Friday, April 24, 2015

observation Friday.

if you clean out your garage completely, you'll find treasures.  

when you're busy, the day flies by at rapid speed.

i'm a ninja.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Holy Thursday

it seems every year on Holy Thursday i'm either out of town working or something is going on that prevents me from joining my family for their annual lunch at Dooky Chase on this special day. of course we have to order a bowl of z'herbes (that looks pretty gross) but is so darn tasty.

that is always followed by their delicious fried chicken. it's the one thing i never seem to get tired of. it's obnoxious how much yard-bird i consume, and it's only a matter of time before i start growing feathers, i'm sure of it.
 sitting in the crowded dinning room were folks i'm either related to, went to school with or i know from Lakeview or Uptown. we spent the first hour hugging and kissing peeps at different tables and catching up on the comings and goings of our lives. it was so loud in the restaurant that at one point during lunch we all started laughing because we were shouting.

see the thing is, sitting at that long table with my four sisters and five nieces (no men allowed!) i couldn't help but silently thank the heavens above for blessing me with such an amazing, loving family. 

even if they always try to stick me with the bar tab.

Monday, March 23, 2015

thought of the day

when i was young i thought Bo Derek was the prettiest person on the planet.

now that i'm much older, i'd say i was pretty accurate.

Friday, March 13, 2015

visual studio express

sometime over the Christmas holidays i was asked to be a featured artist at a local private art institute here in the city.  of course my first response was, what do you want me to do? quickly their reply was "teach" ~ teach what?

so here i am, at the end of this very long and exhausting week and i have to admit this adventure has been one of the most enlightening avenues i've ever traveled down.
i was assigned to a "continuing art education class" whatever the heck that means and from the moment i stepped foot in the art studio of this lovely old structure, i had no earthly idea why i was here. most of these cats had been pushing the paint around long before i have and i'm not even sure what i could teach an old horse. what am i doing here and why was i asked to do this?

i want to go home.

ok, that was how i felt on Monday. as the week progressed i not only got in the groove with these incredibly talented artists but it was them teaching me not the other way around. as i looked around the class Monday morning there were six very accomplished artist waiting to see what i could teach them. my first exercise was to have them paint something in a day. no, not your throw the paint on the sailcloth, but give me something you'd consider one of your best. in a day. (you should have seen the look on their faces.) and with that i sat back and watched these peeps create what i can only describe as magnificent works of art. i'd love to post just one canvas but for privacy reasons i won't.
it was clear by the end of a hour seven without any breaks - no, not one person wanted to stop and have lunch, oh no, not this group. some stood, some sat, and some were all over the place as they all created their masterpiece. but not one nude. not one single nude was painted. now i know what it is i can teach them. i love nude drawing/painting! i was so jazzed i couldn't stand myself. so i quickly called a friend of mine who is a popular nude model and asked if she could show up early Wednesday through Friday. first we would work on creating a background of their choice, which took all of tuesday. (some of these pieces were so gorgeous it took my breath away.) early wednesday i instructed and demonstrated the fine art of nude drawing, painting and everything in between.

by the end of this week each artist had created something that was totally out of their comfort zone. which in my opinion is the very cornerstone to exploring and expanding the talent of an artist. my head is spinning from learning all the techniques and magic these artist demonstrated and trust me, if you ever want to see real raw talent, just get a bunch of accomplished artist together for a week and watch them work. it's been nothing shy of magic to my eyes.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

it just occurred to me....


#springforward #sunshine

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

yada yada yada..

Chris Rose. i haven't thought of him in ages.. which is really just as well. years before Katrina, Chris was a writer for the paper chasing local hollywood types and reporting on anything he could embellish with his clever wording. Chris and his wife Kelly and a few hundred of my closest friends gathered every year for Mardi Gras at the same location at Milan and St. Charles. we both had friends who lived in the apartments right behind our ladders which served as the perfect spot to hang before the parades and catch up on whatever came to our minds while we juggled Popeye's in one hand and two beers in the other. 

when Katrina hit, Chris saw the perfect opportunity to break away from his celebrity reporting and skillfully write passages about the aftermath of the storm and how it's furious wrath inflicted itself on his perfect life. there was no doubt he was talented at crafting stories that pulled at our heartstrings and made us laugh at the ridiculous. and it wasn't just the residents but the rest of the country seemed to hang on every word he published. he won a Pulitzer Prize for his personalized account of Katrina and wrote a book "One Dead in The Attic". i can remember right after the storm reading his column hoping to find out any news i could about businesses and beloved sections of the city in hopes they had been spared from Katrina's evil. it was a very dark time for me and any outlet was better than the hell i was dealing with at home. my siblings and my parents lost everthing and weeks after the storm the stress and heartache took my daddy's life and because of all that, my moms as well.

the following February the Mardi Gras parades rolled; we were thrilled to escape for a few stolen hours away from all the drama that consumed our lives. Chris and Kelly and their three adorable children were stationed at their usual spot next to me. with sorrowful eyes Chris asked.. "so how did you cats make out with it ?" my world was too much to bear and share so i just shrugged my shoulders and replied "like everyone else i suppose".

time marched on and my siblings rebuilt as did most of the families we knew who lost everything. but Chris.. well he was still carrying on as though Katrina had just happened, devastating his life and ripping up his home like something from The Wizard Of Oz. truth is, he made out just fine and Kelly evacuated to the North Shore with the kids. the following year he continued his depressing Katrina saga with a one man documentary that was basically a reenactment of his book. half way through the show my sister Margaret stood up, announced to our row that she had enough and stormed out of the theater, giving us the evil eye to do the same. she was furious. she felt (and rightfully so) Chris had used our tragedy (and when i say "our" i'm speaking for everyone affected by the hurricane) as a playground to milk his stories and aid his narcissistic agenda. 

yesterday Chris Rose and his self absorbed personality showed up on the Internets. he was being interviewed (and staying true to form) he conveyed how his life had gone to hell and it was all just too much for him to bear so he sought out comfort by way of pain killers. Kelly had enough of their marriage and left him, as did the paper. he jumped from job to job missing deadlines for local magazines and blowing threw money lent to him by generous folks. eventually he took up waiting tables hoping someone, anyone would recognize him and throw bouquets his way for one brief curtain call.

just the mere mention of his name brings back a flood of memories i'd just soon forget. time has marched on and so have i. as for my family, we refuse to be stuck in some sort of time capsule from the storm. besides, there is just too much life out there to live and i intend on doing just that.


since the ten year anniversary of Katrina is coming up i've decided that instead of reminiscing i'm going back to my volunteer work with Meals on Wheels. i called my connection this morning and signed up for every Wednesday to deliver the goods in chilly Gentilly to the elderly. sometimes the best medicine is to help others and what better way than to reach out to those who are lonely and could use a hug along with a delicious warm plate of New Orleans love.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

send a masseuse, please.

Early Monday morning (Lundi Gras) I hopped on a plane headed for Aspen, Colorado.

If you're not in shape, snowboarding will kick you in the twat.

Tomorrow I'll post a Mardi Gras post but I'm so sore that even typing this little bit is a struggle.
WAH! :'(

Monday, February 9, 2015

the cutest thing ever..


hope everyone's day was as beautiful as today's weather.  xo


maybe it's time i get a kitten.  :-)

Sunday, February 8, 2015

and now this from my soapbox:

it dawned on me today how much my blog reading has dwindled down to a small pilot light. and that's remarkable considering how many i used to read in just one day, most of which were local blogs around town.
why am i bringing this up? well today i was skimming through my reader (holds all the blogs i follow) and there they all were, post after post after post, complaining and berating some poor soul who they feel is a complete moron or loser because surly they could do a better job, right? i'm not talking about a once in a while bitch session, oh no, it's constant. i suppose it's all about the slander and making whoever the target is appear as tiny as the roaches that live in my walls. how i see it, it's easy to tear someone down if you really don't have a pressure filled job, one that pounds on your back most of the day. and lets face it, real pressure isn't sitting in a nice air condititoned room pecking at the keys while your nextdoor neighbor is at the hospital with her child who's in intensive care. now that's pressure people.

i can't help but wonder if any of these bloggers were in some sort of public spotlight how they'd handle the everyday stress and pressure like those idiots they so cleverly write about.

probably not very well.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

thought of the day

maybe music with strangers is the path to world peace. 

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Blonde Moment #1

how could i resist not posting something about Bensongate? seriously, it's all so bizarre it makes my head hurt. do i have to pick a side? Gayle or Rita? sure, that's easy, i'm going with Gayle. i mean, first off, it's not rita's team.. HELLO... IT'S_NOT_HER_FREAKIN'_TEAM!
sorry charlie, whether you, me or anyone else likes it or not her grandfather, Mr. Benson can do anything he damn well pleases. but if i'm completely honest here, i think the real reason i'm so miffed with spoiled rotten brat poo-poo pants Rita is because even if she doesn't win her law suit, she still gets 400 million dollars.
i mean come on Shriners, how much do ya really need to be happy? 400 million certainly would work for me.

but hey, it's their fight, let'em duke it out but my chip is on Mr. and Mrs Benson. yep, no judge is going to want to give this team to Rita so she can turn around and sell us the next day. can you imagine the long term consequences for that judge? lawd!

so, now that i've gotten that out of the way, lemme tell you about my little Rita Benson LeBlanc story. i'm pretty sure i've even written a post on this a long time ago but i'm too lazy to go back and find it.

and it definitely should be filed under:

                        Blonde Moment #1


the year was 2009 (or 2008) and i was in Atlanta to watch the Saints play the dirty birds. minding my own business, heading to my room i hopped on a crowded elevator.....

lady: "WOW I love your boots! Where did you get them?"
me:   "oh a while ago in New York, thank you."
lady:  "Figures, New York always has such great finds."
me   "i can see by your sweater you must be a Saints fan"

zero response. zilch, zip, nada. absolutely nothing. **crickets**

she gave me the 2 blink stare and quickly exited the elevator with her friend.

the doors closed and everyone in the elevator howled with laughter. perplexed, i asked (to no one in particular) if i had said something wrong. the guy next to me chuckled and informed me it was Rita Benson LeBlanc.


Wednesday, January 28, 2015

The Gayarré Place Monument which is really a Chinese House.

growing up on Bayou St. John had many advantages, one was my grandparents (on each side) lived within 2 blocks from one another on Esplanade Ave. if you're familiar with the area it's just a few minutes away but also as with all parts of New Orleans, worlds apart.
every sunday we jumped from one house to the other and always there was food, laughter and plenty of hugs. my secret part of the day was to see the "Chinese House"   it wasn't really a house but a statue, but you could never convince me of that.
a few weeks ago i passed the statue and it struck me that i had no clue of it's history. i had to laugh at myself because i'm just curious by nature and i never bothered to look into this. well..i knew exactly who to contact: a Twitter friend Jen aka @blathering who is a walking New Orleans encyclopedia. if she doesn't know, no one does. (and she's pretty handy at research as well) so here's the poop on the Chinese House:
There's a small triangular park bordered by Esplanade Avenue, Bayou Road and North Tonti known as Gayarre' Place, honoring New Orleans historian Charles Etienne Gayarre'. Just across the avenue at 2306 Esplanade is the house in which French impressionist painter Edgar Degas lived during his stay in New Orleans with his Musson relatives. At the center of Gayarre's park is a statue atop a terra-cotta base representing the Goddess of History - Genius of Peace. The original monument (before its relocation on Esplanade) was displayed at the 1884 New Orleans World's Industrial and Cotton Centennial Exposition. 

so. there is is. it's not a Chinese house after all. i'm a little upset over this new found information, and i'm sure no one gives a flip that it's not what i always thought it was.
tell you what, you can believe it's a statue representing the Goddess of History and i'll contine believing it's a Chinese house.

there. i feel much better now. 


Thursday, January 22, 2015

move outta my way!

there's so much going on in the news lately my head wants to explode. so in light of that, i'd like to share with you my latest adventure: Sam's Club. yep, you heard right, Sam's. have you been? am i the only person on the planet that's never strolled down it's enormous isles of mega food offerings? (i'm betting so)

last week i had the chance of a lifetime (insert sarcasm) to take a drive with my neighbor over to the country (Slidell) and walk through the pearly gates of Sam's. HOLY HELL! what in the world is going on here? i mean, i get that if you own a restaurant or maybe have an extra room or two to store a flat of toilet paper... but gezum. i had to laugh out loud when i came across a 60 pound bad of red beans. 60 POUNDS! i'm telling you, i've never seen so much bulk in one place before.

ok, i can see you rolling your eyes, but hey, it was my first visit and it was quite a shock. that being said, i had nothing in my giant buggy except enough Windex to keep the Hyatt windows sparkly clean. and there it was.. i knew in an instant it had to be mine.
that's right. this bad boy went home with me.
there's something freeing about pushing those tiny pedals while the pleather ribbons fly in the air. Mr. Theard our lovable mailman just smiled and waved at me as i passed him. i gave him a little "ring-ring" with my nifty bell thingy and offered him a lift on my backboard but he declined with a shake of his head. 

some people just don't know how to have fun i suppose. that's ok... i'm betting sometime today he's going to think back and regret his decision.

Monday, January 12, 2015

summer love

seriously? 4 months?
well, i need to do something about that.
but until then i'll just post this fun pic since my mind is on summer and i'm sick of winter and anything that has to do with it. blech.

so.... i was just about to title this post "summer love' when this oldie but goodie popped in my head. and now i can't stop singing it. O.O

see... i haven't lost my ability to annoy. :p


Tuesday, September 9, 2014

just another day

back when i was little, i remember a flower in the florist shop they called "birds of paradise" ~ those bright spikey flowers with orange beaks and such. they seemed like they were real birds to me.

so if the birds were real, it stood to reason that paradise was real too. right?

brainstorming, i wasn't sure what to believe. the closest thing that resembled paradise was Bayou St. John and my beloved park across the street. but there were no birds of paradise to be found among the lush gardens in City Park,  nor the peaceful waterway of Bayou St. John.

so, given the wild imagination i was blessed with, it was settled that the colorful flowers were on holiday at the florist shop and they promised to return to my beloved bayou and park when it was time to make their way home to paradise.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

some fun facts. ;-)

i just read this on the internets and had to share! enjoy.

Everyone knows that New Orleans is a fun town. That’s a world-famous gimme. You also probably know that there’s amazing food, nightlife, and music, too, not to mention an ingrained, intractable attitude of celebratory weirdness and passion you won’t find in any other city on the face of the Earth. That said, it might be surprising to know that some people are simply better at being New Orleanians than others. Here’s what the most awesome among us are doing right, and how you can at least attempt to be as fantastic as they are:

1. They are helpful to tourists
Yep. A tough one for some. But like the service industry, New Orleans wouldn’t be what it is without tourism, and we’re thankful for it. If you need help with directions or similar information, natives are almost unfailingly happy to help. And if your information request involves food, you might want to settle in for a long conversation.

2. They also embrace the fact that Carnival season ensures glitter is EVERYWHERE
You can’t escape it. It’s going to wind up on your clothes, your skin, probably in your breakfast cereal, and it’s nearly impossible to completely get rid of. So you may as well just accept that fact and be happy that you’re in a place in which this isn't necessarily considered a problem.

3. They wave people through in traffic
This might seem like a trivial detail, but it’s not. With a lackluster public transit system (to say the least), there are a lot of drivers sharing the pothole-riddled roads of the Crescent City. And since it’s too hot for road rage, just letting somebody in ahead of you is an easy way to love thy New Orleans neighbor.

4. They treat service folks kindly
Being rude to your waiter isn’t going to make you look like a big shot in the Big Easy. In fact, it’s just the opposite; doing so is considered a deeply grave faux pas here, one that will have people questioning your parents’ parenting skills, no matter how old you are. The service industry is vital to this city, and so are the people who make that industry hum.

5. They own more than one wig
Surprising? Well, in a city like this, you never know when a good costume will be suddenly necessary, and that all starts with the wig.

6. They know their neighbors
There are weird parts of America in which people live and go about their daily routines while consciously avoiding the people who live closest to them. New Orleans is not one of those places.

7. They are experts at hurricane preparedness and evacuation
The threat of city-wide annihilation by divine wrath is very real and serious here. Hurricane parties can be a blast, but the best of us know when and how to get out of town when a big one is building in the Gulf, and they also have plenty of fresh water, food, and booze to see them through whatever happens.

8. They say hello to one another
Even if -- no, especially if -- they don’t know each other. If you’re walking down the street in New Orleans and you’re not greeted by a handful of “Aw-right”s and “How you doin'”s, you might have something very alarming going on with your appearance. So you should probably have that checked out.
9. They love the Saints
Because there isn’t really fair weather in New Orleans, there should be no fair-weather fans. QED. We bleed black and gold through thick and thin (lest we forget the bag-head days of the “Aints”), and never forget to bless our boys. The Pelicans and the Zephyrs are also pretty great, but sadly, they lack Drew Brees, Jimmy Graham, and the spectacularly bearded Rob Ryan.

10. They avoid the perils of the French Quarter
Generally the chintzy souvenir shops, street hustlers, and most of Bourbon St, and specifically the unspeakably toxic brew that fills the 300-year-old potholes, among other things.

11. They do not avoid or shun parishes that are not Orleans
Living in the Marigny or the Garden District or Mid-City is awesome, but every now and again, you’ll find yourself headed to the West Bank, Metairie, or Kennah (brah). There are actually some great things to be found there. It’s true. You should seek them out.

12. They know what it means...
“To miss New Orleans”, or so the song goes. The best New Orleanians, it turns out, are almost always ones that, even despite this city’s numerous (and often very public) flaws, couldn’t possibly imagine living anywhere else.

13. ... but they don’t pester native New Orleanians with diatribes about “what New Orleans is”
If you’re a transplant to NOLA from somewhere that is not NOLA (and hence not nearly as wonderful, of course), we’re happy to have you! You’re what helps make New Orleans the fastest-growing city in the nation. But don’t think that because you moved here after Katrina and have lived in Bywater for four whole years that you’re some kind of expert on what makes this city what it is.

14. They have a partying transportation game plan
Drunk driving is NOT cool. Getting home safely is VERY cool. Awesome New Orleanians know how to have a great time all night long without doing something as stupid as getting behind the wheel of a vehicle when they are toasted. Also, cabbies usually have great stories.

15. They hold their hooch
It’s like a mantra in New Orleans that drinking here is a marathon, not a sprint. We don’t get wasted early in the night by doing seven tequila shots and then projectile vomiting on the dance floor before the main act even takes the stage.

16. They support the arts
Whether it’s the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, the folk artist who lives up the block, or that weird guy who is producing an all transgender bounce rap opera about Huey P. Long, excellent New Orleanians dig the local arts scene.
This needs no further explanation.

18. They know how to make a roux
This is how good things always begin in these parts. If someone knows how to properly execute a roux without burning it, it’s a certainty that whatever follows is going to be pretty spectacular. If you’ve ever experienced a real crawfish étouffée, you’ll agree.

19. They bring beer
There are few events in life that cannot be improved upon by showing up with a cooler of cold beer -- parades, crawfish boils, Little League games, you name it. Highly effective New Orleanians know this.

20. They embrace the heat
This is a place where 92 degrees and 75% humidity is considered a mild August day. No one wants to hear someone else whine about the heat... we’re hot, too. We’re in this together. Instead of complaining, how about offering me some of that cold beer (see above)? Or better still, a daiquiri or a frozen Irish coffee?

21. They are super-fantastic at celebrating Mardi Gras
There are rules to the greatest free party in the world, and the best of the best know them by heart. You should, too.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

the perfect recipe

lately i've been thinking about taking a trip sometime next fall. just the thought automatically sends my mind into an autopilot tailspin of various thoughts and colorful daydreams.
instantly I start to jot down my ideas which normally fall into categories of things to see and do and the best places to bring my ever growing appetite. inevitably somewhere in those rambling lists I'll print in bold letters, "BOOKSTORE".
every trip I'll seek out the local bookstore, i think those are the best kind. they're filled with gobs of information and almost always have the friendliest staff. come to think of it, i've never met an unfriendly bookstore employee. ever. they're always helpful and willing to share whatever you need to know about the town you're in. but for me, it's always about the food from their location on the map. just point me towards the local cookbook section and I'll try not to stay all day.
collecting cookbooks has been a hobby of mine since I was a teenager. my little friends who adorn my bookcases vary from regions all over the world. so as odd as this may sound, i'm planning my next trip to somewhere I've never been; a place who's cookbook has been waiting to take up residence on my shelf. so as i peruse my collection it's clear to me i'm in dire need of the perfect Moussaka recipe and the more i think about it, Moussaka would be a perfect fall dish. ;-)

Saturday, July 26, 2014

blonde moment #503,60222,053,6403

i thought i had heated up a small cup of homemade dressing. it looked perfect, slathered all over my toasty roastbeast sandwich..
much to my surprise it was horseradish sauce.  O.O

next time i'll put on my reading glasses.


Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Fact #729

when people complain about the summer heat in New Orleans.
it's hot in the summer. always has been, always will be.
if you're that miserable, i suggest you move.
besides, it could always be worse .....
it could be wet, freezing and windy.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

just say no.

i don't enjoy listening to the radio while i drive.
there. i said it.

i'm probably the only person on the planet who feels this way... i'm sure of it. why you ask? well, usually because i spend too much time bouncing around the stations searching for something i enjoy listening to. oh sure, i'll stumble upon a song, but then it's over and i'm left feeling down because i can't find another tune i like half as much as the one before. sort of like when you're engulfed in a really good book and you're at the last chapter and you see there are only 4 more pages left. i hate that.
for years now i listen to nothing but the little wheels in my head. you'd be amazed at what i can accomplish while driving. I bet the lists i come up with would put novelist Umberto Eco to shame. on the flip side, it drives my two sons bonkers. "mom, how can you stand it? i can't believe you don't listen to the radio. what do you do listen to if you don't listen to music?" my reply is always the same. "oh i just listen to my lovely thoughts (taps forehead) don't worry, i'm in good company." then the eye rolls start and i have to giggle to myself.

why is it so hard for most people to drive without turning on the radio? i suggest the next time you climb into your car, make a resolution not to turn on the radio for the duration of your trip. i'm willing to guess one of three things will happen: A) you'll have organized your entire day. B) you'll remember where you put those darn scissors you spent all morning searching for. C) some guy at the light will laugh hysterically at you because he caught you having a nice conversation with yourself.

and then the turd drives off shaking his head. hmph.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

up on the roof

when i was in seventh grade my best friend Lynn and i would steal a few of her moms cigarettes, climb out of her bedroom window and onto her roof facing Bayou St. John. from there we could hear her mother sing Nancy Sinatra songs as we lit up and did our best not to cough as we enjoyed our stolen smokes. we counted the cars on the other side of the bayou driving down Wisner and made up stories about where they might be going. sometimes we'd see a duck swimming solo in the dark and wonder if he was lost. many of those summer nights we would bring our dinner up to the roof and stay there until the sun sank beneath the horizon and the first stars would slowly come out and do their magic.
we spent many summer nights sitting on Lynn's roof. her mom was always trying to find us, but her voice sounded muffled and so small that it was easy to ignore. the beauty of being on the roof is that no one ever thinks to look for you up there. sometimes i even think that we shed our childhood and grew up hidden away on Lynn's roof with Nancy Sinatra distantly serenading us.