but this is a vaccine that helps prevent cervical cancer. CANCER! A vaccine for cancer is a revolutionary thing. And while it doesn't prevent all strains of HPV, it prevents the most common known to cause cervical cancer. I've really been thinking about this a while and while all my paps have always been normal, you just never know. You don't. And while I don't plan on having dirty unprotected sex with a stranger like ever, it's important to remember that not all sex is consensual and rapists are unlikely to use protection. I'd rather take one more possible disease off the table should something like that occur.

One more lesson for the ladies: being realistic isn't necessarily being pessimistic It's perilous out there for the girlies. A girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do.

So I got the first shot of three today of the vaccine (and my arm is a little sore, yo), which could pose a problem when I move, but I'll worry about that then. I'm sure I can get my last shot somewhere else.

So to recap: many ways to say vagina, unbelievably uncomfortable morning, tipped uterus, HPV vaccine. What a day.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

ballet hips

The other day, I was reading one of my ohsofavorite blogs, The Pioneer Woman, and she joked about her bad ballet knees. And I thought, oh do I know ALL about that!

I may have mentioned once or a thousand times that I'm a dancer. Have been since the tender age of five. And I, as any dancer will sous sous and proclaim, have the same issues as any athlete. The best athletes I know wear leotards. 

that would be me at age 7
yes, my stage mom caked the makeup on. and it was the eighties
moving on

Dancing, whatever the style, is difficult. There is a reason that ballerinas train from an insanely young age, like gymnasts do. Ballet takes an intricate and innate combination of technique, strength, balance, flexibility, and, let's not forget grace. You're expected to move perfectly and perform insanely difficult things while making it look easy. THAT is the beauty of ballet. To make anyone think they can do it. But of course, the number of those who actually can, is relatively small.

And most other dance forms have basis in ballet. Any good dance teacher will tell you that ballet classes will improve your technique, no matter the class. In the years where ballet wasn't my focus, when my love was Contemporary or Jazz or even Hip Hop, I stuck with ballet (sometimes just in my own kitchen) to keep my technique up. 

We won't dwell on the fact that I'm dance classless a la moment because my dumb ass small town has a lack of good classes for us older folk. And in the dance world, I am old. I am. I'm ancient. Almost 30 for a dancer is like pushing elderly in the real world. So there it is.

25ish years of dancing has taken its toll on my body, though. And as I'm sure any athlete will tell you, while this kind of strain on the body can be beneficial to overall health, there are consequences. Tennis players have bad elbows. Swimmers have bad shoulders. Dancers have bad hips. Sometimes knees. And don't get me started on the feet. 

I've escaped the bad knees. Many ballet dancers I know have horrible knees. But my hips? I feel like such an old lady when I complain about my hips hurting. And, according to a dance teacher I spent 4 years training with, I have narrow hips for a dancer, so I would always have a hard time with hip strength and flexibility. But jeebus, it sucks. And I like to be active, so I just deal, but when I've walked a ton (like when I do charity walks), they ACHE. Like an old fucking lady, yo. And I know all the remedies, so spare me that. 

And the feet. The feet. I don't have the worst feet as far as ballerinas go. I spent most of my years barefoot anyway in Modern Dance and Hula classes, or in tap shoes (which if fitted correctly, shouldn't kill your feet), or in ballet technique classes in soft ballet shoes. But, I did take pointe. And pointe shoes, kids, are torture devices. 

my last pair of pointe shoes, hanging in my room

If you know anything about the history of ballet, you know that modern pointe shoes are an improvement considering what early ballerinas were expected to do. But  seriously peeps, think about what position your feet are in, your toes wedged into a block of wood that your turn and leap and land in. And the strain on your ankles. And the murder on your toes. Think about that! 

I do have some remnants of ballet feet. I have bones spurs and my pinky toes tuck under (which can be painful, but is mostly ugly) from wearing pointe shoes. But even Modern dancers have feet issues. When I was doing Modern, I some some serious callouses and my toes were always scuffed up and I always had mysterious bruises from different floor work. 

Oh and we musn't forget dance injuries! I've had numerous sprained ankles and fractured toes. And countless pulled muscles. But the worst was when I tore both my abductor muscles. Started off as a pull in one, but when I kept dancing (bad stupid young girl that I was), I tore it and tore the other one too. PAINFUL! And even after rest and physical therapy, I never was able to get my full flexibility back. And the older I get, if I don't stretch, the harder it gets. It's a bitch. 

I may not have bad ballet knees. But I have bad ballet hips. And Feet. And ankles. 

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Photo of the Day: Come Back, Ladybug!

Spring has SPRUNG. Well, not today, today was wet and cold. Which would have been nice if I'd been prepared, but I was lacking proper footwear. Anyway, spring is all springy and the blossoms are blooming and the pollen count is like uber high yo and everyone's all cranky because their allergies are wacked out. I love what a train wreck spring is. And most of all, I love the bugs. This little lady (bug) was in my garden the other day and I just could not get her to sit still for a picture. I love ladybugs (the real, living kind. don't send me ladybug knicknacks now. I hate knickknacks.). 

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

A Stalker Story

In the age of Facebook and Twitter, we all love to throw the stalker word around. And I do too. Oh I loves me some Facebook stalking. Not that I'm actually interested in the people I "stalk," because it's more of a voyeuristic peek into someone else's life that fascinates me. And the more content the better. I may barely know someone, but if they have tons of photos or notes, I'll waste years of my life poking through them. And yeah, without Facebook providing this sordid habit, it would never occur to me to care about my friend's cousin's wedding photos from 5 years ago. But they're THERE. For ME. To LOOK AT!

Don't tell me you haven't clicked on someone's profile and discovered their content isn't private and felt like you just discovered El Dorado and the entire Incan Empire. And Amelia Earhart is there. And she's partyin' with the lost colony of Roanoke. I know how that feels, yo. It's fucking golden.

But that's all innocent until you discover your husband has 4 other secret lives complete with wives and children and dogs.

Wait, how did this post turn into a post about Facebook? This post, Internet my love, was supposed to be about my stalker story.


I think most women have at least one stalker in their lifetimes. And I'm lucky, my stalker didn't turn into violence. Though I've known girls who've experienced very scary situations. Some that I was present for. I'll tell ya sometime about how I once stupidly stood between a friend and a crazy guy with a baseball bat. Turned out okay, but it easily could have gone badly and I would be writing this from a wheelchair and a computer with voice recognition software.

I think I must have been 21 at the time (so, the days WAY before Facebook). I had yet to move to Hollywood to live the ohsoglam life and was still subjected to my boring and dusty town with a nonexistent dating pool. Misery for a young girl ready to take over the world. So when this new guy came into my life all shucks and sweetness and openin' the door, I swooned. He was the brother of an acquaintance and so I thought, someone I know knows him, therefore: SAFE.

Uh huh.

I went on one date with Stalker Boy. And it was okay. No alarm bells sounded. He was nice. We laughed. And ate food. He drove me back to my little apartment and gave me a very chaste kiss at my door. I didn't feel the earth crumble or hear music swell. But it was nice. I thought I might go on another date. Maybe. I would consider it. I had to work the next week, but after that, maybe I'd go out with him again. Probably.

He called while I was at work the next day. 5 times. I had gotten home (I worked retail) pretty late so didn't return his call(s) that night. And I worked early the next day so it would have to wait until later. Except he'd called another 10 times by that evening.

Freaked out, but still sure I could calm his obvious eagerness by simply calling him, I did just that. And dumbly agreed to another date. Which did calm him down. No crazy phone calls between dates. That's crossing a line.  And the next date was similar to the first. Nothing terrible. Nice. Mellow Saturday night.

It must be mentioned that at the time, I occasionally attended a church. I worked a lot and my heart wasn't in it, but I sometimes went. And Stalker Boy attended this church too.

So the Sunday after the second date, he just shows up at my door, ready to drive me to church. Which, even at 21, I found damn presumptuous. We'd been on two dates, for one, and I wasn't ready to be claimed, to show up on his arm as his girlfriend (besides, I've always felt I should be asked before that title is used). But also, I hadn't said anything about going to church that day. He'd just assumed I would. How did he know I didn't have to work anyway (I found out later that he'd looked in my planner and seen my work schedule).

I didn't go with him that day. Principles aside, I wasn't dressed for church. So whatevs. The same routine of a million calls a day repeated for a few weeks after that. He never did show up at my door again, but I was pretty sure he'd still claimed me for a wife and was not going to give up. I got used to deleting all of my messages every night before even listening (I didn't yet own a cell phone). I wavered over what to do. Should I call him and tell him to leave me alone? That didn't feel safe somehow. I just felt like angering the beast was a bad idea. So I never did call him back. The calls eventually stopped and I didn't run into him, so I went on with my life.

But that is not the end of this tale.

Oh no it is not.

I wish it were, but I have one final, creepy incident.

After he stopped calling me and I was on with my life, one of those life changes included the leasing of a new car. I must mention that I in no way saw Stalker Boy during this time. I didn't go to church and I didn't run into him anywhere. But would you believe? I came out of work one late night on the closing shift, locked the doors to the store, walked to my (new!) car only to find a note on it. From Stalker Boy.

And I swear, Internet, that I have no recollection of what that note says. Either it was inconsequential or so horrifying that I have blocked it from my memory. But that is not the point. The point is: how in the HAIL did he know it was my car? Had he followed me to work? Maybe he'd simply staked out the parking lot near my work waiting for me to show up so he'd know which car was mine? Or maybe he'd been lurking around my apartment and saw my new car (it should also be noted that my apartment was a back house that I rented from an old lady and my parking spot wasn't visible from the street).

What do you think I did next, Internet? Well, I can tell you. I freaked the shit out. It had gone from annoying and creepy to SCARYASHELL in 3.5 seconds. You have to understand that I was truly scared. I had no idea if he was watching me then, but I called me dad pretty fucking terrified and stayed at his house that night. The next morning I called his sister, told her that if he didn't leave me alone I was getting a restraining order, and she believed me. And that was the end of it. Thank the lard (copyright Coco).

It could have been worse and I'm glad it didn't. I mean, obviously. But I probably could have taken more precautions, but girls are made to feel badly when falsely accusing a guy of anything. But you know what I think? Screw that. Better safe than sorry. You do what you have to to stay safe, yo. And truthfully, that may be one reason I dated a cop after that. I mean, I did like Cop Guy (even if I never saw him) on his own merits. But the incredibly large flashlight he gave me as a gift didn't hurt either.

A girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Photo of the Day: Chandelier

click on photo for larger image

This chandelier was hanging in the lobby of a hotel in the French Quarter in New Orleans. And I don't think this will be the most popular photo I've ever taken, but I'm just in love with it. I've been obsessed with macro lately. And obsessed with both natural light and light sources.

I love how both are captured here. This crystal was quite small, but it seems so large, every cut facet having a different reflection or capturing the light in its own way.

Also, thanks to a lovely tip from my pay Morgan, I'm on redbubble now. Check out my profile now or there is a link now living at the top of my blog. And for (in my opinion) very reasonable prices, you can buy some of my work in cards and prints. If you've seen something you like of mine that I haven't uploaded to redbubble and you'd like me to, just let me know.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Book Review: The Book Thief

I have decided to start writing book reviews on this blog. As a student of literature in college, I only had to write a couple of reviews, churning out instead precis and essays and research papers one capstone and one unfinished thesis. I only sometimes regret never finishing that thesis, but the time has past now.

So, in an attempt to challenge my writing skills and to return to something I once loved to do (writing about books), I am going to write reviews of books as I read them. I won't be writing about the newest or best sellers, unless coincidentally, because that's not how I choose what to read. But, I do promise to try and avoid the essay style of writing I am so practiced at. I may not succeed, but I'll try.

 The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak, was a book selection for my book club, a book club I rarely attend because I'm always reading something different. But in the rare case I've read the same book, I love to go and be the nerd of the group. They let me have my 5 minutes of literary dorkiness and discuss allusions and symbolism and denouement. And then I enjoy their humor and wit and delicious food of course. And all is right in the world.

Truth be told, this novel is a "Young Adult" book. But, I think that's all phooey. That's a category to get young people to read and that's all well and good. But this book is insightful and profound and I believe that translates to young and slightly more seasoned readers alike.

This selection was chosen by my lovely coworker Coco and I trust her taste, so I picked it up and then proceeded to devour this book at a very steady pace. See, I think how you read one book over another says a lot about its style. Some books you tear through, others you savor, others you wade through waist-high sand, page by page, tempted to pop your eyes out to make it stop. The Book Thief was a piece of work rife different tempos, which was intriguing, to say the least. At times, I felt I needed to savor a line, a passage, a page. And at others, I simply needed to know what would happen next, speed reading until the crucial information or moment might reveal itself. I utterly enjoyed reading it.

It must be mentioned that I was not crazy about the narrator at the start. I don't think I'll reveal too much by mentioning that the novel takes place in Nazi Germany and the narrator is Death. Death itself. Himself. Whatever. He doesn't name himself, but it becomes clear very early on who this figure is and what he does. And contrariwise, our heroine is a young girl. So, at first I didn't think that these two disparate figures would work. However, Death has a sympathy and what I would describe as an involuntary and fascinated draw to young Liesel Meminger and eventually those who become her family.

Actually, the more I think about it, it's quite revolutionary, the narrator of a novel set amongst the Nazis being Death itself. I've heard this book compared to the Diary of Anne Frank , a book I read over and over throughout my childhood, but I don't think the comparison is accurate. While our heroine is much like Anne, a young girl on the brink of womanhood and a perilous time in history, learning to love books and language and writing, though she is not Jewish, she is not the teller of this tale. And no fictional character, in all fairness, can ever be Anne Frank, can ever tell in utter honesty, the same things as a girl who once existed in flesh and blood. I don't believe so anyway.

More poignantly, our narrator does not participate in history except to ferry away the souls left in the wake of what we all know occurred in Germany at that time. Who better to witness? Who better to subtly accuse? When Death conveys emotion, it's entirely more moving.

It is also worth mentioning that the prose is thoroughly delicious. Zusak has a way of creating imagery and metaphor in surprising and new ways. Images therefore,  seem to unexpectedly appear, making something ugly or disparaging somehow lovely or profound. In this way, Zusak tiptoes you through this decidedly terrifying subject and pulls you along, steadily plunging you deeper and deeper into the novel and, before you know it, you're immersed in the beauty, the despair, the love, the regret, the raw emotion that only exists at the very heart of these characters, of Liesel herself.

It's a rare thing to tell a story such as this one so deftly. When I read The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, I remember feeling so shocked and jarred. Now, this is the Holocaust and one should feel shocked and jarred. But, and I admit that the main character was much younger than Liesel, you practically frolic though that book and just when you're at the end, having gained more and more reservations as the story progresses, you are tossed into the worst possible horror imaginable. I sobbed at the end. Sobbed out loud with gunk running out of my nose and tears drowning my shirt, ghastly sounds uttering from the depths of my soul. I terrified my cats and probably concerned my neighbors more than a little.

Please don't misunderstand me, I had tears several times throughout The Book Thief, but because Zusak had maneuvered me so carefully through the story, I expected my tears when they came. I never felt slapped in the face by this novel, backhanded by its events. I felt immersed in it, pulled by it, wholly involved in its plot and pages and prose (sorry, I can never resist alliteration).

If I may, before I leave this novel and find a place for it amongst my many other books in my little home, I'd like to share one small passage. It's indescribably sad, but delicately told. I adore when the line is blurred between prose and poetry.

"So many humans.
        So many colors.

They keep triggering inside me. They harass my memory. I see them tall in their heaps, all mounted on top of each other. There is air like plastic, a horizon like setting glue. There are skies manufactured by people, punctured and leaking, and there are soft, coal-colored clouds, beating like black hearts.
        And then.
        There is death.
        Making his way through all of it.
        On the surface: unflappable, unwavering.
        Below: unnerved, untied, and undone."

Love Song Sunday: For Emma, Forever Ago

So I realize that the last few Love Song Sundays have been quite an estrogenfest. Well, estrofest no longer, Internet, for this sunday I bring you a very delicious man, Bon Iver, and his very male band. Bon Iver makes me heart go pitter pat and toes tingle.

I really hope you enjoy this. It's unconventional, which means I lurve it. And love songs aside, because it's more about lost love than a sweet or optimistic love song, try and enjoy what's going on musically in this video. This was produced for La Blogoteque and just gives me warm fuzzy nostalgia for Paris. But what comes to mind watching this is a true feel for street music with almost organic, improvisational performative qualities.

Plus, I love the French guy at the beginning who does not understand why they are about to play music in his building, but is doing his best to be polite (contrary to what Americans think, the French are VERY polite). Watch this in full screen if you can, and all 8 minutes too. It's worth it in my view.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


Oh gorsh, Internet, I feel as if I have nothing to say and everything to say.

I'm starting to feel a little better, day by day. My voice is slowly starting to come back, but it goes in and out. So now, instead of sounding like Carol Channing after a sex change, I now sound like a 12 year old boy beginning puberty. In other words, awesome.

I am kind of a little immensely so much overjoyed that Glee is back. Overjoyed! If you don't watch Glee, you are missing out. And kind of a loser. Join the club and become a gleek already. HACHA!

In honor of my love of Glee, here's this little gem. Good lawd I love Jane Lynch.

And I think that may even be Benny Ninja himself in the video. Anyone know if I'm wrong? Benny Ninja, for you kiddos who don't know, is a legend. Watch Paris is Burning and discover for yourself.

Benny Ninja was apart of the Ninja House in the early days of drag balls, where Voguing was invented. Benny brought Voguing to Madonna. And pop culture. He trains models and choreographs. He's an icon, that one.

Okay, because I'm a slacker and have sooo much else to do, I'll leave this sorry excuse for a post here. I'm sorry, Internet, I really and truly am. Book reviews coming soon! Working on them all week. 

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Photo of the Day: Bourbon Street

Click on photo for full image

This is from a roll of 100 Lomography film I took in New Orleans and I am so just stoked about how this roll came out. Nawlins just lent itself to the B&W and the plastic camera aspects, the light, the focus. I took this shot as people were lining up along the street for one of the city's many Easter Parades. It just feels straight out of another time and that's just how I feel about New Orleans. It's old meets new, where living life fully and in the present meets so much history and a past unique and rich. 

Monday, April 12, 2010

sick. again.

Can you believe it, Internet? I am sick again. Sick. Again! I don't even want to think about how little time it's been since the last time I was sick. You must think I'm either some sickly type or a first rate hypochondriac. I assure you I am neither. Though lately, it's hard to be sure.

So, that bug I picked up in New Orleans. Shouldn't have carried it on. I should have packed that bitch in my checked luggage, because I am positive that 3 or so hours on a plane is enough to incubate a bitch foreign bug into death itself. Pee Ess, took me like 5 minutes to spell positive correctly. And I'm not that medicated. My head is just fuzz to the zee, yo.

Anyways, even though I spent just about the entire weekend in bed, reading and catching up on my Hulu (Oh Hulu, how I love you. Where have you been all my life? Why anyone pays for television anymore when there is this magic place called Hulu is beyond me.), I still woke up today hacking up my left lung. I tried to purchase a new one on Facebook Marketplace, but no dice. Shoulda tried EBay.

I worked half a day today (I do still have work to do, peeps!) and drove my now skinny ass (I'll get to that in a sec) to the urgent care. Turns out I have bronchitis. Lovely. And it's viral so antibiotics won't do this lady lady one damn bit of good. Joy. I just have to wait this one out. Did I mention I have a lot to do? And have to work next weekend? There could not be a worse time to be sick. Well, when it comes to my life, there's just no good time to be sick, but whatevs. I'm being dramatic. Go with it.

And truth be told, I'd rather tough it out than go on antibiotics anyway. Because, when I was little, my mom scooted me to the doc for every tiny thing and had them pump me full of antibiotics, I'm wary of drugging up as a first resort. I'm convinced that's why my immune system was shit as an adolescent and I've spent the last ten years eating (mostly) well and taking vitamins and only taking antibiotics when necessary. My M.O. is to wait things out and if I don't get better on my own, I med it up. But that's what I've been doing since last Tuesday. So you can imagine how frustrating it is that I may have another week or so of this ahead of me.

Now, don't think I'd forget to tell you about my skinny ass, Internet. Not that this applies to my ass itself, necessarily, and more so to my weight overall. I hate being weighed at the doctor. Hate it. Mostly because I don't believe in using scales. I'm a big believer in using my jeans as a measure, or how I feel in my skin. Besides it's all about health, not a number. And muscle weighs more than fat, so when I'm more active, I weigh a little more. Plus, as I mentioned, I like my ass on the rounder side, yo.

You may remember all that food I ate in Nawlins. I ate more than a human should eat. Really, but life is about enjoying the moment and the opportunity for quality Cajun food only comes so often. So I ate. I ATE. I even took my fat jeans so I could eat in comfort. Eating is just that important to me.

But what do you think happened at the doctor today? Remember that I was sick like a month ago and was weighed then? So I do have a recent basis of comparison, despite not owning a home scale. Get this: I weigh less today than I did before I left for New Orleans. Less. LESS.

I'm not sure how to feel about that. I realize that I was working on houses and walking around the city. But still. Did I mention how much I ate? Should I be elated that I can apparently eat the average body weight of a Clydesdale in food and metabolize that shit like gangbusters with just a week of painting and caulking? Should I be bummed? I did just write a manifesto to my ass. How does Buttina feel about all this?

Either way? My ass has entered a twilight zone vortex of some kind. Or maybe this guerilla New Orleans virus also causes weight loss. If that's the case, Buttina should be scared as hell. I know I am.

On a literary note, I am thinking of adding book reviews to this blog. After all, I was a literature student, so it seems only natural. What do you think? Would you like to read reviews of books as I read them?

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Love Song Sunday: You Are the Only One I Love

I'd like to share this Sunday a sweet, sweet love song that just rocks my whole world by a singer who I've just loved for years, Jaymay. This little lady is awesome personified. When I hear this song, I just want to make a little heart with my hands and blow a kiss.

Friday, April 9, 2010

fat ass

Apparently there are certain things you're not supposed to discuss as a women. As a blogger. As a human in western civilization. Apparently, you're only allowed to discuss these certain things in the abstract, but if you get too specific, it's offensive. ooooh, offensive.

Apparently, I'm not supposed to talk about fat. Particularly the size of my ass. I'm not allowed to say I have a fat ass, even if I mean it in the most loving way (more on that later). And because this subject is so taboo, I assume that if I were saying how fabulously tiny my ass is, how skinny, how I'm proud of the lack of definition (which would never happen, unless I had ass removal surgery), I'd also offend. Because we're not allowed to discuss our asses at all. But this isn't about skinny asses.

It's about fat.

We're supposed to want to lose weight, but also to be happy with our fat. We're supposed to be constantly exercising, but we're not supposed to talk about it. And we're supposed to eat, but not too much. Not actually enjoy it.

Well, I'd like to set the record straight. I love my ass. I do. So much so that I think I should name her. What should it be? How about...Buttina? It's cheesy, I realize, but it's smacks of ardor. I love Buttina so much that I want to talk about her. Okay? I'm going to talk about my ass. And her fat. You see, Buttina is like a little sister. No one is allowed to make fun of her butt me. But because she's my ass (and not yours), I get to make fun of her all I want. I earned that. And the jesting is in love. It is. I love Buttina. Buttina is kind of fat and I love her.

Now, for the first 20 years or so of my life, I didn't love Buttina. She was flat. And skinny. And didn't hold my pants up. And this was the eighties and nineties. Cindy Crawford was the epitome of beauty, so flat asses were not desirable, yo. Not at all. I didn't like being that skinny and I certainly didn't like that Buttina made me feel more like a ten year old boy than the woman I desperately wanted to be.

Over the last 10 years, Buttina has come her own, ass it were. And most days, I love that. She got pretty small when I lived in Europe (all those damn French stairs), but with burritos and beer, I got her back in shape in no time.

And do you see? I get to say things like that. Because it's my ass and I'm okay with that. Because most days, I like that I have a bigger ass. I like my fat. And I like to enjoy food. And eat too much on vacation. That's okay. I'd rather enjoy life than worry every second about my jeans size. Which, to be fair, I sometimes do.

There are days when Aunt Flo is about to call and I don't fit into any of my jeans and all I want is a huge burger and an injection of chocolate. Those days I don't feel so attractive. But I know how to cope with that. I put on sweats, watch Grey's Anatomy, eat a huge burger, and inject chocolate. Duh.

I also don't love it when I gain weight in my waistline. Couldn't all the fat go to my ass and boobs (more to my boobs, please? PLEASE?) and leave my waist alone? Nope? Dammit. And I guess I don't want to die of a heart attack so I try to eat right most of the time and get in exercise regularly. But it's less about looking like a starving preteen (which I looked like as a preteen and teen despite the  ungodly amounts of food I ingested) and more about finding balance.

Balance. That is one of my favorite words. Why can't I both love food and want to be healthy? Why can't I think my ass is kind of fat and still feel attractive? Why can't I say fat ass without offending? Fat is only a bad word if we let it offend. Instead, I think  my fast ass is kind of endearing. And I'll say it over and over until it loses it's power. Fat ass. Fatass. Fat. Ass. FATASS!

And okay, maybe my ass is smaller than many women's asses out there. That doesn't mean I think all those asses are huge. I'm just talking about my own ass here. You all have to estimate your own asses and decide how you feel. Whether it's a little fat or a lot of fat, it's still your fat and up to you to give it a cheesy name all on your own.

I am happy with my fat ass. Some days she pisses me off (Buttina can be a real smartass), but most days we get along just fine. But if I want to make fun of Buttina, I get to. And it doesn't mean that I have low self esteem. On the contrary. I think we should all celebrate our fat asses. Or skinny asses (if that's what you're sportin'). Or flat asses. Or round asses. And how I celebrate is with a caustic sense of humor, a po'boy, chocolate mousse, and a nice pair of stretchy jeans. You know the kind.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Down to New Orleans

I'm home, Internet. Home. Home from New Orleans. As always happens when I travel, I don't really want to leave. There is so much more to do. More to see. More to eat. But, then I did miss my bed. And my cats (don't laugh). And I thought about the nasty Nawlins humidity that would kick in around May.

And then I woke up on Tuesday with a  wickedly sore throat. I really thought I was just tired. It had been a long week. Of working outside and inhaling god knows what. And then my friends drug me out to party all weekend. So it was understandable that I would be a little run down. But it seems I brought the sore throat home with me. An unintended souvenir, packed along with the beads and hot sauce. It's Thursday and it's still sore. I sound like Kathleen Turner after smoking six packs of Marlboros.

So it's inconvenient. But whatever.

I can't say it's not worth it. Because I had SUCH a great time in New Orleans! I did. I had a fucking BLAST! The work week was total awesome sauce. It was completely moving and as fulfilling as I expected it would be, while of course, finding ways to surprise me. I can't recommend this enough. If you're looking for a new experience. If you want to step outside yourself for a few days and try something new and change your life and bit and grow as a person, go to New Orleans and serve. Do it! It's so amazing, my meager words will never do it justice.

that would be me at the end of an extremely satisfying work week.
that is a face both exhausted and pleased. 

Now, this trip was not all about the work (it mostly was, but all work and no play makes Andrea a bitch). I had some fun too. We listened to fantastic live music down on Frenchman (in the French Quarter, but where more locals hang out) at Checkpoint Charlie's and the Spotted Cat and I danced my butt off (not really, I ate so much that this ass isn't going anywhere).

I did the obligatory walk down Bourbon st., drank a Hand Grenade, and collected more beads than would fit in my carryon (and I never had to show my boobs. not once. and it's a good thing too. my boobs are so little, they'd ask for beads back.).

I sat in an open-air cafe at night with friends and listened to outstanding jazz while sipping coffee, where I overheard a girl mention my alma mater. Turns out we graduated college the same year (small school) and have mutual friends. What a small world. I'm always amazed at what the universe throws my way.

I got to experience a real Nawlins Easter Parade (not watch. no one just watches a parade down there) where I collected even more beads and saw some of the best bonnets of my life on both men and women.

But the best time I had was just sitting alone in a cafe on a weekday morning, sipping the best chicory coffee you'll ever taste, eating beignets, writing poetry, followed by wandering the Quarter alone, photographing anything and everything. That's when I really met the city. 

I'm always preaching that there is so much more to New Orleans than the French Quarter. That if you've gotta venture out and meet the locals and see how much more there is to really get the flavor. But, I didn't take my own advice, because I wasn't paying attention to the French Quarter enough. There is so much history there. Colonialism. Pirates. Disease. Jazz. 

It's a beautiful city. As a whole. But the French Quarter is especially gorgeous. But the absolute coolest thing I did and the most spectacular was a swamp tour. I'd always pictured the bayou as murky and buggy and smelly and muddy. Well, this swamp (being in early April anyway) was completely breathtaking. 

I need a better word than gorgeous. Splendid. Stunning. Awe-inspiring. Help me out here! Also, I saw two Great White Herons (no pics of those, sorry), one snake, and like 5 alligators. It was very, very cool. 

Now, I would be remiss if I didn't mention my very favorite thing about New Orleans. I know you know what I mean, Internet. If you don't, then you don't know me that well yet. The food. THE FOOD!  Crawfish etouffee, po'boys, fried catfish, fried shrimp, fried chicken, fried anything, beignets, jambalaya, dirty rice. YUM! 

And though I'm not much of a drinker, I will give a quick nod to Abita beer (I prefer the Amber to the too girly for my taste strawberry). 

And the bubbly French 75, which has champagne and something else secret and which you can only get at the bar of the same name. It was the best place to spend my last night in the French Quarter. French heaven. Reminded me SO MUCH of Paris. And with the champagne going right to my head, I got a little homesick for that smelly old city. But, of course, the Quarter smells just as bad as Paris.

Until next year...

Laissez les bons temps roulent.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Love Song Sunday (second Saturday edition): The Way I Am

Another Love Song Sunday on a Saturday. Sorry about that, Internet. I have no idea if I'll have internet access on Sunday, so please forgive me.

I'd like to share a song that totally makes me happy. Plus I adore Ingrid Michaelson. She just tap dances into my little heart with her quirky, spunky songs. I really love this song, because it's not about grand fantasies of insanely romantic love, love you only read about. It's about everyday love, love that feels real, attainable. And that's more romantic anyway.

Friday, April 2, 2010

SORE (said like Oprah)

What a week, y'all. What. A. Week. I can't believe the work week is over here in New Orleans, but my body can. I am sore. So sore. Sore in my thighs. Sore in my big ghetto booty (more on that later). Sore in my back. Sore in my biceps. Sore in whatever muscle is in your forearm (anyone know?). Sore in my neck. SORE. (picture me as Oprah shouting to her audience). And you're sore and you're sore and everybody's SO-OOORE!

Is it just me or is sore starting to sound like a crazy word? Oh, Oprah.

Thursday was an immensely satisfying day. Up until then (as I wrote earlier), I was working with others in the same house on the base boards and window trim and caulking all that. CAULK! (sorry, couldn't resist). Well, Thursday we painted it ALL. We took out all the doors and painted those and then painted the interior, from those base boards to the closets to the ceilings. I used detail brushes and wide brushes and rollers. It was a blast and it was hard. My arms were aching and my things were going on strike from crouching in small spaces. And I was covered in paint. Paint on my arms, on my back, on my clothes, covering my hands. Later, when I took a shower, I found this massive clump of paint behind my ear. How that got there, I can only imagine. When the painting was complete and secod coats applied, we brought in all the doors and said goodbye to our house. We had done all we could do before the cabinetry and flooring and I have to say it is so cool to get a house so close to completion in such a short time.

The gal who is getting that house is moving in next week. She has cancer and this house has been coming to her since last October (a typical Habitat house takes a couple of months). So it's so rewarding to know that we were a part of finally getting her into her home.

Last night we went to eat in the French Quarter and I ate fried alligator tail and crawfish etouffee. And OHEMGEE it was DE-LISH-UUUS! I lurve Cajun Food. Not just like. Love. My lover, The Shower, may have to move over to make room for Cajun Food. Or maybe The Shower and Cajun Food and I can have a polyamorous relationshiop. Scandalous.

Then we went to a cool jazzy bar and listened to the Young Fellaz Brass Band and danced a little. One guy who was dancing with (I assume) his girlfriend accidentally bumped into me. So to apologize (which he didn't need to), he grabbed me and led me around the dance floor. I have to say, it was fun and that kid could DANCE. And I think he was surprised that I could hold my own. When we finished, he girl thanked me profusely, which I thought was hilarious. I guess I did her a favor.

The party girl in our group, Jen, didn't want to leave as early as the rest of us (because we were tired, yo, and we had to work Friday too) and she was a driver, so we tried to squeeze into one minivan rental. Which is where we find me, determined to sit on the floor of the minivan, between the two middle captains seats, something I did often as a teen. Imagine my old ass surpise when my big old ghetto ass wouldn't fit between the seats! Dudes, I have clearly underestimated the size of my ass up until now. I really thought I would fit! No worries though. We all squeezed in. But I may need to start buying more Juicy Couture to maximize my ghettolicious my booty. I apologize for unproperly accessorizing my ass up until now.

Of course, if I eat any more down here, I may upgrade from ghettolicious to bedonkedonk. Just you wait.

Today I woke up feeling like ass (because I'm an old lady and I need my sleep), but I powered through. We worked at a super cool not for profit called The Green Project, which started as a paint swapping program because New Orleans has no toxic waste disposal system. And now the repurpose all sorts of materials that are old, donated, or salvaged such as lumber and light fixtures, doors, windows, sinks, bathtubs, you name it. Then they sell it on the cheap. They are seriously short staffed as they barely make enough back for operating costs, but they provide such a vaulable and much needed service to this community. Plus, the place was SO COOL (pictures soon!) and the staff was super fun to work with. They are in serious need for volunteers, so if you make it down this way, try to spend a day there helping out. They'll reward you with "freezy pops." 

My team spent the day in the humid Nawlins sun organizing lumber and removing nails and staples to make it usable. Meeting locals as they came in looking for wood all day was amazing and the work was literally back breaking.

Aside: if I hear anyone ever again accuse construction workers of stupidity, I will punch you in the neck. This work requires constant thought, technique, and the ability to think quickly. You have to keep yourself safe while maximizing your strength and utilizing basic physics. It's hard work.

Needless to say, I feel like I am falling apart now. My back is sunburnt and I already mentioned how effing sore I am. But today was the last day of work. THE LAST DAY OF WORK! It was fun but I am glad to be done (and my body is grateful). Let the fun commence! Going out to hear more jazz in the Quarter tonight and then tomorrow I head with two friends to our hotel where I'll spend the next several days touristing it up. I still have tons more to eat and a few things I want to buy. But mostly I'm excited to spend time down here on a vacation.

Seriously. I get to relax. Did you hear me? Relax. Re-lax. Re to the motherfucking lax, y'all.

I have no idea if I'll have internet access after tomorrow. If not, dear Internet, just picture me with a Po Boy in my hand strolling the Quarter with my camera.
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