You’re Beautiful and I Appreciate You

As we all prepare for what comes with the Trump era, I’m going to pause to point out something great.

img_3361I have been S E R I O U S L Y trying to be excited about how many work projects I have. Yay! But also annoyed that my fitness goals aren’t exactly on point and why the fuck is this boy ignoring me? Also what the fuck is with all of this laundry!? I don’t even have any clothes!!!

Sometimes you just have to get out of bed.

Even if you don’t want to. (Wayyyy better chance of staying in bed if you don’t have kids or recently got fired from your job, BTW)

But yesterday, I did get out of bed. With gusto. (Ish.) I spent the day in a satin robe with my best friend doing laundry and getting paid to write. Not the interesting, sexy or inspiring writing. But something that is paying the bills and allows us to do just what we were doing. Lingerie. Coffee. Best friends and avocado toast while dealing with annoying people.

After class I hit the library to do more work at at 11:30, feeling deflated because I still had a long To Do list for the morning, and while I was excited about clean sheets, I just remembered that they were still in the dryer, a car pulled up next to me with their window down. Mine was down too (balmy NOLA “winter”). They said “Hey!” and I said “Hey!” back. The guy driving and girl in the passenger seat were both snacking on something that looked like it was recently picked up from a drive-through.

I don’t know if I knew them or not. But then they shouted over: “You’re beautiful and I appreciate you!”

Something similar happened the other day when I was dropping off items from a photo shoot. A woman at the boutique I just exited paused to tell me how great I looked.

This is not to sound vain – the point is that I felt frazzled and disgusting (why is my car smelling like mold and about to overheat – again) and stressed to the max so it was particularly nice to see how something small can really help shift perspective.

This guy at the bar the other day (I was working, he was a customer) told me to “Stay out of the real world as long as possible.”

I’m fairly sure I’m in the “Real World” and, incidentally, recently got fired from that shitty bartending gig anyway.
So, for all those who are heading out on the town this weekend, remember to be kind. Be kind to yourself. Be kind to others.
Also, here is a poem we read last night:
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Y Tu Mamá También

And, “We’re all going to die!!!”

When Y Tu Mamá También made its theatrical release in the United States, I was in high school and belatedly getting my driver’s permit several months after my 16th birthday. I was never huge into films but I’d go to the local video store and rent movies on occasion. Regardless, the most sex in a movie I’d experienced was the the PG stuff in James Bond films.

My mother heard an interview about the movie (probably on NPR) and suggested that we all go see it. I didn’t bother to look it up and maybe my dad didn’t either? That part I’m not sure because why my sister, who is two years older, and I got in the car that night to go see a movie with my parents has been lost in the folds of time. We had to drive to a theater in New Jersey that was probably 45 minutes away since the movie had a limited US release (I’m going to guess that is because of a combination of subtitles and mature sexual content.)

But what I do remember, is this:

The movie had a lot of sex in it. Graphic sex. And for some reason, the scene of Julio and Tenoch masturbating on separate diving boards at a vacant country club is one of the images that is burned into my memory.

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Also there were drugs. And a lot of pot smoking.

I also remember sitting next to my dad with palpable uncomfortable tension while we watched this coming of age journey about the meaning of life, sex, friendship with a little bit of Mexican politics. I’m not kidding, I don’t even know if I’d be any less uncomfortable now that I’m 31 than when I was a teenager. You could cut the rigidity with a knife, although if you asked my mother, she probably didn’t feel that way at all.

After the movie let out, neither my dad, my sister nor I said anything. We just kind of walked in awkward silence out to the parking lot. My mom, on the other hand, had a lot to say.

If you recall, I had my learner’s permit so I was still in the “practice” phase of driving that is required for 6 months in the state of Pennsylvania. This was new for those of us born in 1985, but honestly, I hate driving so I don’t think I cared as much as many others would in a similar transition era.

My parents thought that it would be GREAT for me to practice on the drive home because it was nighttime, the way back was pretty straightforward but also highway driving so I’d have to practice merging into traffic. (I still can’t merge very well and there is nothing I hate more than driving about 45 miles per hour.)

Anyway, we get in the car and my mom wants to talk about the movie. Just kill me. It is kind of her thing to have conversations that she knows we probably don’t want to have when we are stuck in the car. I’m not usually the driver though.

This is a guess, but I was driving and my dad was probably in the front passenger seat. My mom and sister in the back. And my mom was so excited and loved the movie so much that all she wanted to do was talk about it.

Meanwhile, there was construction and my right lane is ending. But I was white knuckled wondering who was more uncomfortable: me, my dad or my sister. I guess I’ll never know but I was having trouble getting over because traffic was moving really fast and the orange cones signifying the closed lane were slowly approaching when out of the back seat my older sister started screaming “OH MY GOD, WE’RE ALL GOING TO DIE!!!” More than once.

I don’t know about how near to death we were, but I did get over and we are all still around to know that 15 years later, I’m still just as bad as I was on that night. On the plus side, it shut my mom up so I could pay attention to driving. Whew.

I recently watched it and (probably because a lot happened if 15 years) much of it was new to me. I remembered the general feeling of discomfort and now I know why. It isn’t just sex, it is Louisa teaching them how to have sex. I’m talking about a finger well placed in the butt, how to eat pussy, their cum faces and all the rest of things. I almost feel like all boys should watch the movie just to give him a a preview because porn does not always represent sex realistically and maybe they should all learn how to last a little longer and not jackhammer a girl without having any notion of female pleasure.

I fucking love that movie. It was so good. Insightful. Tender. Louisa has the most insane body too. Wow, girl. But mostly, I feel like there is probably so much more than I could ever grasp on one or two viewings about what the movie is actually saying. What the omniscent narrator adds to the road trip. Some of the haunting glimpses of the future.

So, if you’ll excuse me, I’ll be pondering the meaning of Louisa’s last words to Tenoch and Julio.

“Life is like foam, so give yourself away like the sea.”

 

 

Code Word: SITUATION

We can all agree that “situation” is a terrible code word. It is the actual word for the thing, and in no way represents any sort of concealment of meaning. Alas, it WAS the code word, so, while volunteer bartending the other night with a girlfriend of mine at a charter school fundraiser, we were instructed on multiple occasions that if something happened (like someone was way too drunk and inappropriate) find someone with a walkie talkie and say we have a SITUATION. Um okay. Errrr, totally no one will know what we are talking about. The problem will be squashed without anyone knowing that there was a disturbance in the Force.

But this got me thinking. Why had they mentioned it SO many times? It came up in training, then it came up the day of the event. But then I was working the party. It is open bar and let me tell you, we ran out of white wine within the first 90 minutes. This is a white wine drinking crowd. To be fair, there was only white wine, red wine, a signature pre-batched cocktail, and an assortment of local beers to choose from. So, it isn’t like any of those uptown bitches could order a Titos and soda.

Anywho, the party was fun. I saw friends there, and we all get drunk. (Spoiler Alert: There was never a “situation.”) We went out and drink more. YAYYYYY drinking. This was Thursday so Friday sucked hard. Real hard. I actually managed to sort of pull the same outfit I wore the night before into a sort of work appropriate ensemble and headed (a bit late) to the office. FML.

I had abandoned my bike at the school, which was just 2 miles from my house. This was a good idea because a) I was drunk and b) schools are safe places to legally lock up bicycles.

Which lead to this: IMG_0696

Yeah, that is my hungover ass chowing down on a scooped bagel with my favorite peanut butter. Gotta get through work, right?

Did I mention Friday was rough sauce? I was feeling superbly down but instead of having a self-pity party, I Googled the “saddest movies” and ended up spending $3.99 to rent P.S. I Love You. TEARS. Oh the tears for Hilary Swank and Gerard Butler. And then slept.

Saturday, I was filming a commercial with some girlfriends of mine. It was fun! We got our makeup done and put on costumes. But then the day dragged. And dragged. And the mimosas were being felt but no food. So we went out to eat (Finally!) after we were done shooting – 7 hours later… SITIUATION!!! (oh shit, that was Thursday. There is no walkie talkie person AND the situation is me. Whooops.)

Sad face. Attempting to get home, I found more misadventures. Perhaps a later share…it is not exactly my story to tell anyway…But I made it home. Wohoo! With most of my belongings (Double Woohoo!) And then, after some SERIOUS (and I mean serious) cuddle time with a new favorite, I got my shit together to walk to the corner store for this:

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OH yes. Honey Nut Cheerios to save your soul. I ate the whole box in two days (why I don’t buy cereal or gummy vitamins -but that is another post for another day)

Did I mention I turn 31 in a week? Because I do. I got off at Trainwreck City for the weekend but have no fear. I got it together, eventually.

On Tuesday the next week I finally picked up my bike. I went to running club on Wednesday and have been adulting SO hard you would be impressed. (I am!)

31 should be fun. I’m working on ousting some shitttay people from my life and looking for new adventures with some fresh faces that aren’t so darn dramatic. Wish me luck.

Also, happy bathing suit season. I’m officially cut off from dairy and sugary carbs until my birthday.

Here, Take a Bite

Friyayyyy! After the noon hour no less. What joy! What happiness! (Just kidding I’m really fucking sad and nothing will fix it at the moment.)

Yesterday, I engaged in some much needed therapy because I had a lot on my mind. The therapy: MEAT. So, so much meat. And friends! Friends are good too. (hey, girl!) My pants are still pretty loose today so I think I’m okay; I forgot to wear a belt. Caloriefest2016!

Recently, we started compiling a list of fun happy hours to try around town. The winner for this week was Primitivo, a new(ish) restaurant concept that offers up mostly meat dishes with everything smokey and delicious from their “wood, coal, fire, salt” cooking modality.

Three of us got together and housed 32 gigantic meaty ribs that go for $1.50 each during happy hour. The first plate of twelve was just one giant rack. When we went for twenty, they plated it like this:

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Actually, that is not true. The top four ribs were sadly exiled to their own plate. Why!? We didn’t know so we moved it for my photo.

And we feasted. Hard. Because in addition to the ribs, we started out with some smokey tripe with tomato sauce and jalapeños. Then, in case that was not enough, we also ordered the ceviche. Yummy, yummy.

Yes, I ate all of my feelings. Yes, it felt great. Later, we went next door to the Jazz Market to have a cocktail and listen to some music. Did I mention that I was working through some shit? And had some seriously solid friendbuddies to roll with. Thanks, guys!

What a great idea to go see music because nothing helps the confidence like the lead musician literally singing to you directly. On the microphone. And then playing the trumpet oh so masterfully with those soft, soft lips.

Hello there, sir. Oh my gosh you are making me blush.

Who doesn’t like a public display of “Wow you are so gorgeous!” from someone that is pretty famous. Gahhhh! (PS – we made out!) Very PG but kissing nonetheless. Kissing! Me…kissing a man. An attractive, talented one! One that I assume is single based on the public display but I decided not to lead with that question.

It is as if everything about today – including the gloriously warm, sunny weather and flirting with a guy last night is an affront to my general feeling that today is hard and sad and I’ve got writer’s block for this work project and woe is I.

Hard and sad, I tell ya!

But it is almost over and at 11am I got a lovely text that opened with “Good morning beautiful…” from the sexy musician. I melt! He wants to know what I’m doing tonight but I think “Binge eating and reading my book alone” is not a very good response. I still didn’t write back.  Ugh I am not ready to date. I hate dating! And I’m a crappy person for not writing back already!

Also seeing as my horrible insomnia had me up since the early dawn, I really am hoping to just curl into my bed and sleep as soon as the sun drops from the sky. Maybe a run first. That always makes me feel better.

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)

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.

Gimmie Dat Bean

No, I’m not talking about the bean hidden in the King Cake. I’m decidedly not getting the baby either for that matter because (blasphemy) I don’t spend from Twelfth Night through Mardi Gras eating massive amounts of pastry. Why? Because I don’t eat that shit the rest of the year, with the exception of caving on occasion to the ever-present junk food of the Christmas holiday, so you better believe I’m not trying to fatten myself up for another month. I’d way rather eat Chinese food. (Exception being eating King Cake at a parade-watching party because you can eat whatever you want once the parades start and you walk everywhere.)

As a matter of fact, I’m doing a cleanse and I’m slowly trucking through the same ten-day moderate cleanse that I did right before 4th of July over the summer. I think I’m going to try to make it a biannual thing and (weather permitting) cleanse and then hit up the Swan River Yoga retreat again too.

I went with some friends to check out the WWII Museum over the weekend and it was incredibly informative and a heartbreaking mixture of awe at both the act of creation and devastation. Before heading to the final showing of Beyond All Boundaries , we headed over to the attached American Sector restaurant for a snack. No drinks for me and I had to look at the bartender straight in the face and ask if there was anything vegan on the menu. Then, realizing that I can’t eat most things that vegans eat (bread, nuts, salad dressing), I figured I might as well own up to my cleanse and ordered a $9 bowl of lettuce adorned with 2-4 halves of cherry tomatoes and a few shaved radishes. Yippee!! Oh yeah and I did put a little bit of black pepper and a splash of vinegar and a tiiiny bit of olive oil, because…lettuce. I also packed my own nuts… and on the streetcar I enjoyed my packed lunch of BEANS! And sliced cucumbers.

My excitement over beans is that on Day 5 (and for the remainder of the ten) I can add beans to my diet. Hallelujah! I might have been a tad irritable on days 1 & 2 that only allowed for fruits and vegetables but now I’m flying high and it is because of this amazing bean dish I’ve been making.

Here’s the gist: You can’t eat regular hummus so I modified a warm chickpea puree to fit my dietary restrictions.

Step one: Coarsely chop three cloves of garlic.

Step two: Cook garlic in a dollop of coconut oil.

Step three: Add a can of mostly strained chickpeas

Step four: Combine the garbanzo beans, with a little bit of the liquid from the can, with the sautéed garlic.

Step five: Cook, for kind of awhile. You really can’t overcook it? I walked away to get dressed the first time. The point is that it needs to be nice and hot.

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Step 5: Add a little bit of cayenne pepper, fresh black pepper, red pepper flakes and a shake of garlic powder.

Step 6: Puree! If it is too thick add a little bit of olive oil.

Serve with slices of bell pepper, carrots and cucumber. Or, just eat it with a spoon because that, my friends, is delicious.

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