Dear 2015…

Dear 2015,

I wish I could say that it’s been great and I will miss you, but that would be total and complete bullshit. The fact that 2014 ended with me toasting bubbly with my coworkers after another long holiday season in the service industry ($$$) and then welcoming 2015 by getting super sloshed at work while we cleaned up leading to a near miss of my flight home on Jan 1 suggests how pathetic you would end up. But hindsight is 20/20, right?

To be fair, the ratio of good to bad in the year that marked the 30th anniversary of my birth wasn’t so so bad, and since I don’t have a television, I’ve been spared a lot of the past 6 month’s political discourse that social media tells me consists heavily of people saying stupid things that are unproductive and sometimes outright offensive. This resulted in some pretty funny memes though, so thank you?

I had a few new romances and handful of awful dates to laugh about and a lovely and passionate repeat of my favorite flame. (Watch out for those, they might burn you alive.)  I partied in some excellent outfits and danced the night away with some magical friends. I fell down pretty hard a few times (literally and metaphorically) but magically a I still get out of bed most days because everyone knows how much I love breakfast.

Surely it was disappointing, but the getting of and then quitting of a proper job was somewhat rewarding and suggested that one day I might find my niche in the adult world. I’ll let you know when I figure out where that is and what it looks like in case you want to join me. (On Pluto?)

You marked then 10-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina and thus my ten-year anniversary in the city of New Orleans. What a long, strange trip it’s been.

I have a huge pile of books on my bedside table because I’m taking a course in the art of the novel (yaaay) so my sleepless nights will have no shortage of entertainment. <- in addition to Netflix, my usual array of books, an occasional late-night text session, and of course, my blog.

I’m not one for “resolutions” but I do have some goals for the coming year. First and foremost I plan to get my sister to pull through like the awesome chick that she is and help me make my AMAZING blog a better, funnier place to procrastinate at work. (For all 50 people that read it, you’re welcome.)

I suspect dating is the same in 2016 so I might opt out completely but there are a handful of restaurants popping up around town so once I’m done with a month of no dairy and no booze I’ll resume the regular consumption of food and drink. Om nom nom.

Also, because we managed to find the most horrific human to move into our apartment who managed to upset the entire home in a mere 2 weeks (Mind = Blown) I’m sure that the situation will eventually become funny and end up here because if you don’t laugh about it all that there is left to do is cry. And I don’t want to give myself any unnecessary wrinkles. I do, however, want to throw a frozen burrito at his head. I’ll explain that later.

So, 2015, I guess all that’s left is Happy New Year, bitch.

Yours faithfully,

Andrea’s Bananas

 

 

Nothing Compère (s to your terrible service)

For many years, I was a pretty hardcore Top Chef fan. Of course I no longer have a television because I’m pretty sure mostly everyone watches TV on the internet now, so I am tapped out when it comes to addiction to cable TV shows, however, this did not stop me from getting excited to celebrate with one of my best gals at former Top Chef competitor Nina Compton’s new restaurant in the CBD.

Fun news, I just finished my first semester of grad school and my friend just wrapped her first semester of law school. (One of ours was harder than the other, I’ll let you guess.) Anyway we got all fancy to go out and celebrate. Even though it was a few days early, I thought it would be a fun surprise to call the restaurant to see if I could prearrange a candle in whatever dessert we ordered and they said “no problem.” Great, I basically expected nothing less because it is pretty darn easy to make a note on a reservation and give the chit to the server that says “birthday” and no seat number necessary because we always share.

Or so you would think. En route to dinner my friend shared a horrific story from the other night when she attempted to surprise her main man with a Star Wars ice cream cake at dinner. She spoke with them to make sure that they knew it was an ice cream cake and made arrangements for it to be placed in the freezer until dinner when she dropped off the cake a few hours prior. She also explained that the cake needed to be thawed for 20 minutes before they served it. Pretty straight forward: Ice cream goes in the freezer always and make a note about the defrost time. Check and check. Actually not. I tried very hard not to laugh too hard when she told me the story of how amid other points of bad service, some all-star employee put the ice cream cake in the walk-in refrigerator (READ: NOT THE FREEZER) several hours before their dinner reservation. And finally, after a long, long delay the manager came out with the bad news that the cake had melted. All of it a giant puddle. The force was not with that one. SIGH.

I had to laugh, but of course at the time that was definitely not as funny to her. There is some formula to level of tragedy and time it takes to become funny… I’m not 100% sure of what that is but for since both of us put more than our share of time in working with idiot hosts, I found this all very amusing. Also it will make a very memorable story for years to come. And he’s a grown up so no kids birthday was ruined.

Needless to say, I’m feeling really optimistic for the dinner that we are heading to because you can’t really fuck up a candle or a plate that says “Happy Birthday” on it.

Alas, no. We take a seat at our table to pour over the new menu. It is bound like a book and the outside is soft. (I like soft things!) We are a little close to the wall of window on a brisk New Orleans “winter” night but that is nothing a drink won’t fix… if those came.

The restaurant is pretty full so the fact that it took our server a long time to even greet us was noted but totally forgivable. But he didn’t seem to care and gruffly asked for our water preference. “Bottle of sparkling, and one of flat but I’m fine with house water, thank you” <- because we are still being nice and we are two fun people trying to have a fun night.

One glass of water gets poured. I don’t know what happened to the rest of that pretty straightforward order. We order drinks and some appetizers and then go to find a pretty spot to snap a few photos.

A few things 1) we did not ask grumpy server to take a picture and 2) we ordered before we ran off anywhere.

The hostesses were nice and obliging and we took a few pictures and then headed back to wait for an eternity for our drinks. And then, finally, our drinks came. I look at mine quizzically because I thought I’d ordered sparkling. (The heading said “sparkling and rose”) I missed that detail but Mr. Grumpy Pants was enraged that I even suggested that he perhaps brought the wrong thing. Wah fucking wah.

Ahhh appetizers. They were both fried with a dipping sauce and nothing to write home about, so I won’t except to say that he didn’t come by once to check on the food or to see if we needed anything (we did…to order the rest of our food.) and maybe, I don’t know, not be such a dick about the still water that I’d ordered and refresh my glass. But he did, however, stalk past us several times. I don’t know what his problem was. Two hot girls having a nice dinner and neither of us being demanding or rude, just chilling and having a nice, relaxed dinner. One of the pitfalls of being at a 100% tourist joint I guess.

We decide to pow wow about what we should do because it became clear that we were not getting another round of drinks anytime soon. And that he wasn’t in the mood to tell us the specials or what some standout dishes were. We think about perhaps a yelp review. (You know how I feel about naming servers on Yelp…) so we decided to just talk to the manager and see how that goes. We obviously got the greenest manager on the block and all that resulted was even MORE scowls from our waiter because now he’s pissed that we complained. GAHHH.

The bar was full when we sat down but magically, like a gift from the dinner gods, two spots opened up and we decide to make a move. Fuck this guy, he is ruining our night for no reason. And then like another gift from the dinner gods, the second course of crudo with shaved ice that we enjoyed at the bar with a plethora of attractive men as added eye candy working the bar, things turned around. We also had a delicious roasted beet salad with kale pesto and two (teeny tiny) pieces of house made bread. Yummy.

But here’s the thing. Now I’m worried that our move has ruined my “easy” birthday surprise so I have to jet off to make sure that everyone is still on board. (They were!)

We finished off with a lobster pasta. Waited mmmm 15 actual minutes for them to apparently bake two more (teeny tiny) pieces of that delicious house made bread to scoop up the rest of the sauce, and… dessert!

Dessert, amari and a candle.

And then we all lived happily ever after without ever setting food in Compère Lapin again because in this food town, no one needs that kind of crap. Woof.

 

Three’s a Crowd

Okay, sometimes three’s a party (wink, wink) but certainly not in this case. Sometimes Boyfriend opted for Aspiring Senators Wife/Ex Sorority Girl instead of me again (yawn) right when I happened to have a weekend full of fun plans. Great news! This left me in the perfect spot to… drum roll… find the most physically and emotionally unavailable asshole in Mid City and then a few days later, go on a date: Hot Chef 2.0 AKA Mr. Wrong.

Ahh yes, you might remember Hot Chef so Mr. Wrong was a pretty bad idea considering the record I have with dating chefs. Married to his job? Of course. But I knew that before we ever met for drinks. Emotionally unavailable because of divorce? Yup. That’s where we deviate from the original. But the real problem with Mr. Wrong is the third wheel.

Who might this other be? Not his ex wife. Not his mother. Want to keep guessing or shall I spill the beans?

Apparently he is BFFs with his all-star bartender, a lady with whom I’ve spent several afternoons with over her stellar Hot Toddies, shared giggles over our mutual infatuation with a certain Jamie MacKenzie Fraser and generally enjoying each others company (and my generous tips on a slow afternoon). Turns out she is not my friend, and is actually a conniving manipulator. All great qualities. You go, girl!

A few days after our date, I came in after a big old party thinking that his restaurant was a good idea because a) Pho is great for hangovers b) Chicken and Waffles is on the menu c) Tons of things can get eggs on them. AND d) Not a hot spot during traditional brunch time. (Okay maybe a littttle interest in “bumping into” Mr. Wrong.  I also really wanted to bring the crew to my neighborhood so I could crawl into my bed without having to call a cab after grubbing.)

We sat down and ordered and I sent a casual text saying “Hey, we are outside having some brunch. No pressure but if you aren’t too busy and want to say hi…” or something like that. That day they also happened to be smoking a big whole animal: lamb? pig? I don’t know. It happens weekly so maybe one day I’ll figure out what the mammal is and perhaps eat some of it.

After some time, we were literally smoked out and decided to finish up at the bar. Great, I loved (past tense) the bartender. We close out with our server and decide that is a great idea to do shots and order dessert. It was, after all, a celebration! A little while later, I get the most awkward wave from as FAR AWAY AS POSSIBLE from Mr. Wrong. He walks away and I burst out with a giant “THAT WAS AWKWARD!” (Annnd I’m a little drunk.) Then, thinking that the bartender was a friend, I say “Gahhh that was sooo weird, we totally hooked up the other day!” (Okay, that was an overshare and I wish I hadn’t said that…) but then she said WITH A TWINKLE IN HER EYE,

“Really!? Oh my god how was it? I’ve been dying to know…”

And all I said was “He’s a really great kisser (*blush*)”

Later I get a very long, long text telling me that he would not like to ever meet for drinks again because “somehow staff got wind of our encounter and he keeps his work and private life separate yadda yadda yadda, but please continue to enjoy (his restaurant).”

It turns out, he is BFFs with home girl and not only did she tell him that I was being gossipy (which I fully admit was amateur) but she also told him to stay away from me and all kinds of not nice things. WOAH Bitch, you barely know me except that I tip really well and come in for lunch and have a drink and do some work. Thanks for your excellent Hot Toddies. They were my jam. But really, dear, I know you have a crush on him but why don’t you grow the fuck up and be the better person next time because three’s a crowd and I you are clearly stuck in the friend zone anyway.

Do Not Disturb

We all know that technology is not my strength. The only time that any of my gadgets required for convenient functioning in today’s world are updated is if Sometimes Boyfriend is around. So…nothing is updated.

Any time that little box pops up in the right hand corner of my MacBook to tell me that it is time to update and asks: Now? In an hour? Try Tonight? or Try Tomorrow? I always say tomorrow, but what I really mean is NEVER, BITCH. I never want to update because then I can’t find things.

Case in point: iTunes. If you mistakenly update your iTunes, it is basically impossible to find or play music until you’ve hemorrhaged an hour of your time clicking around just so you can play your “pump up mix” before engaging with society. UGH PEOPLE ARE THE WORST.

In a crazy turn of luck/Find My iPhone genius, I managed to keep my original iPhone 5 until it was time for an upgrade. Toward the end of that 2-year cycle, my phone stopped ringing sometimes. I think it is because the memory was so full of music and other things that the phone just was unable to function. (No, I didn’t update that regularly either…I know. I am a terrible person.) This actually worked out because it made me seem busy or unavailable when Sometimes Boyfriend called/texted late night. (I was absolutely not doing anything but being annoyed at my fucked up phone.) Anyway, the joyous day came when it was time for a new one. Huzzah!!! I learned a bit from the last one that a) I use it for mostly checking my email, flipping through Tumblr (nothing PG) and sending text messages filled with everything ranging from the “Be there in 5” to some pretty hot and heavy sexting. Phones! Yay! I also use it to take photos. So, for this new fancy iPhone 6 I upped my data and memory to double my pleasure. And lately, that lousy thing has not been ringing. WHYYYY??!!

So, you probably noticed, it is Christmas time! Basically the worst time ever to try to go to the Apple store. AT THE MALL. (Read: MALL PARKING LOT.) For that reason, and because I am a lousy adult sometimes, I was planning on suffering through a few more weeks of missed texts and phone calls. Or the alternative: obsessively looking at my phone to see if I missed anything. Kind of a fun activity if you like masochism.

But alas, yesterday, I found myself at the mall. After attempts at shopping local and shopping online, I found myself in a situation where the only option was the dreaded mall. Dun Dun Dunn.

And I did it! The parking lot was a madhouse so I just drove as far away as possible and mentally prepared myself to be soaking wet walking back to the car since the weather forecast called for heavy rains – and it is New Orleans so just because the sun is out now, does not mean a thing for later

Actually when I was walking up to the mall a very practical lady asked me if I was leaving. Pro move – slowly follow someone, preferably sort of youthful, to their car to call dibs on their spot. To her dismay I just was making the long haul in.

After much debate because “I don’t even know where the Apple store is” and other random excuses, I literally walked past it and figured, “Ugh I guess so…” And entered to multiple happy greetings and then ultimately found the correct iPad bearing helper that is color coded Green for tech support. I did my best to hide my outright rage to be even standing in this store and asked politely how long the wait would be. He asked what the problem was, and I told him. And then he looked at my phone, laughed a little. And shared this amazing tidbit of information:

“Do you see that half moon at the top?” he says, “That means your phone is on Do Not Disturb, so no one can reach you unless they call repeatedly or they are on your favorites list.”

Me: I actually did LOL. And then, because I have moments of practicality, asked him to please show me where that function is so that if I ever accidentally find a half moon again, I can turn it off myself. OR, since everyone sucks anyway, maybe I just turn that right back on because lets be real: DO NOT DISTURB.

 

 

GIVE ME WIFI or GIVE ME FOOD.

Do your self a favor and don’t go to Manhattan Jack on a Saturday or Sunday. As a matter of fact, only go if you can arrive at 9 am on a Tuesday because that is the only day that the kitchen can accommodate your order. Sadly, since 9am is after all of the office people pillaged the bagel supply, you might not get to eat one of these coveted treats even on a Tuesday. Be prepared to be SOL on that front. However, if you do manage to secure a bagel, the pretzel bagel sandwich is delicious. Super small, you might have to fight someone for a second order because of that supply/demand issue.

Also, apparently they do not accommodate special orders even when you are only requesting a special order because they are sold out of everything that they actually put on their menu. Be careful if you change to bread, you might just end up with half a sandwich. Today I ordered my regular pretzel bagel sandwich without cheese. They can usually manage that. Not today. Today the LAST BAGEL in house was mine and they slathered cheese all over my sandwich and served it to me on a dirty plate that had some other person’s jam on it. Gross. I couldn’t even ask for another one because there were no more.

My friend had it worse. They were sold out of bagels by her turn (next) so she ended up making a sandwich on toast. For some reason (even though everyone else got full sandwiches) she only got a half. Maybe they ran out of bread too? They also wouldn’t let her add lox. Apparently it is the lox plate or nothing on that front. No avocado. But they do have guacamole. Just kidding. After offering guacamole the (barrista?) took it back because they were out of that too.

I feel pretty shitty about today because I convinced my best friend that crossing town was a great idea to grab some late breakfast and do some writing. I spent the drive hyping her up about how great the coffee is here and how delicious the bagels are. From years in the service industry, I know what its like when the kitchen goes down (it sucks.) but sometimes it happens. Today’s disaster could have been prevented. 1) Why did you stop making bagels but keep pumping out rice crispy treats? NO ONE WANTS A RICE CRISPY TREAT. 2) WTF with the internet policy? Once again, are you a coffee shop or a restaurant? (See below re: internet.)

Did you not hear? Their WiFi is not on until TWO on the weekends. WTF? If you are trying to be a restaurant and not a coffee shop, fine. But at least have enough food to back your credibility as a restaurant. The toxic attitude from the kitchen oozed into the entire space and there is no one that wasn’t stressed out as a result. Thankfully one of the staff saved the day and was super nice and got me a new plate and worked some magic to get the internet turned on 45 minutes early. Hallelujah!

The WiFi thing was the icing on burnt cookie because not only do they not have any food left at 1pm on a Sunday, they also make it impossible to work. Even at their communal table which is void of the menacing sings about tables being for reserved for “breakfast and lunch customers only.”

Get it together, Manhattan Jack. Are you a restaurant or a coffee shop? I couldn’t even get a pretzel bagel sandwich at 8:45am on a Saturday. Yesterday! I was told “we didn’t make them yet today.” Why would the bakers not bake something that is on the menu? Silly me for coming back today. What a bummer.