Richard, You Crazy Bastard.

It was my Dad’s birthday recently and I couldn’t help but think of him extra fondly this evening when I was stirring a fresh jar of peanut butter. I’m ridiculously picky about my peanut butter, generally saying “No, thank you” to anything other than my chosen brand and texture. The brand that, incidentally, they do not sell in the New Orleans area. Or nowhere I’ve looked anyway. And I’ve looked. Extensively. It is called Crazy Richard’s. You should go find some, or maybe if you are lucky I will share some of my own stash.

The thing is that it is natural, and the oil separates at the top so you have to spend a solid few minutes stirring the viscous contents of the jar and it is kind of messy and sort of annoying. (And by sort of I mean HUGELY INCONVENIENT.) When I’m home my dad would always make sure to stir the new jar of peanut butter before I got my hands on it. Ahhh, Dad…such a pal. Got me off the Skippy ways of my sugar -coated youth and onto the good stuff.

The thing is, I first started eating this peanut butter with my parents so I don’t really know how they came across this particular variety. It was a hard transition from the sweet (to my palate now, wayyyy too sweet) peanut butter of my childhood that was packed with extra sugar and who knows what other crap to this natural, almost hard to eat, spread. But one day, I found myself working from the lightest of smears on my thin toast to really full on enjoying the natural peanut butter. Fun fact, I only eat the crunchy kind. And these days, I’ll just put a spoon in there and go for it. Especially if there is a cold glass of milk nearby. Yum.

Anyway, a lot of the “natural” stuff at the market now includes fun phrases like “no stir” and that is totally bullshit because in order to make the compounds that naturally separate stay together you have to add chemicals so I am not sure what is natural about that.

One time I attempted to fly back to New Orleans with some extra peanut butter and my mom had a GREAT idea for helping me fit a few of the sealed plastic jars into my carry on bag. (Carry on because they charge you so much money to check a bag. Like really, what the fuck. And then you have to wait for it at baggage claim, the pits.) I was about to give up due to space constraints and I was under a little bit of stress as it was because I always get a little wet eyed when leaving home even though I love it down here. I was not my most fun self. That time, amid my panic and belated packing, Mom came to the rescue. She found a GREAT spot for the extra goodies – in my running sneakers! It took a little shoving and some kind words of encouragement, but in a very short amount of time I had two, maybe three containers of my coveted Crazy Richard’s in my crowded bag and I was en route to the airport. Bon Voyage, East Coast, I’m coming home.

Well, as it turns out, the security guy was not having it. Nothing says “contraband” like being shoved inside a sneaker. I attempted to explain that I wasn’t hiding it but that I was just trying to fit the peanut butter in my already full-to-the-max bag. I also noted that it was sealed and although there was a bit of liquid at the top, I didn’t really think chunky peanut butter is, in fact, a liquid. That guy, what a tool. I lost the battle and was directed to check my bag if I so chose. I did not (have I ever?) have time for such an adventure and had to throw my beloved into the trash bin next to me. Ugh, I am still annoyed when I think of that guy.

Next time, my parents were super duper sweet and sent me a care package FULL of peanut butter so I’m pretty well stocked. Okay, not really, I’m down to three. THREE!!!! It is almost time to up my peanut butter game. Crazy Richard, I’m coming for you.

Tall Dark and Handsome

Mardi (party.) Gras edition. In case you live in the regular world, it is Carnival and that means costume is the dress code and you are lame if you don’t get down with it. Costumes also help with bold behavior and bad pick up lines. They kind of go hand in hand. Also, people basically always have a drink or whatever substance du jour so there is a solid lubricant for funny things to be said to strangers (or ex boyfriends).

We threw an awesome party on Friday, and I was all about having a good time that night, surrounded by my best friends who all looked super fierce. Sometimes-no-more Boyfriend was there with his new Skanky Ho and that was annoying but its Mardi Gras and sometimes you just have to deal with it. Of course I wanted to vomit when he was spanking her ass and grunting in line in front of me waiting for Deep Fried Photo because that is just rude. Although, I remedied the situation by imagining pulling her wig off and getting into some crazy lady fight in the movie montage sort of way. As much fun as it would be to go all Heathers on her, this is 2015 and that is apparently not okay. Also he was being disgusting but in slight defense he didn’t know I was behind him during said spanking and grunting (vomit) and once he turned around they decided to quit on the line and that was a good call on their part. (Win.)

After we took some killer photos, I was walking toward the main stage and this guy, we’ll call him Puffy Coat Guy, was going the opposite way. He stopped me to tell me how beautiful I am and asked where my boyfriend was. Since he was Puffy Coat Guy and thus not in costume (lame-o fratty boy) I was not impressed but said I don’t have a boyfriend. I was in no mood to hear the word boyfriend since I was trying incredibly hard to not let Sometimes Boyfriend and Skanky Ho ruin my night. I responded with a general Go Fuck Yourself tone and offered a smirky not-so-sexy laugh because I was now on the receiving end of the worst pick up line ever. But then, to my (eh) surprise he said “well then we should make out because I’m super hot.” He actually said that about himself. So now he’s upped the game and I like his confidence. Since he was actually hot (although also a total douche) and had no mouth sores waving a red flag, I went for it. There’s me and I’m making out with some stranger. I wonder if he used this apparently successful line on some other girl later

Fast-forward awhile and this gorgeous girl said a version of the same thing! I laughed way cuter for her “where’s your boyfriend” comment because she was super pretty and you’ve got to respect the ladies. And, for the record, she was an equally good kisser and I mentally high fived myself before continuing to dance.

Saturday was Valentine’s Day. Great. I had an invite plus one to a bad ass party and no one to go with. You know what is cool about not having even a friend date? I met a boy! He lives Uptown I know this because he swore he would remember my number without writing it down, and I was shocked when he actually did. He had zero lame pick up lines but an amazingly sexy accent and sent me a text around midnight (because he could remember my phone number) and it read “Tall dark and handsome, we kissed passionately at MOMs Ball. You live in Mid City and I live Uptown.” But per usual, I had ran away and didn’t see the text until the next day.

Kissing is fun. But guess what happened later! I accidentally left my phone (damn you, phone!!) in the cab on the way home from the parades yesterday. After resetting my password (again) for the iCloud thing, I successfully tracked my phone – thanks for the lesson, Emily – as it drove around the city. So frustrating. I put a message with my address on it and prayed that with 7%… then 3% battery that someone would see it and help a sister out before the phone died. Around 10 AM I was sure that I would never see my phone again and I had a very sad moment when I considered that I’d never find this mysterious stranger because by the time a new phone arrived he would probably have given up on texting or calling me ever again as I realized I was busy parade-partying and didn’t write back (OH MY GOD I AM AN ASSHOLE).

Alas I am not doomed to fail miserably at everything… the doorbell rang right as I was starting to fill out the Verizon form online for a lost device and IT WAS THE CAB DRIVER! Yayyyy!!! He was like, “Hey, you forgot to pay me last night.” And I, in my fluffy pink robe, was mortified and ran upstairs to grab a wad of cash, leaving him bewildered downstairs. It turns out he was kidding – I did pay, and he was just being a super nice human and bringing me my phone. I tipped him $20 for the hassle and guess what, I have now a date! Happy Mardi Gras!

Two Dudes and All That Glitter

I live with two dudes, and you should too. Unless you can afford to live alone, and then definitely live alone. But I can’t so here we are. Me and two dudes, living the dream.

My roommates never batted an eye when Sometimes Boyfriend came around, and didn’t freak out when I was listening to the same Taylor Swift song on repeat crying and refusing to wear anything but a robe in the aftermath. They never ask where I’ve been or when I’m coming home. They may say that they don’t like glitter but they are always happy and friendly when my girlfriends come over to get dressed and are quite used to there being a pile of girls and clothes on my bed. One of them came out to use the bathroom late night and actually asked me the next day if he was dreaming or was I lounging around in the living room with a bunch of ladies in lingerie. (I was by the way.)

They may laugh when I use the word perishables and not do anything productive around the house but I’ve figured out the sweet spot. I buy the toilet paper and paper towels and trash bags and then just add it to the monthly bills and then I never have to have a conversation about why it is never okay to buy single ply toilet paper. I do have to remind them to please not put perishables in the bathroom trashcan unless they can remember to take it out. Seriously. Tissues and dental floss don’t go bad so it just sits longer than in the kitchen. Other than that, there is zero drama. I don’t think either of them have a lover though, so the action in this apartment has officially reached ZERO. But on that note, when I was happily and blissfully enjoying my Sometimes Boyfriend no one ever complained about all that. Nor did the give any fucks if they came home and I was having “lunch” midday with the boy.

Also we don’t have a TV so they can’t occupy the living room 24/7. No TV is key for having boy roommates. A TV is a deal breaker because next thing you know you have two boy roommates and they probably like video games and then they finally meet a girl and she’s over all the time too watching TV and cuddling. (I only watch TV when I have a boyfriend because I love to cuddle and will basically watch TV for hours just to enjoy the company. Except House of Cards. I do and will watch all of that, alone on my computer in my bed. And I did watch ALL of Six Feet Under when I had a TV with HBO in college, and okay, I also watched every season of Gossip Girl but for that I blame my sister.) But once I’m single, which is basically all the time and maybe forever, I just read books. The entire Twilight series got me through a rough breakup a few years ago but now I’m out of teen fiction and have to stick to the literature when I can’t sleep. Or my blog. Because now I have AndreasBananas and that is great.

This very morning as I stood covered in glitter with my leotard around my waist wearing fishnets and a bra chugging water and eating a banana while I waited for my English Muffin to toast and there was zero surprise from my roommate, no questions asked, because hell, its Carnival and that is life.

Yes, I have to suffer through ukulele practicing and country singing and share a bathroom with two dudes. We’ve definitely had words about why it is not okay to smoke pot and take a long shit and then shower at 8:30 AM when everyone needs to use the bathroom to get to work. It is the equivalent of me taking a bath at that hour, which I do not do. I save that for hotels and my parent’s house – all glorious things to look forward to.

Sure they don’t realize that the toilet just doesn’t clean itself but they are appreciative when they come home and more noticeable things are clean. AND if I remind them, they will even take out the trash.

Okay so maybe not just ANY dudes, but if you must life with boys, mine are pretty okay sometimes.

How Hard Do You Like It?

Hey, now. Get your hands out of your pants, I’m talking about Jell-O. But not the regular sugar/flavor/water kind either, this is about the fun kind. The kind that you couldn’t imagine in your youth while getting excited about the Jell-O Jigglers recipe that Bill Cosby was singing about. I’m talking about shots. Jell-O shots in case you are not following.

A few years ago a friend of mine was hosting a St. Patrick’s Day party at her house near the Irish Channel parade route and I was more than excited to participate by bringing libations and/or food because I love to cook. I was in the Susie Homemaker stage of post-breakup (this was the first break up of the he-who-would-become Sometimes Boyfriend saga) and I was pretty sure that I was no longer heartbroken and definitely game to create something spectacular for the affair. Fortunately for me, my prayers were answered. Someone found a recipe for Irish Car Bomb Jell-O shots and shared the link on the Facebook event and voila, I was all signed up to make them. Shortly thereafter, I was avoiding screaming children while attempting to navigate my cart down the scary aisles of Wal-Mart because I was told from a friend that I could find the correct size plastic cups with lids there.

Here’s the gist of it. You don’t use Jell-O, you use (gasp) gelatin to get the texture and the whole recipe gets made in two parts. The first part is the Guinness part. You have to let that set in the refrigerator all the way before adding the second part, the Jameson and Bailey’s mixture, that becomes the top layer. Very exciting, I know. But here’s the catch. The recipe gives you a range of gelatin to liquid proportion “depending on how hard you like your Jell-O.” And honestly, I really didn’t have an answer to this. I looked at the recipe again and thought about it. The end result was “I guess pretty hard?” I didn’t want it runny and I really had no point of reference because the Jell-O brand kind gives very specific instructions that I doubt I’ve ever strayed from. (Because it is literally the sugar mixture and hot + cold water.) I know I wasn’t 100% on this but what the hell, its festive and for a party and I’m making them! Wohoo!

It turns out, you do not like Jell-O very hard. You want it less hard as evidenced by the bottom layer of my Irish Car Bomb shots. I mean that part was rough to take down. It was chewy. Ugh. I mean really you had to use some chompers on it. Thanks to everyone who battled through the bottom layer because, well, they did look very cool. On the upside, the top layer was a little runny. This basically came because I had less gelatin leftover in the box than for the first layer and I decided “to Hell with this recipe” and put the whole bottle of Jameson in the recipe thus extra diluting the ratio. This worked out because the bottom hard layer could just get tossed out with the cup and we could all just enjoy the pudding-like Jamo & Bailey’s treat on top. Win.

This brings me to today. Well not actually today, yesterday to be accurate. It is Carnival and last night, my dear friend was in charge of leading a group (again) to make 1,000 Jell-O shots so that we can all have a grand old time while we parade. Fortunately for her, I arrived fresh with a positive attitude because, let me tell you, I probably made 50 (100?) of the others and it seemed like a lot at the time. I just browsed through my phone and social media but I can’t figure it out because even though I know I took a photo, it seems to have been taken before my Instagram account. I’ve told you, technology – not my thing.

Regardless, what I AM good at – is organizing and making Jell-O shots. I fresh attitude and some tunes and a few friends and BAM! 1,000 Jell-O shots fill another New Orleans refrigerator and we keep calm and party on. For all of you newbies out there, it is a 1-1 ratio so get your vodka out and start mixing it with some simmering water and colorful flavoring, I promise it won’t be too hard.

Bad Science

Disclaimer: In case you are not aware, I am not a scientist, nor have I completed any research on the following subject aside from being a participant in life. For better or worse, I am alive and thus am in the midst of the biggest experiment of them all – my own.

Here is my point – I am annoyed by the amount of “studies” that keep popping up in my news feed about how one glass of wine has the health equivalent of an hour at the gym (or some variation thereof). Because, well, that is a big pile of steaming shit.

Yeah, I’m calling out the bullshit. The titles of these articles are misleading and are being jokingly (or seriously??) spread around the internet to all of us who love to get our drink on as a “high five!” and “you go, girl!” for getting down on a glass of wine every night.

But you know what, kids? Most of the people high fiving are not having a glass, they are having a bottle, so no high five to me. I literally will drink that whole bottle, it will more than likely be a nice bottle and enjoy the hell out of it. And then, do you know what? I will go work out the next day. Maybe twice.

I do not keep my svelte figure by drinking a glass of wine a day. I keep my figure tight by being a bad-ass at cooking healthy and delicious and hitting up Pure Barre many times per week and then tack on multiple miles of jogging and biking to that routine. Of course it is only fair to factor in genetics, because lets face it, I was set up for a pretty rockin’ bod if I put my mind to it so I’m not going to discount the luck of the draw.

If I cut out an hour of exercise because I decided to have just one glass of wine per night, I would not get nearly enough physical activity to sustain my mental or physical health. (Spoiler: I’m not currently getting laid.) I use my jogs to burn through calories and clear my head and Pure Barre to tone everything else. Mentally and physically, I require workouts and I’d probably go crazy without it. Literally bat shit cray.

I DO enjoy a glass of wine sometimes. And okay, while it usually ends in a bottle (two?), it does not always. And MAYBE that one glass of wine is good for my heart and possibly can be construed as a lovely relaxant to take away the stress of life (LEGALIZE POT ALREADY!!) and aid in better sleep habits but I don’t know if that is “equivalent” in health benefits to one hour at the gym. Sounds pretty fishy.

Since this is my experiment, I can’t weigh the two because I don’t drink one glass of wine every day, certainly don’t sleep 8 hours every day and I also don’t have a “control group” second version of myself to compare it to. And without that, it is BAD SCIENCE.

I Woke Up Like This.

It is not really a Monday in recent history if I don’t still have the stench of another night of drunk chatting with my mom and shoving Chinese food down my face. (If you are keeping track, you can add drunk dialing my mom to the list of why my phone is a total asshole.)

In case you are not familiar with bourbon, Chinese food and glitter, let me share. The combination of all of those things results in a morning look is a very special version of “I woke up like this” and comes with a side of duck sauce. Definitely don’t rub your eyes.

I caught a glimpse of myself in the bathroom mirror around 6:30 AM looking an awful lot like Ke$ha circa 2010. I guess worse things have happened. She’s kind of a hottie. I bet she spends a lot of time to look this fabulous yet disheveled and I mastered it with very minimal effort. Just a solid sprinkling of silver glitter and some fake eyelashes before dance rehearsal, followed by some boozy Super Bowl “watching” and then simply passing out all kinds of early in all of my clothes. (I use that description very liberally as I wasn’t wearing that much to begin with.) And of course, after a lovely feast of chicken and rice I was out for a solid ten hours of sleeping that really helped with the bed head.

I feel like things are going great, considering. The last Chinese adventure I had to call a cab to take me across town in order to achieve my take-out decadence. That was both expensive and kind of pathetic. And by pathetic I mean totally awesome in a sad way. In comparison, last night was fairly straightforward. At a reasonable hour, you can pick from any of the establishments that deliver to your neighborhood.

Of course I did get to wake up next to my best friend this morning, and although I felt like total poop, there is some comfort in there being a second person next to you equally hating the rude arrival of morning, and of course, of Monday.

Now, it is highly unlikely that if my broken heart was on the mend with a new love interest that I’d have managed to wake up looking this fierce, but anything is possible. Its kind of a shame that all of this hot sexiness (cough cough) was wasted without a good morning romp, but I digress. We are talking about glitter and Chinese food again here. No boys allowed.

But hey! We’ve already established that it is Monday so now I have all week to clean up, go for runs, hit up Pure Barre and be a regular human for a stint. Huzzah!

Is it weird that I am hungry right now? I think so. Someone bring me a bagel from the east coast. Thanks.