The Letter P

P is for Portland. And also for Pabst. And Poboy. And Playboy. (Oh, shit! And for Pinot Grigio, too!!)

It is also for pussy. And pizza since I’m being tangential. But most importantly (today, anyway), P is for Parkway!

This photo is when they surprised everyone with a turkey day in May:

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Every November, Parkway dishes out their signature Thanksgiving Poboy. It used to happen throughout the month leading up to Thanksgiving (and would sell out daily) and then one sad year they only did it at the Oak Street Poboy Festival (YES I made it out that year. With a hot date, thank you.) They have since changed.

Today they are back to a more consistent schedule: They serve it on Wednesdays during the month of November.

So, thanks to a tip from social media (love you, Instagram!) I was made aware of the opportunity to indulge while at the peak of my hunger on the first Wednesday in November. Move over, world. I have a sandwich to inhale.

To be honest, November crept up on me. I was busy!

School? Definitely.

Boys? They are the worst! (But oh so tempting.)

Apartment? I can’t even.

Then, after working all day, I ended up at Felipe’s (again) in line (again) scrolling through Instagram (okay, again).  But instead of ordering (again) magic happened. I found out that 1) tomorrow is national sandwich day — hashtagnationalsandwichday and 2) Parkway is celebrating it a day early because it is also Thanksgiving Poboy Wednesday. Yassss. So, I immediately left the line for the greater good – turkey. (hashtagblessed. hashtagthewritelife.)

It was an almost-full crayon box of a bar when I walked in. There were just a few of the reject (favorite!) slots open. But, I know better than to queue up at the sandwich line outside. That is for novices. Solo diners, especially, should eat at the bar. It is super fast. And great!

Mike was behind the bar (he always is) and I squeezed myself into my favorite seat (no one likes it; it is in the sun and the bartender can’t see you. < Or that is what other people say. I’ve never had a problem ordering) with my newly delivered Playboy.

Hello, favorite corner seat.

I ordered quickly because I was a lady with a plan. I also threw in some regular fries and a PBR (self explanatory) and started reading an article about fried chicken. Yum and thank you.

Not two minutes in, there is a comment: “I’m sure you are just reading that for the articles.” Laugh, joke. The guy is from Portland…I’d encountered him briefly when I had to stick my head under the bar to find the hooks to hang my bag.

I offered that no, in fact, they don’t do nudes anymore (see below) but my dream as a writer is to be published in Playboy and I do, in fact, read the articles. They are great.

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(Not. Nudity.)

His hair was dark and hung in almost curls around his face. Pale, of course. Did I say Portland? He looks like a guy in a band that I can’t place.

Anyway, he was flirting. Heavy. You know, taking any opportunity to brush against my leg. Asking questions. The dark, artsy type. You can imagine how he was stoked when I revealed that I was a writer. (No matter that my genre isn’t literary. Although his diatribe when I said I wasn’t into poetry was something for the books…

My sandwich arrived and, full-on in a white t-shirt, I beasted the most delicious (messiest) sandwich without spilling on myself a single bit of cranberry. I washed my (admittedly half) order down with a bottle of PBR. < Drank it cold!! And all the while, Mr. Portland is talking to me. Flirting with me. I literally didn’t have a fork and was shoveling stuffing and turkey and bread dripping with gravy toward my open mouth with a dexterity I only have when dealing with my favorite sandwich. (Okay I’ve got similar skills with human body parts that I’m a fan of.)

Anyway, the level of flirting was off the charts considering the food consumption of the moment.

I then made a few really un-sexy (sexy?) stretch moves to make room for the second beer I was drinking. Mr. Portland kept hinting to wanting to hang out while he was in town. I would have loved to say I had a boyfriend, but I don’t (sigh) so I had to continue with the “I’m super busy…” Because I am! —  Busy unabashedly shoving a sandwich in my face.

I do also have several current/pressing/omfuckinggod work projects on my plate.

His friend finished work so he should have been “done” but ordered another round because he wanted to sit with me longer. He asked about the seasonal Abita. I warned him against the peach beer because I assumed that it probably tasted like baby food. He declined a taste and suffered through that whole pint. Whatever. I was right. Baby food.

Beer. Digestion.

Beer. Digestion.

I checked my phone a few times though generally enjoying the group conversation – me, Mr. Portland, Mike and the other guy next to me.

Finally, out of the mildest curiosity, I looked over after returning from the bathroom to see what book was propped open in front of my new friend. (Beer makes me have to pee.) Scratch that…Everything makes me have to pee.

Long story not-so-short, he flat out asked for my number. And said he’d love to see me while I in town. He quit with the subtle (not subtle) hints and just went for it. He was like, “How are you so tiny?” “Do you always eat like this?”  (Me: no and I work out all the time.) “You’re so pretty.” … it went on.

He was reading The Bell Jar. I thought of my best friend. I thought of me. I wondered how old he is, but since I had no intention of meeting him later, I didn’t bother to ask.

He told me he likes to say “YES” and aims to live fully his week in New Orleans. He wants to sleep under bridges (okay maybe my memory is wrong on that one – but that is the idea.) His friend, he says, just got his master’s in film and (omg) works at a pizza place.

Is that the fate for us all? He wants to know. He also wants to know how I got into writing. He wants to tell me how pretty I am some more. I bet he wants to do more than that. I decide he is most definitely under 25.

I wonder if I did hang out with him, how fast his enamor would last. I think I hold the record for guys falling hard and fast for me and then immediately thinking, “Better not.”

 

Hey, What Are You Reading?

So, I’m sitting at the pizza place across the street slowly sipping a giant glass of Pinot Grigio and reading my book when a bunch of sexy firefighters come in to pick up pizza. And by pizza I mean a stack of large pizzas. (There is a football game on, the place is getting crowed with pick-up orders.)

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Full Disclosure: That pizza/wine photo was from the pre-cleanse send off. But I love to rip the bubble off so I took this photo and would also like to say I’m sorry to everyone across the street for past and future impropriety.

BUT, back to my story. Saints Game! WHO DAT!

This very sexy guy in uniform interrupts my reading with a “Hey, what are you reading?!”

And I flash a copy of Technical Editing, Fifth Edition. And then he says “Wow that is so cool, I’m actually looking for someone to edit my dissertation and none of my friends will help me.”

(Insertion: I look super hot because before studying I went out to brunch with one of my favorite ladies and then got my nails done. I’m still rockin’ an all-black super cute skirt and tank combo and have on and this amazing purple shade of lip gloss.)

I have no idea what I would charge or what it would entail but it seemed pretty flirty. No man has ever asked me “What are you reading” when I am clearly not seeking attention unless they are actually trying to flirt. But I don’t know. He actually might need help? But who interrupts someone clearly not aware that there is a game on just trying to carb binge and who says “cool” to Technical Editing, Fifth Edition who isn’t flirting?

In any case, I wrote down my phone number and my email. (I mean, hottie fighting fires while he finished his PhD. SWOON.)

They walk out.

And then the woman next to me GUSHES about how he was just flirting with me and OMG yadda yadda yadda.

THEN, I get an email. Like within minutes!?

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Ummm what does that mean? That was so fast. Did he think he was going to forget?! So I waited like an hour… finished my wine and wrote back. Because I assumed he meant “editing” and maybe more… wink, wink.

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And then since I had his name I looked him up on Facebook. (UGHGHHG) And sent this:

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And then this happened:

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Ahhhh I am so awkward. ALSO: “Not too many New Orleanians interested in reading and writing” is a big fucking red flag. NOLA is where so many famous writers come to write and there are a slew of us competing for the same limited jobs.

I don’t even know. I was confused. Was he really looking for help? Who the fuck reads a Technical Editing book at a pizza place during a football match? (Me.) Or, as the rest of the crowd seemed to think, was he hitting on me? Or just wanting to fuck because he totally just got kicked out and no one was misreading the situation, I just have no filter and made it weird??

Who knows because at this point I’m drunk even though I ate a whole calzone the shape of a football because I was just finishing a cleanse. (Makes total sense, don’t judge me.) BUT JUDGE ME FOR THIS: and never, ever again wonder why I am single.

First I wrote, “Interesting.” SEND

Then I wrote, “I am confused” SEND

THEN I WROTE:

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Shockingly, he never wrote back. And that doesn’t even make sense? Anyway. Curtain call on that one. Sorry hot fire fighter, it wasn’t meant to be.

 

I Don’t Give a Pho

This morning, I drove out to Kenner to get a much-need bikini wax. In light of my recent boy situation, I postponed my regularly scheduled appointment in favor of rocking that 1960-70’s pinup look should the highly unlikely opportunity to drop my pants (or put on a bathing suit) arise between Mardi Gras and the end of midterms.

I felt a little bit bad about moving my appointment as my gal is expecting, and I’m sure she and her husband are saving as much as possible in anticipation of their bundle of joy. That aside, I figured she’d understand my graduate student poverty mixed with the dark pit of sadness thanks to the end of an era of Sometimes Boyfriend, and we’d chat amicably as she tried her hardest to distract me from the fairly painful hair removal. She would probably be incredibly optimistic, remembering how many times in the past I’d rearrange my wax appointments for every whim (or cancellation) of Sometimes Boyfriend, about how there are definitely others out there.

She really is the best – we can cover a lot about our respective lives in the 20 minutes that we see each other a month because it is imperative to talk the ENTIRE time, with the exceptions of a few pain-filled yelps on my part that are reciprocated by her very endearing “I know…”, about what-the-fuck-ever in order to distract from the discomfort. (She’s going to make an excellent mother.) Beauty is (pain?). Also, I got hooked because razors suck and the nice ones have gotten insanely expensive. I’ve also found that guys don’t really care. They wan to sleep with you. Of course who doesn’t like a sexy treat, but the light fuzz between waxes is really no thing at all unless you are 19 and insecure or unfamiliar with the art of sex.

Side note: Sign me up for that laser stuff (I’m overcoming my fear of a a laser being that close to such an important body part as it’s been on the scene for quite some time) as soon as I’ve got the budget. For real.

Anyway, downstairs in the shopping center there is an excellent Vietnamese place. The legit kind that would be worth the drive in its own right. They have the most excellent rare flank steak pho that I look forward to. And – in case you didn’t know, pho is a traditional Vietnamese breakfast – they open at 10 AM so I can make myself feel better with a steaming bowl of pho post-wax.

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Sadly, today, I didn’t plan for soup and made myself a hearty breakfast after my usual 6 AM workout. I also napped. Nothing like deadlines, insomnia, and a foggy morning to make a nap appealing. So, when I arrived to find out that Elena (the lovely gal to whom I am a loyal client) wasn’t feeling well (that baby!) and wasn’t coming in today, I couldn’t even make the drive worthwhile with some soup. Boo.

“No, I don’t want to see someone else,” I said to the apologetic receptionist who didn’t get around to calling me before I left my house.

And, in true single-gal + I don’t give a fuck mentality I went ahead and moved it back a whole week. Because lets be honest, it is going to rain the next three days and I’m also lined up to hang out with my favorite kitty cat this weekend and he definitely doesn’t care. I can’t even hang out in anything satin or lace because he loves to massage on my stomach making little pricks with his tiny, yet sharp, claws.

So, since pho was out of the question unless I wanted to feel like a balloon expanded in my stomach, I promptly drove back to Mid City to get to work. Writing is fun! And then indulged in a warm, house-made chocolate chip cookie at my favorite neighborhood coffee spot. Because I’m bad like that.

Next Wednesday, I’ll make sure to be prepared to eat, just in case.

Repent/Purgatory (And 20 Min. Dinner)

Well, the last ten days have been hellish. I believe the phrase that was sent my way was “Odd how vengeance does not make one feel better. Just vengeful.” Pine over that for a few minutes. I certainly did.

On the bright side, this dude that got my number without permission from my roommate’s phone one night while they were having drinks after work has finally decided to stop texting me. I guess I could have blocked him, but there was a little bit of astonishment that these messages kept coming, even though I never, ever wrote back.

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There were more… Saturday at 12:14am: “What you doing”

Saturday at 5:33 am : “????????” then “Can i come over”

FINALLY on Sunday at 1:25 am: “Damn I’m done” and then “I’ll delete your number”

Good call, buddy. Seeing as I never gave it to you. Never responded to your texts. And SURE one night we flirted and danced at a late-night spot back in December but then when I bumped into you on Christmas at the bar, you were like “UMMM I have a girlfriend” – Hence why I never had any desire to hang out with you again or dance with you again and certainly give zero fucks whether you guys broke up and now feel compelled to send me unsolicited text messages.

I certainly earned the many, MANY apologies my roommate gave me for allowing his phone to be commandeered.

In other news, I had a midterm last week and am currently sorting out the writing of an epic term paper for a graduate course on “The Novel.” So, as I am trying to manage my 6am workouts and my internship and every now and again check to make sure I’m still a whole person, maybe neurotically check my email for a message from a certain someone, I decided to make my favorite breakfast dish into an early dinner today.

Eggs in Purgatory – Pasta Style! (warning: for high-stress times only)

Oh my god so fucking good. Although, as I said, not something I will make regularly because this constitutes a gluttonous binge-like meal where far too many calories were consumed. But here is the gist of my semi-homemade tasty treat:

Step 1: Boil water and salt liberally.

Step 2: In the meantime, slice about a half of a green bell pepper and two large cloves of garlic. (I skipped the onion today. I might have added mushrooms if I had them, but honestly, sometimes simple is best.)

Step 3: Once the pasta is in (I used penne this afternoon), sautee the pepper and garlic in a little bit of olive oil in a small skillet. *Use a bigger one if you are making for two.

Step 4: Cover with a really (I mean really) simple tomato sauce. I used the Walgreen’s Nice! traditional pasta sauce because it is as simple as they come in a jar. Once the sauce comes to a boil and there is about 3 minutes left on your pastas, crack an egg on top and season with salt and pepper. Place a lid on top.

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Once your egg looks like that, drain the pasta. Pour into a bowl and top with grated Parmesan. Gently top pasta with sauce and egg and then, because this is SAD PEOPLE FOOD, add Mozzerella cheese too.

And then get in bed and flip on your Netflix. Who cares if it is 4:30 pm on a beautiful Friday. I sure as fuck don’t.

See you bitches in hell.

Table for One, Please

Ah yes, friends. The magic of dating. Mardi Gras, as you all probably can guess, is not my strong suit for the meeting or retaining of boys. And, if you happen to live in New Orleans, that also puts Valentine’s Day creeping around one corner or another. Yippeee.

I met Dr. Glitterbeard at the Space Ball. We met in line to get ourselves jazzed up with some Get Fly Bodypaint and were having a good time. We had mutual friends, and apparently, he was of the opinion that I was the hottest girl there. (High five, me!) My costume wasn’t fully baked because of the pressures of graduate school but the final product was some sexy red star pasties, a gorgeous handmade hood, and matching red bottoms. I was pretty on fire. Fun times.

He asked me to dance, and then if I wanted to get a drink. (Yes!) And of course, Sometimes Boyfriend happened to be nearby with The Ogre so the timing was pretty nice for me to get such flattering male attention. Two vodka sodas and an almost kind of kiss later, we were cutting it up under the black light. After a song or two, I took him to find some other friends that we realized we shared in common from his undergrad days. We realize we’ve lost his friends so he excuses himself to go find them. I figured I’d bump into him later and went on with my fun. Fast forward to me, bumping into his (our) friends first. Here is what I get: “You know he’s married, right?”

Ummm no, I did not. Got ZERO married vibes. Of course, it was all fairly platonic so not real lines were crossed (unless you count the no-tongue kiss thing) although I’m sure if the wife was there I would not have been the center of attention for so long. Anyway, awkward and moving on. I did bump into him later with a coarse “Hi, you are MARRIED!?” to which he responded “Wasn’t gonna happen, lady.” Or something to that effect with a fairly rude undertone.

Whatever, dude. Enjoy the ball.

Then, of course, Fat Tuesday happened. Yippee. And as I attempted to gather my life together and sweep up the glitter, Valentine’s Day came and went with another year of light acknowledgement of another day where society expects us to eat too much food in the name of LOVE. (Pro tip, have sex before dinner so that the after dinner sex can be kind of drunk and relaxed.)

Sigh.

Even though I had no special someone to drape myself in gorgeously scandalous lace for, I do have an awesome friend who got super crafty and made some great Valentines (see below). We did venture out on the sunny Sunday for some quick binge eating of Vietnamese food at the annual Tet Celebration. That was a good call. It was a beautiful day for a drive out to the East (when I wasn’t the driver) and it was nice to catch up.

And later, because I am a graduate student in English, I hung out with Henry James (really, dude…why so many words?) and enjoyed a long walk and two solo glasses of wine. Because you know what, I’d rather just date myself than someone that doesn’t light my fire.

12717504_10103695866555600_5276383802883651588_n(Photo and Art Cred: Camilio Estevez)

I Want My $12 Back

Okay, actually, just $10. You can keep the tip.

I have a serious love for egg rolls. The east coast kind. The kind in the actual egg roll wrapper with cabbage and pork with the delicious duck sauce on the side. I want it piping hot and practically burning my mouth.

In New Orleans, there is a perversion of sorts going on because many restaurants have both egg roll and spring roll on the menu but give you the same thing regardless of the order. They are not the same. But, as I’ve established it as a known risk when ordering an egg roll in the Crescent City, I am prepared for the letdown. (If you are looking for straight egg roll, Bamboo Restaurant on Downman Rd., conveniently located down the street from New Orleans East’s most popular strip club, will set you straight.)

Recently, I’d heard a buzz about a new food truck called Electric Eggroll. Everyone was excited about their take on an egg roll; but they also serve a unique selection of either steamed or fried dumplings. So, the other day when I was leaving the office, I saw the eccentric colored food truck at a usual spot for food trucks to park up for lunch downtown and decided I should definitely pull over.

Knowing that the way to go is *not* traditional, I ordered an egg roll with ginger and beets and an order of tofu steamed dumplings. I was pretty excited. I love beets. I love ginger. I definitely love steamed dumplings. (Just don’t give an an egg roll or dumplings with those tiny shrimp in them. That looks like fish food and makes me nauseated.)

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What a letdown. The dumplings were good but they added something to soy sauce and I wasn’t a huge fan. I sort of feel like $6 for three average vegetarian dumplings is  big excessive. But my biggest issue was the egg roll. UGh. That pink sauce was flavorless and a container of mayonnaise would have lent better to the beet egg roll. (That sounds gross, too.) Ugh at least if I’d had the option of grabbing a few packets of that sticky sweet orange deliciousness I could at least have enjoyed it a little bit.

When you order a traditional egg roll, the filling is hot too. The pork and the cabbage – hot. This was a cold, raw salad inside a crispy wrapper with a gross dipping sauce. Lame. I actually enjoyed the little salad of the filling that they put on the side more than the bit inside the wrapper.

What a let down. At least now I can save myself the calories. I don’t want a pizza egg roll. If i want pizza, I’ll go get fucking pizza. Thanks, but no thanks. And…can I get a refund?

Good Karma?

I’m okay with the misery for now, it’s winter for fuck’s sake, but puhhhleeease if I try to do good things it would be super if there was some karmic retribution. I would love to rack up some future happiness.

Because yesterday kind of sucked. I woke up early, before my alarm, and lounged in bed debating a run or not. It looked miserable outside so I decided to stay peacefully in bed. As if anyone can peacefully BE in bed with a gazillion stressors running amuck their head. If it wasn’t for that, I might just have been sleeping away with the rest of the world. So, even though it was edging on 6:45 a.m. (a bit late for a run) I decided to put on my most festive running pants and hope no one in a hurry on the morning commute ran me over while I cruised though the fog.

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I know. I should get a better app for doing those combined photo things. Anyway I did a shortie run, just 3.5 miles, to leave time to get home to shower and make breakfast before heading to the office for the morning. Of course I was working on a writing assignment the night before until I was too tired so I still needed to finish editing a short essay for class that afternoon. I was early. I stood outside waiting for someone with a key to let me in. Then, I had nothing to do at work but for some reason made the conscious decision to leave my homework at, well, home. Yippee.

I was also famished. Super, super hungry mid morning and irritated that I was bored and had nothing to do with so much stuff that actually needed to be done. I probably checked my phone, Facebook and Instagram at least 100 times in the course of three hours. Pathetic? Yep.  Boring? Hell yes. But, a ray of sunshine, I make plans to meet my BFF at this awesome restaurant that occupies the downstairs spacious, beautiful room of a yoga studio in our neighborhood. I’m pretty stoked because I’ve been meaning to eat at Good Karma since the 4th of July yoga retreat where the guy that is behind the food at Good Karma was our personal chef for the weekend. Oh. My. God. So. Good.

Naturally I got caught up in some chat on my out of work, and I desperately needed gas. Minutes ticking by. And, since I left my school stuff at home, I needed to swing by my apartment. There was widespread whispers of tornadoes and rain storms so I thought I’d quick change into my fantastic all-weather boots before driving the mile or so to lunch. More minutes. Did I mention I was hungry? And tired? And fucking stressed?

Still, I was basically on-time; I mean it was 12:31 and we were supposed to meet at 12:30. And, I noticed my friend’s Civic was right in front of me! (Our cars are twinsies) Wohoo! Cue excitement quickly diminishing because I suck at driving and I know for a fact we are going to both be looking to park and now she will get the better spot first. Fuck.

But wait! She misses one! I am probably shaking from low blood sugar but I put on my signal to go park because I am an adult, damn it.

And then I backed into someone.

Okay rolled into him. Because I don’t think I looked in all of the directions (the key one being behind me). I must’ve missed a mirror?! It all happened quite fast considering how slow I was moving. I probably could have cried from just about anything at that moment but this was more than I was up for. Thankfully I was wearing sunglasses. He was super nice and there really wasn’t damage to his car or anything. He made a joke like “I guess we are going to the same place!”

Um yes. (Great…)

Thankfully that “place” was a mostly vegan restaurant at a beautiful yoga studio in Mid City and that almost required that this guy be a nice human. He also was going to back up so I could park there buuut I most certainly didn’t have the nerve. I said (awkwardly) no thinks I’m going to drive straight.

After a few more tears inside my vehicle I drove around once more, found a spot exactly across from my friend and we walked in together. UGH I suck at life so hard.

On the plus side, the food was amazing. I ordered a warm tofu wrap and my friend had their house made veggie burger. Incredible. The kitchen was backed up so it took awhile and they surprised us by bringing out some lentil soup on the house. Great for me because did I mention that I was hungry? Then, the guy that was at the yoga retreat brought our food out (yay/swoon) and apologized for the wait. I almost melted because we hung out some at the retreat and his incredibly calm personality was very soothing to my insanely high frequency one. If it doesn’t work like a succubus, I’d love to feed off of his calm energy some more.