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.
 
17. LIVE. LOCAL. MUSIC.
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.

wah.

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.





Monday, July 7, 2014

blonde moment #03,66935,053

this morning i dropped my iphone. no biggie, i've done it a million times but instead of paying the iphone doctor mega bucks to fix it, i thought the auto glass shop 4 blocks away could prolly do it for a better price.

em. i suppose that was a wasted trip. 

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

buh bye

do you know how long it takes to delete 14,524 emails? exactly 12.9 minutes
oh, by the way ... you have to go into your "trash" folder to delete them forever. seriously worth the effort. :-)

Monday, June 30, 2014

pizza nazi


there's no denying it but i ADORE pizza. so much so that when i renovated my kitchen, i went through great lengths to have a state of the art pizza oven built. (you can't imagine what a fiasco this little project was.) so i'm pretty fussy about my pizza when i'm out and about looking for that delicious baked bread with the gooey cheese on top paired with a nice wine of significant volume. (aka a jug of wine)

last weekend i decided to venture out to Freret St. and try two pizza joints i've never been to. first was Midway Pizza, it's just a stones throw away from Octavia but for a few reasons, none of which matter anymore, i've stayed away. walking in i was surprised by its spacious size, but the lighting is really poor at night and i made the mistake of not sitting at the bar since i'd much rather that then a table. i'm pretty picky with my pizza but the manager talked me into ordering 3 of their finest. seems excessive but hey, it'll never go to waste in my house and i was there strictly for a taste testing expedition.

all in all the pizza's were very good. not outstanding but pretty darn tasty.

unfortunately all three pizza's really needed to sit in the oven just a minute longer because the dough was a tad undercooked, but the toppings were generous and delicious. i was blown away with their cheese which was seriously good and the service was friendly and attentive. the wine list was basic but the servings were generous. i'll give it a solid B over all.

second on my list was Ancora Pizza which is just a block or so away from Midway. i decided to go two nights later while my mental notes from earlier were fresh in my mind.

the atmosphere was light and airy as i headed straight for the bar. i had a great view of their pizza oven, which in itself was impressive to look at. i love watching someone make a pizza and slide it back and forth with the paddle. once again, i ordered 3 of their best pizza's as advised by their staff. their prices were higher than Midway and the wine servings were ridiculously small comparatively speaking.

the service was great and i really enjoyed chatting up with the friendly manager. all three pizza's were reminiscent of ones i've had throughout Italy. bread slightly charred in areas and cheese, although outstanding, was sporadic on the pie. it was a hit or miss to get a taste with each bite, but what was most disappointing was the pizza wasn't very hot.. it was lukewarm at best. if i'm going to eat pizza, i want it to be a hot mess, not an artsy subject i'll later want to duplicate on my sailcloth. it gets a C in my book.

i'm glad i finally did this because it reaffirms why i went through all the trouble and headache to have my wood burning pizza oven built. that being said, i won't pass up an invite to either Midway or Ancora Pizza in the future ... i'll just have a little word with the prep dude when i go.

the pizza snob has spoken.
:p

Friday, June 13, 2014

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Emma


 i have news.. but first i want to go back to 5/15/12 when i wrote this post:

i've been unable to ride my scooter for weeks now. there's a momma mocking bird (Emma) who's made a nest in the back wheel so i can't move my pink powderpuff. she's a very small female who's extremely protective. if i get too close she'll fly right at my face, so i stay clear. a few times i've had a good look while she's been away to find food and there among the twigs and leaves are three precious little eggs. they remind me of Easter candy. :) i've taken a few pictures but none of them have come out because it's just too dark inside the wheel. i went to Lowe's and bought a small birdbath and placed it next to the scooter in hopes she'll use it, but so far she's not interested. i've also set out food but all my attempts to aid her have failed. i guess the best thing i can do is leave Emma alone.

this is really hard because i want to help her.  :( 
it's not easy watching a birds nest.

i think i need a new hobby.

guess who's back?! yep, little Miss Emma has returned. she's set up shop once again in the back wheel of my Vespa. she's back to her ornery self, fussing at me if i get too close. i'm going to try and get some pics this time so hopefully i'll have updates.  ;-)


Monday, June 9, 2014

#firstworldproblems


i woke up in the middle of the night in a panic because i remembered my drivers license was going to expire in a few weeks.

now i ask you.. is this a good reason to ruin a good nights sleep? certainly not. but there i was, sitting straight up in a tizzy. and how does that even happen? my drivers license isn't something i've thought about in a very long time, yet it woke me up just to remind me.

hello, monday.

grrrrr...... 

Thursday, June 5, 2014

beautiful.

sometimes a small act of kindness is all this world needs.
thank you, T.
xo

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

a new sunny chapter



finally it's summer, my favorite time of year. the rains have finally come to an end which usually means the heat will soon be arriving. i promise, you won't hear one complaint about the weather change out of me. this past semester flew by, partly because i was teaching but mainly because that's just how time is nowadays.
it was quite an adventure teaching, each day bringing challenges and new ideas that would be hard to describe. teaching such talented teenagers wasn't anything that resembled my classes i've held at my studio in the past. the difference being that before i was teaching creativity but at NOCCA i was molding it.
it's almost impossible to teach anyone to be creative, either you have it or you don't. these kids all had it but lacked the direction that would further their talents into the future talented artist i knew each one possessed. on any given day i'd walk away from my classroom with a treasure i'd learned and in the end it was me who was the real student. i won't ever forget my time at NOCCA and all my students who taught me so very much. i'm grateful beyond words.

i was asked to stay on for all of next school year but after a ridiculous amount of time i decided against it. as much as i loved and enjoyed it, the confinement of being on a ridged schedule for a year felt smothering. and instead of part time, they wanted a full time art teacher, a 7:30am to 4:30pm, 5 days a week commitment. i was deeply flattered but my free spirit had to decline. i accepted a job out of Miami Beach through an old client, one i've known for years. this new adventure will allow me to work in my New Orleans uptown studio (or at home) till the end of this calender year. my new lady boss is a la-dee-da high end interior she-she-poo-poo decorator. she sought me out and presented an incredible offer i couldn't refuse. i'd be lying if i didn't say i'm SO JAZZED ABOUT MY NEW GIG!!! ok i am. i really am. the next six months i'm taking my southern style to south Florida and giving it a Miami Beach flair. (think Lilly Pulitzer meets Honey Island Swamp)
so for the next few weeks i'm going to spend some quality time here at our beach house in WaterColor, FL soaking up the sun and sand before engrossing myself in bold oils of green and pink, incorporated by Miami Beach motifs of palm trees, flamingos and brightly colorful hibiscus. so pull out your flip-flops and put on your shades peeps cause this little termite is going to jazz up her style and open up the beach umbrella.
did someone say MARGARITA? oh yes, please.  

             


Wednesday, May 28, 2014

i bet'cha



* drew the sun in the top corner of your paper.
* closed the fridge door really slowly, just to see when the lights go off.
* tried to balance the light between ON and OFF
* thought the shape of a real heart was actually ❤️

Monday, May 26, 2014

moving on

it's funny how things change without you even realizing it. case in point: i wanted to look up an old photo i downloaded to my computer last year but i couldn't find my laptop.  last week i left my cozy home and headed to north Louisiana to visit Thing-2 who's in school there. i packed everything i needed to make my stay a bit more comfortable... or did i? where the heck was my lappy?
ok, it's true i'm almost never on my laptop anymore but surly i wouldn't forget my little buddy. i tore the hotel room apart and came up with nothing. after a brief melt down i realized i hadn't packed it at all but lent it to one of my sisters months ago. MONTHS AGO! how weird is that?
there was a time i'd spent literally hours a day on my computer and now it's been out of my life for months and i didn't even realize it or better yet, miss it. truth is, my phone is now my portable computer and i do just about everything on it except scramble eggs. (and i'm sure there's an app for that)
i don't know why i'm even writing about this but it just struck me as odd that something that was so important to me for so many years is now just a faint memory; and yes i'm writing this post from my phone as i do most of the time now.  as a matter of fact, if my older seesta wants to keep my laptop it's all hers. of course that means she'll have access to over 1,400 photos of my puppy, Jem and 1,900 photos of food and other delicacies from around town. snort.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

on the streetcar


surrounded by people talking so loudly on their cellphones i was having a hard time enjoying the ride, so i decided to pull out mine and play Alfred Brendel's Beethoven Sonatas, at full volume. moments later a beautiful old man a few rows ahead of me turned around and smiled, and from Milan Street to Washington Ave, in the midst of the noise and chaos, we listened together.



Tuesday, April 29, 2014

be nice. please.



lately something has gone terribly wrong on my beloved twitter feed. there's so much anger and bullying that i've taken a slight sabbatical. and the thing is, i keep my account private and my following low for that very reason. sure i've deleted peeps, but only if they A) become a bore B) get ugly with the termy. (not cool)

frankly, i love my twitter but if i don't agree with someone, i have no problem saying so but damn.. what i'm reading lately is way beyond any polite disagreement. what's wrong with saying you don't agree? big woo. i'm sure my super liberal friends don't like what i have to say about Obama and his policies, but so what? the fact is, i'd much rather read what the opposing team has to say than others who agree with me all the time. i just don't get all this bullying and taunting that's going on. the way twitter is set up you can read all the convo's from threads your following peeps have posted. some accounts i've just had to delete because they're just too controversial and seem to spend their day breeding hate just for the sport of it. **hits the delete button** 
i wish there was a way to block out the uglies and just keep rainbows, ladybugs and pics of last nights medley of food.

oh wait.. that's what Instagram is for. O_o

Sunday, April 27, 2014

my soul nebula

‎"The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of star stuff." ~~ Carl Sagan ~~




doing a little reading tonight on this fascinating subject. see, i have this incredible app on my phone that i'm slightly addicted to. it's called Star Walk (for iPhone) and it's the best little toy i've ever come across. all you have to do is hold your phone up to the sky, it doesn't matter if you're inside or out, just hold it up and there it outlines all the constellations and treasures in the Milky Way. you can also adjust your settings so it will give you all sorts of scoop on each one if you'd like and tons of cool information.
it looks like this:
.


if you have kids, this is a sure way to get them hooked on the mysteries in the sky. i've had this app for three or so years and i don't think in all that time a day has gone by where i don't check it just to see what's going on. sometimes i'll lay in bed for a ridiculous amount of time searching the stars and whatnots only to wake up with my phone in my bed. the other day for some reason i pointed it down to the ground... WHAT?! I COULDN'T BELIEVE MY EYES! nope.. i'm not going to tell you but it was really fascinating.

*ya know.. if you dig long enough, you'll end up in china.