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.”

 

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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.

 

Back to Basics

Well, friends, June is almost over and I’m staring at July like “Where the fuck did you come from?!” Probably because I took it upon myself to mostly ruin June. And some of May. And in case the pale skin and extra 5-7 pounds from binge eating and even more binge drinking wasn’t motivation enough, I’m actually kind of bored and totally ready to leave this particular party. I’m ready for a different kind of summer fun. (Yes, it still includes rosé and books and omg maybe boys!) Just 86ing too much booze and then drowning my sadness in a GIANT bowl of pasta with butter and cheese because being a graduate student in English might be the least lucrative thing ever.

Anyways, things got messy. Never got out of that post-finals feeling of over-scheduled and too much sugar and not enough sleep. So it is finally time to clean up.

There are a few rules when shit gets messy. First, so many things are out of your control – but many also that are all on you. Small thing: shower. Oh my gosh when I’ve been kind of sloppy and rushed and hungover and busy sometimes I just don’t shower enough. You’d think I’d remember after all of these years that a hangover is deeply improved by a long hot shower. But, sometimes I’m lazy and don’t feel like getting wet. So there.

Point being,  probably the simplest way to change your day for the better is wash/put on fresh sheets and then hop in the shower, shave your legs (shave your neck if you are a dude) and and curl up with your soft, fresh smelling self in bed. See! The world is not that terrible! (Just kidding b/c yes, it is.)

Another easy thing to feel adult is to floss. Yeah some of you do it daily, and everyone tells their dentist that they do – so if you really want to get out of a funk, actually do it!

More on Adulting 101:

  • groceries (healthy snacks and fruit so you don’t reach for junk)
  • start on the other laundry (it feels good!)
  • delete all phone and text history from your bender (if you don’t remember, no sense wondering about it and ruining a whole other week!)
  • make a list (I don’t care what is on it, just make one.)

This week I’m all about going back to basics (because next week I’m doing some crazy diet cleanse shit) and cooking and living simple.

A few weeks ago I met my favorite breakfast partner for bagels and we both decided to also grab a hard boiled egg. Protein, you know? They were a bitch to peel. I don’t eat the yolk unless its egg salad or a deviled egg (see the difference?) so having big chunks of the egg white torn away with the shell while I cursed over a tiny trashcan was not ideal.

But it did inspire me. At home my mom always keeps a dozen boiled eggs and she is really good at it. You can always peel them. The peeling issue has prompted me, on many occasions, to take to the internet for research. Alas, after all that searching, my mom’s way is the best. Sometimes, when I’ve worked out an need to just shower and get dressed, I look for an easy, nutritious breakfast to send me on my way.

Break Fast with this Open-face Egg Salad 

Step One: Turn on a pot of water and bring it to a full boil. (Pour enough to make sure the water can cover the eggs.)

Step Two: Add eggs to boiling water, one at a time, with a large spoon. Kind of close a lid over it between eggs to keep the water boiling. Make sure the water is back up to a complete boil before securing a lid tight and then turning off the burner.

Step Three: Walk away. If you go all day the yolk might get a little greenish tint (but still tasty) 15 minutes is the sweet spot. If you walk away to get dressed and come back in 15, this is what you get:

Hello, egg!

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Me, peeling an egg.

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And look how cute they are!

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I made egg salad – under a Tbsp. of mayo (because the eggs are super fluffy), sea salt, fresh ground pepper on a toasted English muffin. Eggs are still a bit warm. It is V yummy.

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Sometimes egg salad makes people gassy. Try this perfect Tuesday morning breakfast at your own risk/if you don’t care that you may bombard your coworkers with egg-farts, you hate you significant other, you love your significant other – OR, if you are like me – eat it because you are born alone and die alone and if you must eat breakfast alone you might as well enjoy something that is really simple but really fucking tasty and has enough going on that you aren’t starving again at 9:30 a.m. thinking about diving into your lunch.

 

Or, Would You Need a Ride?

A few weekends ago I made plans to have a relaxing Saturday at the park with my gal pal Ophelia and her two babies. One is very new, and the older one is three years old. Super blonde, growing up super fast. We call him Little Man. He is funny.

The week before, I went to a networking dinner that, by the time Wednesday came, I really didn’t feel like going to. It was a great deal at only $30 for the multiple-course meal at a restaurant that I really like and the ticket was purchased in advance. So, although I hate networking and I don’t have business cards, I went. Great.

I walk in and almost immediately start talking to the only cute guy that was there. People were trickling in because the dinner didn’t start until 7, with cocktails from 6-7 (not included in the price of the dinner). It turns out, we had assigned seats next to each other and spent the evening together. When it came time to change seats for dessert, we scandalously decided to stick together and move tables as a pair.

He just moved back to town from SF and bumped into old college buddy at the dinner and the three of us went out for a drink after. There was some slight leg touching at the new bar but, in good form, I took an Uber home at 10:30 lest I turn into a pumpkin. We exchanged numbers and I told him to “call me” and we parted ways.

I didn’t feel drunk until I woke up at 1:30am dying of thirst. And definitely drunk. Whoops. Guess the wine and martini eventually matriculated into my blood stream. Thursday, therefore, was a little bit rough. UGH weeknight drinking. What a drag.

To my surprise, after dragging myself to go work out after class in the afternoon, I get a phone call. And it’s the guy! He CALLED. Didn’t text, called. Points. Double points! He asked what I was doing Saturday and I told him I had plans to go to the park and also had a big paper due. I didn’t want to commit to anything (did I mention the hangover?) and suggested I give him a call on Saturday.

Saturday comes and I am refreshed as fuck! I got up, worked out, went to the farmer’s market, VOTED, and squeezed in a jog before meeting my friend. I was picking up some snacks and gave the guy a call to see if he was still free. Phone conversation is awkward. He’s a nerdy-type but I let that slide. No formal plans are made. I suggest a few things and tell him to text me later since I won’t be attached to my phone.

We have so much fun at the park! Two girls, the babes, some wine. A lot of strawberries that our Little Man demolished. I was worried that when I went out that night I wouldn’t have anything to talk about except kids (and that might freak him out). It would also be a gross misrepresentation if he thought I was super into kids.

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Alas, text messages are exchanged and we finally make plans to go see the Chinese Lanterns at City Park and then go somewhere for drinks. Sounds good to me. Sold. But at this point, I’m starving and we’ve split a bottle of wine. Ophelia and I decide to take the kids to a favorite spot for some happy hour drinks and pizza. We’ve got to get out of the sun anyway. Must. Keep. Youthful. Skin. (We’ve decided it’s all about the summer scarves.)

We sit down at the restaurant and I see a text that says “Does 8 work for you? We could meet there? Or would you need a ride?”

Umm is this a date? Do I “need a ride”?! NO. I hear that Tinder hook ups often start liek that but we’d already had dinner together. And then went out for drinks. Jeesh. I don’t even want to go. I’ve been in the sun all day and now I have to dance around an “is this a date” situation. Woof.

(Let it be noted that many of my friends pointed out that Sometimes Boyfriend could basically say anything and I’d still meet up but this guy asks if I “need a ride” and I’m incensed.)

So I said “I actually kind of have a headache” and then “Maybe rain check” END SCENE.

He later invited me to the orchestra. With only 24 hours notice. Thanks, guy. I said yes but then accidentally stood him up. I kind of tried to date?! I swear, I am totally working on “moving on” I just am off to a slow start.

On the plus side, who needs boys when you’ve got girlfriends and it is berry season! Om nom nom.

 

 

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)