Wednesday, December 21, 2011

have a holly jolly christmas

As the child of an alcoholic, I find this song deeply and darkly hilarious.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

strive to be happy

I have a quote on my fridge from Max Ehrmann that says:

Be gentle with yourself. 
You are a child of the universe 
no less than the trees and the stars. 
In the noisy confusion of life, 
keep peace in your soul

It's actually a carved up bit from a larger poem, Desiderata. The whole poem is pretty wonderful.

Go placidly amid the noise and the haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible, without surrender,
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly, and listen to others,
even to the dull and ignorant;
they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons;
they are vexatious to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain or bitter;
for always there will be
greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your own career
however humble;
it is a real possession in the
changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs,
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you
to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals,
and everywhere life is full of heroism.
Be yourself.
Especially do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love,
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment,
it is as perennial as the grass.
Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit
to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
Therefore, be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be.
And whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life,
keep peace in your soul.
With all its sham,
drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful.
Strive to be happy.

Break (v.)- separate or cause to separate into pieces as a result of a blow, shock, or strain

Sometimes I forget how it feels to feel broken. The kind of intensity about it that it brings to even the smallest tasks, because there is a simultaneous attempt to escape it and and resoluteness to bear it out by way of completing these simple missions. Turning the shower on to exactly the right heat. Watching a tea bag slowly seep into water. Minute details become exquisitely important, as you try to will your entire self into them to blur the pounding temples, the rising nausea. Everything must be quiet, quiet so your mind will be quiet too, so it will stand very very still, so those shattered pieces won't fall out of the frame.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

validation

So I was turning in my final on Monday night and had the following exchange with my professor:
Prof. K: Your paper was excellent. You did a great job.
Me: Oh! Thanks!
Prof. K: I hope you've enjoyed the class.
Me: I have! This is actually my last real final of my masters, so it was a nice way to end things. I've enjoyed both classes I've had with you. Now I just have to write my thesis.
Prof. K: A thesis? What are you doing after this?
Me: I'm applying to Ph.D programs and I felt like writing a thesis would be helpful with that.
Prof. K: Absolutely. Well, if you need a letter of recommendation, I'd be happy to write you one. You've been an outstanding student in my classes.

He's the head of the graduate section of the English Dept. at Tulane. So. Awesome.

Monday, December 5, 2011

the minimum

me: boobs. stupid face. arbor mist in a bag.
Alyson:  OMG BEST PHOTO EVA
 
Taken: At the Fly on a day when we had lots of other things to do but didn't want to do them so instead drove to the river with screwtop wine (because we forgot the corkscrew) and some guitars and made up songs about random things until the sun went down.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

101 in 1001- November update

23)See 26 movies I've never seen, starting with each letter of the alphabet.
J- Jakob the Liar (1999)
Z- Zack and Miri Make a Porno (2008)

24) Learn 1 new word a week.
Somnambulant- walking or having the habit of walking while asleep
Glazier- One who cuts and fits panes of glass, as for windows
Presentment- semblance
Specie- A coin or coins of gold, silver, copper, or other metal

35) Give up soft drinks for 2 months.
Forgot to throw this one on there when I first typed up this list. I found I didn't really miss them at all and I'm hoping this means I'll drink a lot less from now on. Of course, I did promptly go get a Mountain Dew yesterday, but only because I was at Taco Bell, which has become a very rare thing for me.


83) Review 20 places on Yelp! and/or Urbanspoon.
16) Back To The Garden
17) Cochon

97) Take the GREs, both the general and the literature.
What an awful, nerve-wracking experience. Do not recommend. Especially within a couple of months of one another.

101) Host a fancy dress party.
This was so much fun! Definitely DO recommend. Lots of people commented on how fun it was to get dressed up and go somewhere.

Full list here

lipstick chronicles

In my quest to find a lipstick (#25), I've been trying various shades. So far, I've test run three (not counting the Black Honey "Almost Lipstick" because that's really not much more than a tinted gloss) and every day I try a new one, I take a pic on my phone and text it to Erin for an opinion. Here are the colors, so far (keep in mind these are morning photos, taken on a camera phone under florescent lighting, i.e. not that great or flattering):

(obviously a pre-coffee photo)
Lipstick: Revlon "Just Enough Buff"
Comments: I expected this to be more of a matte color than it actually is (think 60's really nude lips + smoky eye) but I do like it a lot. But it doesn't wear incredibly well and I notice that sometimes it photographs almost orange or salmon-y. It also takes at least 4 coats of lipstick to get the color in the photo.
Convo w/ Erin:
me: so you know how I'm always searching for a good lipstick?
Erin: yes
me: I bought one yesterday
and, you are going to laugh at me
Erin: oh boy
pins and needles
me: (sent link) 
Erin: in that color?
me: yes
Erin: what do you like about it?
i can't see that being your chosen color
is that why you said i'll laugh?
me: yes
ahhaaha
it's a nude
Erin: yeah
i'm sure it looks nice
me: I dunno. I think it's pretty with my dark eye makeup
Erin: i would be disconcerted to see you wearing that
me: it's not like...no lips nude
hold on, I'll take a pic
I almost did get a real nudebut I didn't want to look lipless
sent!
Erin: wow, i like it!
i like it a loti'm surprised
maybe everyone should just wear nude
me: ahhaahahhaa
I do think it's a pretty classic look
Erin: yeah
not whorey
me: I'm still on the search for an actual color
and maybe a better nude (this one doesn't last that long)
but in the meantime, I'm enjoying it


Lipstick: Revlon "In The Red"
Comments: I chose this color because Jezebel.com said it was a red that looks good on everyone and I like the red lip trend. When I first put it on, it felt very garish. It took a few coats before it got to a shade I was okay with and I definitely think it's a color that needs a liner with it to keep it from looking smeared on. I had a few issues with bleeding at the corners. It's a matte shade and stayed on pretty well but it also dried out my lips and, when it did wear, would leave my lips looking stripy because it would stay built up in the cracks of my lips. Unlike some other mattes I've tried, it came off easily with water and a teensy bit of scrubbing. I'm not sure I wouldn't have minded it staining a bit more. It also smudged on EVERYTHING but I've never used a lipstick that didn't leave marks...these were just more noticeable because of the color. Overall, I'd wear this color again, but definitely not an everyday go to.
Convo with Erin:
me: okay this morning, I decided to try red lipstick
it was one that jezebel recommended as being perfect for all skin tones
I'm not totally convinced
but, you know me, I feel like pink is garish on me so red feels like clown
Erin: true
was it MAC?
me: I texted you a pic
no, revlon 007
Erin: because my friend kristine has that, and it works for everyone
i haven't seen the pic yet
i get weird reception in here
me: the real name is "In The Red"
I think the real problem is that I need lip liner
Erin: hrm
maybe
me: but I also don't love the color
I'm finishing up my makeup, then I'll take another pic
Erin: ahahha
ok
me: sent
and posted on FB
looks somewhat better
Erin: hhahah i got them both at he same time
me: hahaha
there is a marked improvement in the second one
Erin: yeah the second one is better
you can't do that bright/strong of a color without balancing out the rest of your face
me: yeah
though I feel the black eyeliner might be too heavy with the red lipstick
I tried to smudge it but it's new so it went on heavy
do you like the red in general?
I trust you to give me an honest opinion
Erin: i do
i think it's a fun look
if you find the right combo of everything, it'll be fine

Lipstick: Benefit "Rocket Pop"
Comments: I really like this color but there's something about it I don't LOVE. I don't know if it's because of how closely it mimics my natural lip color or if it's because I don't look awesome today (I either need a new flat iron or I needs to stop straightening my hair) but while I theoretically like this lipstick better than the red, I prefer the way the red made me look. This lipstick doesn't have the best staying power (though I don't think it soaks in/wears off as much or as fast as the nude does), but it does make my lips feel amazing. It's like putting colored lip balm on, without the thickness. It also offers good color and coverage in one coat of lipstick, which neither or the Revlon colors did.
Convo with Erin:
me:  benefit lipsticks are incredibly moisturizing
Erin oooh good to know
me not sure so much about their staying power but they feel good on my lips
Erin let me know
i may need to get into some lipstick
me I just put this one on
so we'll see
trying pink today
light pink
as in, not much different than the color of my lips pink
Erin right
i can deal with that kind of pink
me I'll send a pic soon
ahahaha
new lipstick every day!
Erin haha
i like that
i may like that better than the red
at least for every day, normal wear
me yeah
how about better than the nude?
Erin no, i like the touch of color 
me okay. so far this is the best contender.
Erin heee, sweet

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

dialogue

Me: just kind of having a generally bad day, body image wise
I threw up my lunch
Steven: Why, is no good
Me: just feeling gross
I just feel really fucking unattractive sometimes
and then my friends are all "oh you're beautiful!"
but then...they make fat jokes about people. or ___ will comment about how skinny his girlfriend used to be and how she's fat now, and ugly
and things people say about other women stick in my head
like when you said E had put on weight when you guys were dating and you weren't attracted to her
dudes make those kind of offhand comments all the time. so do women.
and that shit sticks in my head and every time I feel self-conscious about my weight, that's what comes to the forefront so even when people are like 'no, you look great!" it sounds hollow.
Steven: Not everyone is attracted to the same things. It doesn't matter what I or anyone else thinks. Tree only person who does is the palm you're with
Me: no, that's not quite true. the only person it should matter to should be me.
Steven: Not trying to imply you were
Me: but that's not really how it works in practice
Steven: That's too Sunday morning special for me
Me: it bothers me that those kind of offhand comments get to me like they do
at the same time, it bothers me that they're made.
that I make them myself.

Monday, November 21, 2011

scholar in training

letters from professors, in response to requests for letters of rec:

Dear Mandi,
Very good idea. I'm busy but I really think the world of you. I only worry about the job market in academia. But go forward anyway; you don't know where it will lead.
I can do it, but will they send me links?

Sincerely, B. Horowitz


Dear Mandi –

Yes, I will write the letters for you. I don’t need any extra information.

Peace,
~ JLH


Hi Mandi,

Good to hear from you. I was wondering how you were doing. And I'm sorry to hear you've had a difficult semester personally.

I would be happy to write you a letter of recommendation for graduate school. I can do the OSU letter right around the deadline, probably December 12 or thereabouts. So they will have it by the deadline.

In the meantime, leave me in my mailbox any information that might be useful to me in writing the letter, including your resume & also a draft of any kind of statement of purpose you will have written by December 12.

I'll also look at the paper you wrote for the independent study & give you some feedback about revisions, but again, I probably won't have time to get to that until December 12.

If you want to meet in the meantime to discuss the application process, my office hours this fall are Mondays, Thursdays, and Fridays, 3-5 pm. I know you work regular hours, so if there's some time that would work particularly well for you, let me know & I can try to make that time available.

More later, but you can definitely plan on my doing these letters for you. Yours, Tom


Hi Mandi,
I'm happy to revise the letter I wrote earlier. Could you send me a
revised CV and statement of purpose for your applications? I'd like to
be able to comment on what you've been doing. What is the deadline? Let
me know where to send letters or if they can be uploaded electronically.

Dan


SO MUCH RELIEF. I am clapping in my office.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

juxtaposition

I had a really really bad day yesterday.
I went to the funeral on about 4 hours of sleep. I spent most of the time beforehand talking to my cousin Joe, the one who recently lost his wife to cancer. The funeral itself was very very hard, made more so by the preacher who spent the entire time trying to convert people to Christianity and making comments like, "I've never had anyone I know die in...this manner but..." I wanted to stand up and shout, "NO ONE GIVES A FUCK ABOUT YOUR LIFE, YOU SMUG FUCK."
One bright spot was hanging out with my 8 year old cousin, who regaled me with tales of how his sister loves cookies, how he loves cookies, how he does a great dog impression, how the Tigers are going to go all the way unless they lose to Arkansas. At one point, he solemnly looked at me and said, "Mandi, you sure did grow a lot since I saw you." I replied, "Well, no. I'm just wearing heels." I took them off and he said, sagely, "I thought so. You're pretty short. I'm almost as tall as you."
On the way back to New Orleans, the front tire on the truck blew and there wasn't a jack in the truck, so my mom and little brother had to come out and Alex changed the tire. Then the spare was flat. So we filled it but it's leaking air.
I finally make it to Richie's and he went to Bayona to pick up his paycheck so we could go out that night for dinner. But his check was postdated, so no one would cash it and I ended up just giving him the cash to pay. Both of us were so frustrated by that point, that we almost skipped dinner and stayed home drinking.

Instead, we ended up having a really fantastic night. We went to Cochon (Richie's birthday present to me) and I had some prosecco while we waited for a table. The food was absolutely incredible--we split the boucherie plate (cured ham, salami, prosciutto, pate, hogshead cheese, crutons, bread and butter pickles, pickled tomatillos with dijon mustard), followed by a amuse bouche of grilled oysters and a bowl of seafood gumbo Richie ordered. For dinner, I got a seared pork belly on a bed of mashed turnips and garlic green beans, while Richie got the cochon with braised cabbage and turnips and topped with cracklins. We split a dessert of a chocolate ice cream "sandwich' filled with caramel ice cream and topped with chocolate strudel and peanut brittle. I seriously almost cried, the food was so good. Hands down the best meal I've ever eaten.
Afterward, we met up with a couple of friends and had a little coffee and a few beers at Avenue Pub.So, a really wonderful way to end an incredibly shitty day.

Unfortunately, I forgot my camera last night, but here are some pics from birthday celebrating:
Ladies at my Fancy Pants Party
lady p-i-m-p
Jason and me...I'm drinking from a "woozie"--a wine glass with a coozie--and he's drinking from a wine glass made from a Mason Jar
Nancy and I posing with Margaret Atwood books. Nancy is so gorgeous.
Richie and me, wherein I look exceptionally drunk
Nano and me, after lunch with the family. I am hungover.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

come in close

Me: my mind is broken right now
Im on sinus meds because my glands keep swelling up, I've been looking at grad school applications all day and I need to start on my thesis
plus, everything else. funeral, etc
Eric: ugh
we should have traded days
i just sat on my couch the whole time
Me: hahaha you don't want this day!
it's been informative at least
Eric: if i could take your day off of your hands i would

Maybe I don't expect enough from my guy friends, but I thought this was so damn sweet that I barely knew what to say.

Friday, November 11, 2011

overload

So, I've got bronchitis and the GRE is tomorrow morning and I'm having a party tomorrow night and Marla woke me up at 6:45 trying to puke on my head and she's got worms in her poop and I got a call from my mom this morning telling me that my aunt blew her brains out this morning.

Aunt Pam and Uncle Gene at Pam's son's wedding

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

the kindness of strangers

Me: I love zotz
I just had a horrible coughing fit
the barista brought me water, a friend gave me a mini twix and some stranger gave me a cough drop
I feel the love.
Christie:haha. musta been a bad one!
but that's cool
they wouldn't do that at perks. FUCK THEM THEY DONT CARE
Me: yeah, I was doubled over
hahahahaa
well, that dude at perks did give me meds that time
maybe I just have a pitiful look about me
Christie: naw, peeps is just nice to you
Me: I appreciate it
I still feel like blanche dubois though

101 in 1001- October update

16) Donate $100 a year to charity.
Louisiana Partnership for the Arts- $10

19) Read 1 unassigned book per month.
July '11- John Knowles A Separate Peace
Still playing catch up on these. I can't believe I'd never read A Separate Peace, but I bought it for a dollar at the Borders going out of business sale and figured the present was as good a time as any. Such a wonderful book. I've seen it compared to A Catcher in the Rye a lot and while it didn't give me the same kind of deep, existential questions and feelings that Catcher did (maybe because I'm not a teenager anymore?), but I also found A Separate Peace more relatable somehow.

24) Learn 1 new word a week.
Obarmate- to arm against
Impanate- embodied in bread (o.O)
Damier- large-squared pattern
Etrier- a short rope ladder with a few rungs of wood or metal

69) Buy a set of lingerie.
As hinted at in this post, I bought some lingerie. I did a full set: bra, panties, garter belt, and stockings. I'm still a little iffy on lingerie, but Richie loved it and it was fun to wear pretty underthings.

70) Discover 5 new-to-me poets.
3) Marie Howe

83) Review 20 places on Yelp! and/or Urbanspoon.
13) The Ruby Slipper Cafe
14) Oak
15) The Lucky Ladle

85) Attend at least 1 music festival a year.
an extra!
Voodoo Fest

93) Become more familiar with local and federal politicians and vote in all major elections. FAIL (sorta)
So this one pisses me off. When I moved here, I changed my voter registration but SOMEHOW, I became UNREGISTERED to vote. I received a voter registration card and everything, but I wasn't registered in Orleans Parish and my registration in EBR was canceled. So when I went to vote in the most recent election for governor, etc., I wasn't able to. I am annoyed by this unintentional failure.

96) Attend 10 cultural events.
3) Save Our Souls
This was really fun. I was asked to cover a screening Save Our Souls, a documentary of a local burlesque troupe, for GoodNola. It was at Republic and there were lots of free drinks and dancers and the documentary itself was great.

Left: At the screening with my friend Matt, some drunk eyes and my bra showing. Classy!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

slow death

I've been telling this story a lot and it still gives me awkward cringes.

When I was in 7th grade, I wasn't exactly the hottest thing ever. I had super frizzy, poofy brown hair, I wore bad red lipstick, I was starting to put on weight (including boobs that I alternately wanted to show off and cover up) and I was what might kindly be called "bookish." Oh, and I was a choir nerd. I wasn't exactly a hit with the boys, is what I'm getting at.

But there was this guy who was even MORE uncool than I was...he still played Power Rangers at break and there was a rumor he ate his boogers and he was really dumb. And he had a HUGE crush on me. I tried to make it clear to him that I wasn't into him, but I guess he didn't care.

One night, we were at some middle/high school dance and I was sitting in the bleachers with some friends when this guy, A, (who I had a bit of a crush on) came over and said, "W really wants to dance with you." I look down and W is standing expectantly at the foot of the bleachers. I shook my head. "No." A is insistent, telling me it's just one dance, that it'd make W's night and I'm nervous--a mix of never having slow-danced (except with relatives at weddings), not wanting people to laugh at me, not wanting A to think I was a bitch. I finally agreed.

So I get up to walk down to the dance floor and I see that W has darted over to the DJ. I look at A, like "What's going on?" and he says, "Oh, W requested a song for you guys to dance to." Suddenly, Usher's "Nice and Slow" comes on and I feel my whole being try to sink into the floor and W walks over with this overly-excited swagger.

I stared at my feet the entire time, stalked off into the bathroom as soon as the song ended and hid from W for the rest of the dance.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

old poems and love songs

Also, while studying for the English Lit. GRE, I found this poem in one of my old notebooks from 2005 and it's not so bad. Not the best thing I've ever written, by a long shot, but not bad.

You told me how you felt
lonely when you listened
to "Strawberry Fields Forever"
how "living is easy with eyes closed"
made you feel useless,
as we sat on your floor
with legs aching.
We haven't moved for hours.

Sometimes I feel like I'm drowning
sucking your apathy into my lungs
sweet toxic gas,
you're putting me to sleep
with your self-righteous
uninvited talk about how
you feel, what you think.

You're making me sick
with your pretension, your lack
of original thought. Maybe I just feel
guilty because the song makes me
feel lonely too.

nourishment

I'm so grateful that Ravi and I had the breakup that we did and that he's still in my life and willing to listen to me lose my fucking mind and be kind to me about it.

Me: I learned something about myself today!
not a good something
Ravi: ?
Me: I think I have a problem of getting incredibly attached to people in part a a way of not having to deal with my own life
Richie and I got in a rather big fight last night (it's too much to explain really but he broke plans with me to go drinking with his coworkers)
and he said to me "you're NOT the center of my life" and I said "I don't want to be" but I think I have a problem with making my loved ones, friends and boyfriends, as a kind of main focus because it distracts me from how stressed and worried I am about my own life
I started crying in the middle of it about not having any idea what was going to happen if I didn't get into a doctoral program or even what would happen if I DID and he was like "wait, where did this come from"
I think that's why I had such an existential crisis when you and I broke up. not just because the break up itself but because I had to deal with that stuff head on
Ravi: makes sense
Me: still really fucking depressed 
I don't know how to have a...casual relationship.
I know how to have a sex only thing. and I know how to have super serious "we're living together" relationship
I'm not good at regular dating. 
I also think I'm a difficult person to date
Ravi: I'm not good at dating in general ;)
i wouldn't say you're difficult to date
Me: no?
Ravi: I mean, you have your moments.  everyone does
but in general no
Me: thanks 
I just feel like I'm a total emotional wreck
I've also been throwing up my food again 
I think I'm going to try and see a counselor
Ravi: on purpose?
Me: yes
Ravi: :/
yea, you probably should
Me: I know
I just....it's just a fucked up way of enacting control on my life, you know?
and also just because I've felt so ugly and awful lately
Ravi: you aren't ugly!
Me: thanks
I just feel like it lately
this is what happens when I get stressed/depressed
I eat like shit, then I start feeling super fat and ugly
then I start vomiting up my food
Ravi: you are beautiful
Me: thank you
AND NOW I'M CRYING
ahahaha
srsly
Ravi: freak :)

Thursday, November 3, 2011

a collection of tiny stories

The Perils of Jungle Juice
On the 22nd, I went to a friend's costume party and there was a large bowl of "Witches' Brew." I had two large cups on an empty stomach, followed by a beer. Then I drove to the Quarter to go pick Richie up, but his phone was dead and after an hour of waiting for him, I angrily went home and locked the deadbolt, because I am vindictive. He came home via taxi (turns out we'd just missed one another and he'd been in a cab for awhile) while I was in the midst of removing my makeup. He started knocking on the door and as I walked into the living room to go unlock the door, I realized I was going to be sick. So I ran to the door, slamming my leg into a side table in the process (resulting in a really beautiful bruise), unlocked it and yelled "I'M SICK" in response to his "what the fuck is wrong with you?" He followed me into the bathroom and held my hair and stroked my shoulder and gave me water while I asked him to go away. Then he put me to bed and asked me if I wanted a PB&J. I said yes, then promptly fell asleep. He found me asleep, ate my sandwich and also went to bed. I woke up around 2am, feeling dismal and looking for my sandwich.

Fall Festivities
Jason, Lianna and I carved pumpkins and drank pumpkin beer in a non-ironic festive way. Jason carved a yin yang, Lianna carved a TV and I carved a martini glass and a bottle because I'm a drunk.

Voodoo Hoodoo
I went to Voodoo all three days. On Friday, Eddie and I biked there and saw Ani Difranco, Band of Horses and Soundgarden. All were great shows.
Saturday, I went alone and caught a bounce show, Social Distortion, Snoop Dogg (with Mystikal) and Blink 182. Blink's set kind of sucked, was full of inane dick jokes and I left halfway through, after my inner 14 year old was mostly satisfied (I really only wanted to hear "Dammit" and they didn't play it before I left). I admittedly teared up slightly during this set, despite it sucking, because it made me think of when Candace and I used to blast Enema of the State in her backyard and sit upside down on her swing and sing the lyrics to her next door neighbor (the crush of my teenage life). I biked back to Richie's, where I'd left the truck and as I was tying up my bike, two gay guys approached me and asked me if I'd give them a ride to Palmer Park. I was kind of hesitant at first, but I figured what the hell and let them in. They invited me to a party, but I politely declined.
On Sunday, I went with Richie and Matt. We saw Dr. John, then met up with Lianna at TV on the Radio (fantastic show). The boys left to go see The Meters, while Lianna and I caught the rest of TVotR, grabbed food and went to see The Clash. We wandered over to catch the end of The Meters set, met up with the boys to see The Ranconteurs. I got pretty high during the TVotR show and I started getting kind of paranoid during The Ranconteurs, but Richie and Lianna calmed me down (I'm not good at being high. I either get stupid silly or paranoid.) Richie and I went to Finn's afterward and got drinks that I almost fell asleep in, because I'd only had 4 hours of bad sleep.

Frenchman Follies
On Saturday night, post-festival, I got dressed up in voodoo doll drag and Matt and I headed down to the Marigny. We met up with friends at Mojito's, started drinking a lot. I had a brief blood sugar episode, which passed when I found a muffin. We went to The John and there was a boyfriend/girlfriend incident that culminated in the decision that everyone needed to eat, which is how we ended up at some hot sausage place on St. Claude at 3am, eating poboys and taking ridiculous and cute pictures. Then we walked over to Big Daddy's to play pool and finally ended the night at Mimi's until dawn. Richie and I ate more PB&J in bed (it's kind of a thing), before falling into some really bad sleep. We finally got out of bed around 1, coffee'd up and headed back to Voodoo.

T.C. Obsession
I've been reading T.C. Boyle's The Women. I really ought to know better than to pick up a Boyle book while I have other pressing matters to attend to, because he always sucks me in. I started it because I didn't want to be bored between shows at Voodoo. Richie said, "You're going to a festival with tens of thousands of people and you're going to be the one reading a book?" I replied, "I don't think you understand how antisocial I really am with strangers."
So now I'm toting the book everywhere, reading it until 2am and it reminded me of the first time I ever read Boyle. It was "Greasy Lake" in my high school English class and I was so taken with it that I went to Barnes and Noble that weekend and bought every collection of his short stories, which cost around $80. I remember being worried that I was spending that much but then I went to the car and started reading at stoplights on the way home and forgot all about it.

Trains and Planes
Mike posted on FB that he's going to AWP and staying with Erin in Chicago. I've wanted to go to AWP every year and I was toying with the idea when I saw that Margaret Atwood is the keynote this year. That settled it for me. I signed up to volunteer at the event, to get my registration covered, then I started looking into flights. They were about $350 round trip, which is way more than what I wanted to spend. Then I checked out Amtrak. I ended up booking a train passage, leaving New Orleans on Feb 28 and arriving in Chicago the next day at 9am. (I'm taking a one-way flight back to NOLA that Sunday...still cheaper than round-trip flight). I'm really really excited--I've never been on a train and we're going to go through Memphis. I was thinking about bringing some 1920's lit to read on the ride, until I remembered that I will be deep into the thesis at that point, so fun reading will probably turn out to be something like Halberstam's Female Masculinity. Ah well. Train! Atwood! Friends! Chicago!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

what they're worth

"I don't care who they are; there's nothing in the world more important than human beings. And you learn about those people. You take some things that you can use, and then things you think you can't use or your mother wouldn't allow you to use, you don't take. And that's how you grow and that's how things should be with people's lives. That's what I'm trying to tell young people today. They're moving and they're moving good, and I'm proud of those who can move. But are you stopping to help somebody else? Are you stopping to see how you can make another person feel his worth?"
-Leah Chase, interview with The Southern Gumbo Trail

(really, I could have copy/pasted most of the interview and I definitely think it's worth a read.)

Monday, October 24, 2011

shame

I was painting my nails (this color) and it reminded me of a time with the abusive ex.

I must have been about 19, so he would have been 25. We were in the Quarter and browsing a little gothy shop. We went to check out and I picked up a bottle of burgundy nail polish that was in a basket on the counter. He grabbed it from me and said, "That'll look good for when you have your hand wrapped around my dick" as he handed it to the salesguy with a wink.

I still remember how hard I cringed, how embarrassed I was, how fucking ashamed I was. The guy gave me this incredulous look and all I could do was look at the floor.

I think about that moment from time to time when I paint my nails to get dolled up. I stopped wearing "sexy" colors for awhile after that, started to wear matte blacks and grays and greens. Any time I do a conventionally sexy color, I think about that piece of shit and I still feel ashamed, just a little bit. I really hate to say I hate people but I'm as close as I can be to hate with him.

And for the record, I never wore that fucking polish for him or anyone. When Ravi and I were moving out, I found it in my basket of polishes and summarily threw it in the trash.

feeling like a half-rate stripper

I am actually wearing lingerie under my clothes right now. This feels...cheesy. But kind of hot. But mostly cheesy. Maybe not so much after some wine and when I'm not alone.

(my sexy room isn't helping matters much.)

Sunday, October 23, 2011

dress out

fun party :)

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

"and its just light enough to see"

This weekend wasn't really super exciting, but it was good enough that I wanted to write it down for the memories.

On Friday, I went out to karaoke with some lady friends. They'd never done karaoke, so everyone was a little shy at first, but by the time the night ended, we were all standing on a couch, shouting Britney Spears, like we were in some shitty rom com. Girl power! (it was awesome.) Afterwards, Alyson and I drove out to River Ridge to pick up Richie's paycheck from his mom and hang out with her for a bit. I got Richie from work, then went to bed while he and Matt partied.

The next morning, I woke up to bring Marla to the vet and found both the boys passed out in the living room, my front door open, an empty bottle of Maker's on the coffee table and a guitar laying on the floor. Neither guy was responsive, so I herded Marla into her kennel and brought her to the vet. Afterwards, I picked up guava pastries from the patisserie for everyone and headed home. I was finally able to drag Richie off the couch and we ate pastry in bed and talked for a few hours until he was sober enough to be out and about. We went to Z'otz and he bought us some coffee. We sat outside and walked around Oak St. for a bit before going thrifting for Halloween stuff. I was digging for something to cut up for my voodoo doll costume and he pulls out this beautiful brown linen dress. It has a very 70's cut and is in wonderful condition. Also, $10. We got gas station fried chicken afterwards and went back home.

This next part may be kind of TMI but it's part of the story and also funny, so bear with me. When we got home, we had some rather intense relations, so much so that when I stood up, the room started spinning and I fell back onto the bed. Richie made some joke about fucking my equilibrium up and we laughed and took a nap.

A couple of hours later, we got up to go to the BBQ and Blues festival. As I was driving there, with Richie and Matt, I started feeling really nauseated and hot. My vision started tunneling. But we were also late, so I started stressing out about finding parking. Richie kept telling me to pull over, but I was intent on finding parking. We finally did and as we were walking to the festival, I started getting dizzy again. I made a comment about feeling like I had vertigo and Richie said, "Sweetie, you need real food. I think it's your blood sugar."

We got to the festival, I ate a poboy, drank a beer and felt better. We danced to Kenny Wayne Shepherd and, at one point, Richie picked me up around the waist and held me in the air. This woman behind him fist-pumped and yelled, "YEAH!" It was kind of a country moment.

Afterwards, we went to Avenue Pub. The guys played pool while I hung out at the jukebox and drank beer. Eventually, Alyson showed up. Janis Joplin's "Try (Just a Little Bit Harder)" came on and I was singing along. Richie commented on it and I said, "If I get really shitfaced, I do an amazing 'Piece of My Heart.'" A little while longer and not nearly enough alcohol later, Richie starts grinning at me as "Piece of My Heart" came on. We started singing it together and generally acting like fools. Afterward, CCR's "Travelin' Band" came on and Richie was positively screaming the lyrics and dancing with me while I buried my head in his shoulder and laughed. He picked me up again and swung me around, to the amusement of other bar patrons and then put me down and said, "I beat you. I'm crazier." 

In the midst of all this, I started to feel sick again. I'd only had two beers, so it wasn't a drunk thing. Alyson accompanied me to the bathroom to puke a few times, but I wasn't to the point where I needed to leave. I just chatted, drank, puked, sang, danced, puked, etc. But things gradually got worse. Richie and Matt were playing pool with these two really weird guys and trying to hurry up and finish because I'd told Richie I was ready to leave. I went to the bathroom to puke again and a girl was standing in there crying. She was looking at her phone and wailing, "WHY DOESN'T HE LOVE ME?" Of course, I felt a little awkward purging, so I walked back out and told Richie I was really really ready to go and that I needed to throw up. Alyson asked what was wrong and I told both of them about the girl. Before I know it, Richie has walked over to the bathroom and cracked it. I looked at Alyson and asked, "Is he really doing this?" Alyson said, "Is that her?" I looked up and the girl walked past. Richie came back and said, "I opened the door and said, 'Excuse me. I know you're upset, but my girlfriend is really sick--not drunk, just sick--and she needs to throw up. I don't want to be an asshole, but could you please step out?" The girl replied, 'IT'S OKAY, YOU ARE AND SO IS HE."

I wasn't able to drive home but, problematically, Richie doesn't have a license and Matt can't drive a stick shift (which is what I'm driving in lieu of my broken car at the moment). I kept trying to say I'd drive, but Richie and Alyson both firmly told me there was no fucking way that was happening (I was leaning on Richie to stay upright by this point). We decided Richie would drive and Alyson would tail us closely. Unfortunately, while in the bar, it had gotten foggy outside. The truck does not have working windshield wipers or a defroster. So Richie is wildly swerving because he can't see out of the windshield and I'm screaming that he's about to hit cars and he's screaming at me to stop screaming at him while Matt is patting my leg and telling me it'll be okay. I spent much of the rest of the drive with my hands over my eyes. I removed them at one point, only to start flailing my hands helplessly, saying, "ohmygodohmygod" while Matt put his arm around me. I calmed down when we got closer to home and we finished out the drive singing "Don't Stop Believin'." I walked in, promptly threw up everything left in my stomach and went to bed.

The next morning, Richie and I woke up early and went to brunch at The Ruby Slipper. On the way home, we stopped so he could look at a potential apartment. It seems pretty perfect, so here's hoping. He went to work after, along with Matt. As much as I enjoy having them there, it was really really nice to have my house to myself again for awhile. I cleaned, made pizza dough, did some sewing and listened to music.

So, all in all, I didn't get anything done that I NEEDED to get done, but I got to destress, which was pretty valuable. Though I may need more of that, since I woke up screaming in the middle of the night last night from a nightmare and cried while watching a video of kittens meowing earlier. All in good time.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

I must become/a lion-hearted girl

Current song obsession:
(I'm not using the actual video because the song is abridged and the video is stupid...I'm pretty sure it's about people doing the Macarena  at a Ren Faire.)

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

quarter life crisis (and other dumb catch phrases that are sometimes embarrassingly accurate)

me: my doctor fussed at me today
telling me that I was staying sick like this because I was taking on too much
but I mean...:/
don't have much of a choice
Eric: and he was correct in that fussing
me: she
and I know
but I have a GRE to take, a thesis to write
Eric: whatever
everybody knows that all doctors are male
me: ahhahahaa
right
I'll call you when I get that ph.d
if I don't get into a program after this shit, I'm running away
gonna go live in a field and get high 24/7
Eric:i was about to say you gotta get accepted first
me: actually, I'm full of shit
yeah
I'd probably just stay here and try to find a job I like more
and rethink my entire life. which may not be the worst idea
Eric: im pretty sure that you're going to be accepted to a good program
me:I don't know
people keep saying that
but the thing is...look, I know I'm smart. my professors know I'm smart
I know my subject. but on paper, I don't look that great
Eric: how so?
me: 2.9 undergrad gpa. 3.0 in my last 60 hours. 3.6 in english classes. a masters in a program that a lot of people don't respect and a 3.9 in that, with my only B+ being in an english class.
a probably 1100ish on the GRE
I look solidly average on paper.
even though my professors fucking love me. to the point where I've had them ask me to take their classes
my thesis won't be defended by the time I apply, so I'll be able to say I'm writing it but I don't have it as an example
Eric: nobody expects a masters level thesis in the application for a masters or phd program
my indiana conversation told me that the ideal writing example (of course not for an english related field) was 10 pages long
and that is exactly how long my writing example is!
me: mine is 20
I know no one expects a thesis
I just want to have something that puts me head and shoulders above
Eric: yeah I know that feeling
thus my desire to improve my GRE score
me: yeah
I don't want to take that fucking test again
unless I absolutely have to
Eric: it just sucks that the GRE is the smallest part of my application and but what will take the most time and effort
me: yup
same here. I was reading something where this professor at columbia said he barely looks at GRE scores
and I was like *headdesk*
it pisses me off so fucking badly that LSU wants this stupid english GRE
because the questions are motherfucking useless
Eric:is that the only school your doing the English GRE for?
me: well. yes and no.
in my top 5 list of schools, they are the only one that requires it. so in that sense, yes
but, stanford also requires it and I might apply there just for fun. since I'm already taking it
and another professor, one from LSU, told me that it certainly wouldn't hurt me to submit those scores to other programs if I did okay
Eric: word.
me:I don't know. I'm still questioning this whole fucking decision
a big part of me feels like I'm doing this out of some sense of inertia
like, it's just the next logical going forward step
at least a small part of it is because my parents really want me to do it
a part of it is that I've put in this much time and I want that fucking degree
Eric: yeah I know what you're saying
me: yeah
but, you know, there's this other part of me that realizes how happy I am when I'm learning and pushing myself
I want to do that research and learn and write and do something useful but sometimes I have trouble reconciling the idea that my degree might be useful
to anyone except me
Eric: yeah
me: sorry. didn't mean to go all existential conflict on you
Eric: well i have the same issue
i could go through get a phd in a tiny and shrinking field
or just do the other idea and try to start a private music school in new orleans
me: right
yeah, I mean part of the reason I talk to you about this is because we're in a similar boat
Eric: yeah
i think its worth it to try
if we get into good programs then do it
if not fuck it
me: yeah
you're right
I just keep doing that whole "the money. I like this city. oh look, a boyfriend" thing
Eric: well boyfriend should be the last thing you think of
and shouldn't even be a part of the thought process
me: oh it is
believe me
it is something I isolate to the periphery
I just think, in a larger sense, am I making sacrifices that I will regret in the long run?
will I regret giving up a potentially good relationship? will I regret that 5 years of my life? etc.
Eric: yes but if you don't make the sacrifices you'll regret something that could lead to something even bigger
me: when it was Ravi and me, I was very certain about what I wanted to do. I was sad, but I didn't experience much regret and what regret there was was tempered with that certainty
that is...not present here
Eric: its definitely worth the attempt
me:yeah
that is the stronger pull. I KNOW I'd regret if I didn't apply.

Eric: unrelated funny story. i went to the story last night to buy batteries. Left with $20 of beer.

Monday, October 10, 2011

yin yang

Good: Radio Bar visit on Friday
Bad: Horrible sinus infection= no sleep
Good: Chinese buffet, mailing a birthday present
Bad: Stuck in tailgating traffic, Richie screaming at a cop, having a miserable headache from sinus issues and lack of sleep
Good: Nap in Christie's bed, party with friends, Fleur de Lis pizza, lots of beer, eating Louie's in bed
Bad: More shitty sleep, being a fat ass, another headache
Good: Coffee outside at Highland
Bad: Stupid fucks at Subway
Good: Reading while cuddled up on a couch with two puppies, more partying, some cute pictures, seeing parents
Bad: Washing a cat pee covered blanket, telling Richie the entire abusive ex story (maybe more on this later), getting heartburn as a result
Good: Looking at old pictures, snuggles
Bad: A UTI. Jesus, vagina. Really?
Good: Spooning, Richie officially moved to NOLA.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Achieving 101 in 1001

While writing up my most recent 101 in 1001 post, I started thinking about something that has been bothering me about this list for the last few months. Mostly the fact that I'm not really taking any active stance in completing some of the more challenging goals. One of the points of doing the list to begin with was to get me doing things I wasn't comfortable doing, to push me to gain new skills. I keep running up against the issue of time but then I think about how much time I spend reading gossip sites and how much time I'm able to find when I NEED to do something and I realize it's not a good excuse. Sometimes I'm overwhelmed with beginning a project and so I put it off. Most of it is not wanting to deal with getting better at something, not wanting to put the time in. But that's not really the point of the list. So, please bear with me, but I'm going to run through the list with some ideas about completing each remaining item.

1) Go Cajun Dancing.
Options here. Bonus swing dancing lessons on Tuesday nights.

3) Write a letter to a celebrity and ask for an autograph.
I need to pick a celeb. I think I might change that to musician though and write to Ani Difranco. I have plenty I could write.

4) Eat at a 4 or 5 star restaurant.
Should be able to do this soon, since Richie will be working at Bayona :)

5) Learn to play Guitar Hero on Hard.
This is a silly one. It'd probably take a weekend.

6) Design a new tattoo or get some color in my existing one.
I've actually got a design in mind. I just need to schedule an appointment with an artist to sketch it out. Thinking about Erica or Michael from Eye Candy tattoo or Chris Allen at Atomic in Baton Rouge.

7) Buy one piece of art.
I've actually been scouting for this one. Need to hit up some more art markets.

8) Grow my hair below my shoulder blades.
This is obviously a passive one but I've been taking pains to keep it healthy and growing. I'm even taking vitamins!

9) Attain a Master's Degree.
I have all my hours done and I could graduate in December if I want, but I'm going to write that damn thesis. So, this will happen in May.

11) Apply to 5 MA/Ph.D programs that I really want to attend.
I have a list. Now I just have to do it.

12) Adopt an animal from a shelter.
I tried to do this through ARNO, but I ran into some issues. Going to check CAWS and the SPCA.

13) Learn to change the oil in my car.
Richie and my dad have both offered to show me this one. Next time my oil needs changing (probably another 2-3 months), I'm going to get one of them to show me how to do it.

15) Brush up on my French enough to hold a short conversation.
I'm not sure this one is going to get completed. Part of it is that I need to define my parameters. How difficult should the convo be? How short is short? Also, I need to make myself study French again. Maybe I'll work on that one this summer. I do have Rosetta Stone software.

20) Get a spa facial.
This one is a money issue. I've come across Groupons for facials, so I need to just buy one and go.

21) Go to The Dinner Bell with a group of friends.
Probably need to take a more active stance in convincing people to come eat off a Lazy Susan.

22) Make a family tree.
My Uncle Dale has an extensive family tree of my mom's side. I need to get that from him, ask him for some pointers on genealogy research and do one for my dad's side. I think I'd like to go back to great-great-great grandparents. Trying to decide about second/third/fourth cousins.

25) Find a lipstick and liner that I like.
I actually found an "Almost" lipstick I like (Clinique's Black Honey), but I think I'm going to go play in Sephora next time I'm there. Jezebel also mentioned a Revlon red lipstick that supposedly works for everyone so I might just suck it up and drop the $7 to try it out.

27) Regularly volunteer somewhere.
Time issue. I volunteer at different places almost every month, but nowhere continuously. I'm going to sign up for more spots at Hollygrove and ARNO (who ALWAYS needs help) and see if STAIR needs any non-tutor volunteers. I have time on Friday evenings and Saturday mornings to do these things, especially if I stay in the city.

30) Make a recipe book.
One of those things where I get caught up in the details. I could just write down my favorite recipes, put them in an album and be done with this. but instead, I want to make it fancy, so I don't even get started on it. Goal: Write down at least 5 recipes a weekend until I get to a stopping point. Work on book in between.

32) Go to a major sporting event.
Saints game is not happening. I'm going to ask my dad about attending a LSU game. If that doesn't work, I'm going to get tickets to a Hornets game.

34) Lose 30 pounds.
I was working pretty hardcore on this one until i got all stressed out and started skewing eating disordery again. But I've been making it a point to ride my bike everywhere, stopped drinking soft drinks again and am trying to consciously make healthy eating choices. Once I've gotten back in a good mindset, I'll get back on the scale again and see where I'm at.

35) Give up soft drinks for 2 months.
I think I've actually done this but I don't keep track of it. Goal: Start now, in October and don't drink any soft drinks until January.

36) Do 200 sit-ups in one sitting.
This is something I need to schedule for myself and do as soon as I get home from work. Every other day, until I build up to 200.

37) Learn to use the weights at my gym.
So I don't HAVE a gym right now, mostly because of money issues. Therefore, this one is getting put on the back burner while I figure out a solution.

38) Run 5 miles.
Been half-assedly working on this one with a Couch to 5K app. Need to dedicate more time to it. I was surprised at my stamina though, I guess from bike riding. That gave me some encouragement to continue.

39) Make a cheesecake.
There's really no reason I haven't done this beyond not wanting to eat cheesecake. My friend Ross is having a birthday party this weekend. Maybe I'll make a cheesecake and feed it to people there.

40) Have a Sazerac at The Roosevelt Hotel.
this is one I want to do with Ann, so we just have to coordinate schedules. I also have a friend who works at the Roosevelt now, so maybe I'll get a hookup :)

42) Take some photos of my brother and me for my parents.
I tried to arrange this last year but I didn't have the time or money. I need to talk to Alex about it and work on it either for Christmas or for my parents anniversary (in April). This is one I'd like to do soonish.

43) Write a letter to myself to open in 10 years.
Another one I put too much thought into. I keep thinking of all these things I need to include, but it doesn't need to be some vast explanation of my entire life right now. I just need to give myself a few hours and write the damn thing. Goal: Do this before the New Year.

44) Organize my iTunes.
I can only attribute this to pure laziness. Some of it has been taken care of, but considering all the time I spend with my computer, there's no reason I haven't done all of it. I might try and do that one this weekend.

45) Go to at least 3 states I've never visited before.
Going to Oklahoma at New Years for the Flaming Lips, so I should be able to cross that one off my list soon.

47) Build 1 piece of furniture for myself.
I want to build a set of spice shelves. One of my friends is a carpenter (and, you know, my dad) so I'm going to get some advice about materials and framing and try and do this one in December or January.

48) Host dinner for my parents.
Every time my parents come here, they want to eat poboys at Cooter Browns. I'm sort of shy about being all "hey can I cook for you guys?" This will be one that can wait for next year, but maybe I'll do something early next year. February?

51) Have a palm reading.
I either need to do this the silly way (go to Jackson Square with the tourists) or the slightly-not-as-silly way and go to Bottom of the Cup

53) Submit at least 7 poems for publication.
I've barely been writing lately, in part due to the fact that I haven't been reading. This is another one that will have to wait until next year, but something I'd like to start on soonish. I bought two new volumes of poetry--maybe I'll read a poem a day and see how that inspires me.

54) Write 2 non-fiction pieces, Brevity-style.
See above. I need to put Brevity back on my Google Reader.

55) Cook 10 challenging dishes from celebrated chefs.
Goal: Look up dishes from different chefs while at work today, email them to myself and cook at LEAST one a month until I'm through the list.
http://dineomite.blogspot.com/2009/11/what-to-do-with-monster-cauliflower.html- Thomas Keller


57) Make 3 food items I'd normally buy ready-made.
I have a bunch of recipes for this stuff and I haven't made any of them. Goal: Next time I'm close to running out of a condiment (harrissa, jelly, mustard, ketchup, BBQ sauce), make it myself.

58) Visit another country.
No longer sure how feasible this one is. Richie and I have talked about driving down to Mexico (this isn't as random as it might sound--he has a friend from Tamaulipas). Maybe this summer. If that doesn't work, maybe I'll try and drive into Canada if I can get over to San Fran.

59) Learn to play my guitar.
One of my good friends has a degree in classical guitar and teaches it as a job. This is one of those "I don't want to work for it" things. Next time he comes over for dinner (probably in the next two weeks), I'm going to ask him to teach me basic chords.

60) Grow a vegetable.
I bought the seeds for this and then realized I couldn't dig a garden in my backyard, so I gave up. Goal: get porch pots, research urban gardening and grow something.

61) Start a herb garden.
Also bought the seeds for this. Just need to go to Lowes, get pots and put them on my kitchen windowsill.

62) Visit 10 historical sites in New Orleans.
Some places to keep in mind: U.S. Mint, George Washington Cable House, St. Louis Cathedral, Gallier House, Ursuline Convent, Customhouse, Cotton Exchange, State Bank Building, St. Patricks Cathedral, St. Mary's Assumption (obviously I just need to attend mass at some cathedrals). Also, I revisted the Musicians Tomb--can I add that? I think not.

63) Make 1 item of clothing for myself.
I have material to make some skirts and I have two tutorials (here and here). I'm just afraid of messing up. I also don't really know how to read a pattern. And I'm kind of shitty with my sewing machine which probably needs to be serviced. Excuses. Just make the damn skirt, self.

64) Make an apron.
See above. I do want to make a skirt or two before I attack an apron and then start with a half one. Goal; Finish at least one skirt by November and at least one apron by December.

65) Make some curtain sets.
Okay yes. This is me being lazy. Does it count that I altered some curtains for my front door? It doesn't? Okay. :/ Honestly, I keep putting this off because I bought these wooden blinds about a year ago and they're too big for my window and I can't decide if I want to hang them or just get something else and god, I am the world's worst procrastinator. I have had motherfucking beach blankets on my window for a year. Enough is enough.

66) Fly a kite.
I keep forgetting this is even on the list. It's good weather for flying a kite. I'm going to see if someone wants to go do that this weekend.

67) Learn to make 6 different cocktails from memory.
haven't really been drinking much at home, so I haven't had a chance to practice this. That should change with Fall approaching.

68) Have a well-stocked home bar.
See above. I actually need to take stock and see what's missing.

69) Buy a set of lingerie.
Something I kept running up against is deciding what I meant by "lingerie." I bought a babydoll nightgown and matching panties (which I've yet to wear...I'll get to that in a second), but I didn't really feel it met the requirement. I realized I wanted something more...boudoir style. Something with a vintagy feel. I like this a whole lot but I can't get a set out of my mind that I saw on Etsy about 6 months ago. It was a deep olive green with black lace. the shop has since gone out of business and can't find anything comparable.
The other issue here is...I'm not good with lingerie. I don't ever feel comfortable when I feel like my body is being scrutinized and that's sort of exactly what lingerie is meant to do. I'm not good at acting sexy. I feel sexy when I'm naked. I feel sexy when I know I look good. But I'm not comfortable enough with lingerie (or the whole reveal of it) to feel sexy in it yet. We'll see. Maybe I'll just prance around the house in it.


71) Get rid of all my non-stick cookware (except one pan).
Working on this one out of necessity, since my nonstick stuff is starting to peel. I think I'm going to do a bit of research and ask for a few pieces to replace the nonstick stuff for Christmas (and get a new nonstick pan for eggs). The biggest thing I want/need is my big heavy saucepan with an extra handle on the side. I'd like to get one that's oven safe.

72) Make a piece of pottery.
I don't even really know why I even put this on here. Filler? Thus, it may not get done, but if I find a Groupon for one of those places that lets you go throw a pot and fire it, I may go.

74) Get a framed copy of my diploma.
I asked for this as a birthday present. I want to find a similar frame so I can frame the Tulane one too.

77) Write at least 5 letters (each) to Erin and Mike.
Working on this one. Part of the issue here, as Mike and I were discussing yesterday, is that we all talk so much online that letter writing seems almost redundant. But I'd still like to do it, if for no other reason than the fact that it's nice to get a letter in the mail (Erin was very happy about the one I wrote her). Plus, as Mike said, it's nice to be a letter writer. This is also something I could work on at work.

78) Learn to belly dance.
Defintiely something that will wait 'til next year. Iw as going to take lessons at Crescent Lotus but they cost too much, so DVD it is.

79) Visit The Museum of the Gulf Coast.
I think I'm going to try and make this a weekend trip after my birthday.

81) Write down all purchases for 1 month and look at where I can cut expenses.
I started doing this awhile back and I lost track of it. I also keep making excuses for it (e.g it's the holidays, of course I'm going to spend more!). Goal: Keep track in November.

84) Go 1 month without buying coffee.
I don't think this is going to happen. I'm so addicted to Z'otz. Not just the coffee, but the company. Maybe I'll just buy tea. We'll see.

86) Crochet or knit a scarf for myself.
I'm going to work on this in December (and January if it doesn't get finished). I also need to see if Susan will give me some knitting tips.

87) Drink 2 liters of water a day for 2 months.
Another aborted attempt. This one can be a pain in the ass because I have to carry around a water bottle. I will start this again in January, when my skin starts drying out again.

89) Visit a National Memorial or Site.
This one will obviously take a bit of work. If I visit Erin again, there's one in Chicago. I'd really like to go to D.C. I'm not going to worry about this one until next year and then I'll evaluate finances and see what's possible.

90) Go back to San Francisco.
I need to talk to my Uncle about this. I'd love to go this summer. Graduation present to self?

91) Upload and organize all my digital photos.
I've gotten started on this by putting pics from my old desktop and old laptop on an external harddrive. Now I just need to get everything off the Mac and start organizing. Baby steps.

92) Print out some photos for framing and scrapbooks.
This will come after photos are organized. I AM working on a frame wall though, so maybe that will spur me on.

93) Become more familiar with local and federal politicians and vote in all major elections.
This is one where I've been slacking and also something I could do on my lunch break. Goal: Look up elections for next two years, state and local, and put on calendar. Next, do at least some rudimentary research on the local level politicians.

96) Attend 10 cultural events.
More lazy. Goal: look up events at local theaters (as well as Swine Palace and the Shaw Center) and talk to Nancy about upcoming plays. Buy tickets to at least two events happening before the end of the year.

97) Take the GREs, both the general and the literature.
Scheduled to take the Lit GRE in November. Hold me.

98) Pay off my 1st student loan and 1/4 of the 2nd one.
I need to see exactly how much money it is that I owe (responsibility, y'all) and look over my finances, then work out a pay schedule. This is something I ened to do anyway, as I'm toying with the idea of buying a car.

99) Go on a camping trip.
Been talking about with one with Richie (who has never been camping!) and some other friends. Will hopefully happen in October or late November.

100) Don't eat out for 1 month.
This one is difficult and I don't want to face it right now.

101) Host a fancy dress party.
I'm planning on doing this for my birthday this year :)

Full list here

mainstream subculture

(posted on FB but saving here for easy-access posterity)

I was leaving Z'otz around midnight. As I was unlocking my bike and tying my ankle-length skirt into a knot, an older white guy with a shaved head approached me.
Him: Hey, uh, you know where I can buy a joint?
Me: No. Sorry.
Him: C'mon. Really? Really?!
Me:...yes. really.*

I'm curious what it was about me that screamed "haver of ze drugs!" to this dude. The bangs? (they do double duty as indicators of my hipsterness and my drug habits.) The nose rings? The bike? Being a mid-20's white girl outside of a vaguely counter-culturey coffeeshop?

My first thought was "cop," but upon further consideration, I wonder if it wasn't just some dude who decided he wanted to try pot. I mean, buy a joint? Really? We're not at Bonnaroo, asshole. I feel like NOPD might be more adept at snaring people, you know? Then again, I guess there probably are some idiots who would pull out their stash and those are easy targets. Either way, it was a good opportunity to continue perfecting my "get away from me" side-eye.

*no, not really. reefer madness, y'all.**
**the last time I bought drugs, I was in high school.

Monday, October 3, 2011

101 in 1001- August/September update

The last two months have been an amalgamation of GRE prep, intense reading, work, and stress so I wasn't able to get around to updating the list (or really even updating the blog). Here you are, dear reader.

16) Donate $100 a year to charity.
NARAL- $20 (August 2011)

18) Read 10 books from the Bloom Canon.
5) D.H. Lawrence Sons and Lovers (August 2011)
I really liked this book, though I think it dragged a bit at the end and I kind of thought Paul Morel was a prick. The fact that his character is said to be an autobiographical representation of Lawrence himself doesn't dissuade me.

19) Read 1 unassigned book per month.
May '11- Margaret Atwood The Penelopiad
June '11- Linda Olsson Astrid and Veronika
I've been playing catch up with this. I've obviously still got some more to do and I'm working on it. As for these books, The Penelopiad was brilliant, as Atwood always is. Astrid and Veronika was a letdown--a story that started off strong but ended up with totally unrealistic or relatable characters, a story that veered from intriguing to trite and an ending that was pat and left lots of loose plot ends.

23) See 26 movies I've never seen, starting with each letter of the alphabet.
C- Citizen Kane (1941) (August 2011)
I know. It's blasphemous that I hadn't seen this before.

24) Learn 1 new word a week.
Panegyric- elaborate praise
Foment- To arouse of incite
Solecism- grammatical mistake; blunder in speech
Meretricious- gaudy; falsely attractive
Lissome- easily flexed; limber; agile
Tacent- silent
Cupidity- greed; strong desire
Rebarbative- causing annoyance or irritation
Tyro- a beginner; a novice

46) Walk in a second-line parade.
Going to count the Midsummer Mardi Gras parade for this one.

67) Learn to make 6 different cocktails from memory.
2) Jack and Ginger (August 2011)
Is this complicated? No. Is it a cocktail? Yes. Is it delicious? YES.

70) Discover 5 new-to-me poets.
2) Kate Daniels (July 2011)
(forgot to mention this one in the July update

77) Write at least 5 letters (each) to Erin and Mike.
Erin- 1 (August 2011)

95) Take a road trip to an unfamiliar city and spend at least 5 hours there.(August 2011)
I went to Grand Isle on a family vacation for my Dad's birthday. We spotted some fish, strung crab lines and did some drinking. I also spent some time driving around the island, including driving to the end of Hwy. 1.

97) Take the GREs, both the general and the literature.
Took the general in September and will be taking the Lit. in late December or so.

Full list here

Sunday, October 2, 2011

hazy memories

Me: if La Ha parties taught me anything
it was how to play flip cup
I fucking dominated last night and I was the only girl at the party
against 7 dudes
Erin: hahhahaha
that's awesome
Me: I talked so much shit
one asshole got so pissed off that I beat him 3 times
I was sitting on an ice chest and he pushed me off of it
and then all my dude friends there were like "uh dude, wtf."
and I was telling richie about it later and he was all "WTF"
but I told him "but then I got up and ran over to the dude and punched him in the kidney and kicked him in the dick."
Erin: did you really?
Me: yes
I was really mad
the ice chest spilled over on me
I got soaking wet
and he was being a bitch
Erin: he sounds like it
i just can't imagine you kidney and dick punching anyone
Me: I was pretty drunk
I ran over and went to kick him and he grabbed my foot
Erin: you have to be after 3-7 games of flip cup
Me: so I punched him in the kidney
and he let go of my foot and I kicked him in the dick
oh we played a good 15 games
at least

Me: when I first started drinking, we were like...chugging beer
and it was spilling and peter started excitedly yelling "BEER ON TITS! BEER ON TITS!"
and I'm trying to flip the cup and going "really peter?"
Erin: it's the little things

Me: also, I guess richie and I are all official and shit
he referred to himself as my boyfriend
and I said "are you? you never asked"
and he looked at me like "are you fucking serious?" and said "sorry amanda. do you want to be my girlfriend?"
and I said "maybe" and he said "come here, you bitch"
we went on a very high/low date friday night
we were going to go see lion king but he was hungry, so we stopped beforehand
to get wings. and they were PACKED. so the movie had already started by the time we left
and he was like "you wanna go somewhere nice and just get a glass of wine?"
I said sure, so we went to the grape in perkins rowe and there was a live band
so it was actually really really nice
Erin: that sounds really nice
very low key
Me: it was. we just hung out and talked and laughed at drunks
and I told him about you bursting into the wine loft and announcing that it was so cold that it was making your nipples hard
and he laughed really hard
Erin: maybe one of my favorite stories ever
Me: it's definitely one of mine
man. we have been shitfaced so many times in front of each other
like, I can think of 6 times off the top of my head that I've thrown up in front of you
Erin: or in near proximity
when i went to that bachelorette party, one of michael's coworkers asked me for a ridiculous drunk story
and i couldn't think of anything
put on the spot like that
Me: oh damn
Erin: so since we were drinking champagne, i told about my flirtini night and how i was hungover for 3 days
Me: we peed off the back of a boat
Erin: but i wish i'd told the cold nipples story
Me: there's that one
there's the christmas party
when we were both shitfaced
Erin: and you stripped
and i passed out in my closet
Me: and we made mike and katie take care of the cats while we passed out
yes
we are awesome
Erin: yes
Me: honestly, I think I'm more of an embarrassment than you though
I mean, there was that time I took off with a 5th of vodka, ran down the street and passed out in a yard
there was the time I threw up out the car on the way back from new roads
of course there's the time when C had to come get me from your parking lot and brought me home with a bucket
Erin: yeah, that one was a classic
Me: I am awful
at least I've mostly gotten my shit together
last night, I drank drank, made myself puke, drank a liter of water THEN resumed drinking
like a motherfucking adult.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

everyone's a winner

A couple of months ago, Ann and I met up for drinks at The Delachaise when she was in town and, like we do, we started talking about boys. I told her about my then-current situation (just broke up with one guy, going on a date with another guy and carrying on a flirtation with someone else) and she said something along the lines of, "you have so much game!" I started laughing because "game" is the last word I'd use to describe my awkward and neurotic approach to the dating world, but she pointed out, rightly, that every time we'd talked in the past year, there was some combination of dudely happenings. 2010-11 has been a fruitful year. It's also been kind of emotionally chaotic--the whole navigating a big breakup, dalliances and their occasional fall-outs, breaking off short-lived but passionate flings. I don't want to get into it, good or bad, because I know some of those guys know about this blog and I'm not interested in hurting feelings or opening wounds.

But, "game" or not, it's been a fun year. And maybe I do have a little game, because I ended up with a whiskey-drinking, mechanically handy cook who just got a job at one of the best restaurants in the city (and is actually moving here, thank goodness.) being "smitten" with me. Game indeed.

Maybe he likes my drunken eye squint.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

time to breathe...okay, stop.

I took the GRE yesterday and now I have my life back for a very short period before I start thesis writing.

I pretty much expected to bomb the GRE. I spent the vast majority of my study time (about 3 hours a night, plus weekends) reteaching myself high school math. Math never never makes sense to me. I think it does and then suddenly a fraction appears but this time, you're not supposed to treat it like a fraction, you divide it! No, you reduce this one BUT NOT THIS ONE and god, fuck YOU, fractions.

So I only briefly skimmed the section of my Kaplan book that pertained to the writing portion and most of my vocab review was done using a Kaplan app on my phone.

Anyhow, the experience wasn't awful. The Prometrics center is like a goddamned prison (No talking about the test. No leaving the room, even to pee. All your stuff goes in a locker. No studying. Empty your pockets. Metal detector scan. Have your glasses checked for cameras. Each cubicle on a video monitor), but they gave me headphones and since I've been studying while listening to a White Noise website, that was peaceful for me. I feel like I did really well on the writing sections. First verbal was easy. First math was awful. I ran out of time before the last 5 questions (and the three before that were desperate answers, punched in before the clock ran out). Second verbal was a bit harder but still fine. Second math was easier but I still ran out of time before the last question. I got an extra verbal section for their testing purposes. At the end, you're given a 100-point range of scores for the Math and Verbal sections (I won't get final results until November). My math range was dismal. 370-470. But my verbal was 670-770 and I am almost certain that I'm at the higher end of that because I was pretty comfortable with most of the questions. All the programs I'm applying to require more than 600 on the verbal, preferably approaching 700. I'm more worried about that cumulative.

On that note, I've been busy making a list of the schools I want to apply to. That's another thing I need to start on soon--grad school apps. At least that one is easily done at work. So far, I'm definitely applying to LSU (they have a Women and Gender concentration in the Writing and Culture track of their English Ph.D), UT-Austin (for a Women and Gender/Public Policy duel masters. Everyone needs three masters now, right?), Rutgers, U of Indiana, U of Chicago and Berkeley (I probably have zero chance of getting in here but people keep telling me to just try, so fuck it. Why not?).

Life has been a real clusterfuck lately, but not in an awful way. There have been some shitty things, but as I said in that post, some good ones as well. The car got worse (the serpentine belt broke and the water pump may have seized up but that same guy I went on some dates with is working on it for me because he really is the nicest guy), the sinus infection got worse, a yeast infection appeared, I've had a run of terrible headaches, and fuck, I haven't slept well in a month. I'm trying to use the next two weeks to my advantage, since they will be a brief break for me. I want to finish a few books to catch back up on the months I had to skip. I want to keep riding my bike every day. I went out for drinks at Pal's last night and renewed my lust for moving to Mid-City. I want to sleep 8 hours in a night (and I plan to accomplish that tonight). those are the only goals I'm setting for myself and if I end up listening to The Big Chill soundtrack on repeat for hours while I lay on the couch and talk to Marla, that won't be such a bad thing either.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

dearest friend

Abigail Adams' correspondence to John Adams has made it into my "favorite bits of reading." Some excerpts:

I can not say that I think you are very generous to the Ladies, for whilst you are proclaiming peace and good will to Men, Emancipating all Nations, you insist upon retaining an absolute power over Wives. But you must remember that Arbitrary power is like most other things which are very hard, very liable to be broken--and notwithstanding all of your wise Laws and Maxims we have it in our power not only to free ourselves but to subdue our Masters, and without voilence throw both your natural and legal authority at our feet.
-1776

If you complain of neglect in Education in sons, What shall I say with regards to daughters, who every day experience the want of it? (...)If we mean to have Heroes, Statesmen and Philosophers, we should have learned women. (...) If much depends as is allowed upon the early Education of youth and the first principles which are instilld great benefit must arise from litirary accomplishments in women.
-1776

Hope is my best Friend and kindest comforter; she assures me that the pure unabated affection, which neither time or absence can ally or abate, shall e'er long be crowned with the completion of its fondest wishes, in the safe return of the beloved object; the age of romance has long ago past, but the affection of almost Infant years has matured and strengthened untill it has become a vital principle, not has the world anything to bestow which could in the smallest degree compensate for the loss.
-1782

'Tis no small Satisfaction to me that my country is like to profit so largely by my sacrifices.
-1782

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

why don't you sit right down and make me smile

Lately I feel like my life is this constant cycle of getting really fucking stressed out, having a few brief moments of clarity, then sinking back under. Or, for a more-than-cliched metaphor, I feel like I keep breaking the water and sinking back under.

In this past week, my radiator has gone out twice. I've been reduced to carrying gallons of water and a roll of paper towels in my car. It is chugging along with water and prayer. I'm thinking the radiator will need to be replaced next week, which means getting it to Baton Rouge.

My mom has had the first round of injections in her back for pain management of her arthritis and a slipped disc that is causing some nerve damage.

The family dog has cancer. A surgery was performed last week to remove a tumor but biopsy results have come back and shown that they didn't get all of it, so they have to go deeper. The dog is 2. My parents are devastated.

Um, I gained like 4 or 5 pounds. Not a big deal in the scheme of things but I'm already stressed so, you know.

A very dear friend is having some heart problems, right on the heels of her mother having a health scare. My childhood best friend's father (who was like a second father to me) is having to undergo a heart cath after having had quad bypass 4 years ago.

I have a sinus infection.

I have been having a pretty bad bout of stress-induced insomnia and have been averaging 4-5 hours of sleep a night.

GRE+ school shit. ugh.

But.

None of this scary shit is happening to me. To people I love, yes. But I can be there for them. Fall is coming up and with it: my birthday, Voodoo Fest, Halloween, the holidays, NYE in Oklahoma to see Flaming Lips, Alyson's wedding, the Angola rodeo, cooler (hopefully) weather. I went on a couple of dates with a real sweet dude, someone Alyson described as "one of the nicest people I've met in awhile." I have a fantastic support network. I did some freelance work and it became a bit of a big deal. I saw Ani Fucking Difranco at Target.

so, life ain't all bad. But I'd still take some calmer waters.