30 April 2011

He not busy being born is busy dying...A delayed post

Ok. So, this is an entry I actually wrote almost two weeks ago, and apparently saved it as a draft, but forgot to post. So, read on as if it were actually April 19th…

Whew! I’ve survived McCoy’s 30th birthday festivities! And, while I still firmly believe that birthdays are better if they are 4 days long instead of 1, I am EXHAUSTED!

Yesterday, a friend and I experimented with spray paint, and it was super fun! We saw this video about creating mystical universes with multiple layers of spray paint. We also decided to add our own chaotic nature to the “art” by including magazine pics, beads, glitter, and whatever else struck our fancy.

Then we went home to get dolled up to go downtown to sing karaoke…among other things! I’m not sure I’ve ever talked about my experience with Bourbon Street, perhaps (unfortunately) the most distantly-famous New Orleans landmark.

Hanging out on Bourbon Street is not something we do with any regularity. The Quarter is expensive in comparison to our neighborhood, and certain parts of it (Bourbon in particular) are always jammed up with drunken tourists who have lost all sense of social decorum. I do often notice that I appreciate this touristy city center more than most of my local friends. I value how important tourism is for our city, and I actually have many times met some amazingly cool people who would be immediately written off as “tourists” by many. And, as all of us who are not born and raised “yats,” I started off my New Orleans journey as a tourist on Bourbon Street many years ago.

All that being said, Bourbon Street does NOT adequately represent the French Quarter, much less the city of New Orleans. We all get very frustrated when visitors don’t make the effort (minimal, truly) to explore other parts of the city and leave with the impression that everyone in town parties 24-7 at neon bars and seedy strip clubs. PS – We don’t.

HOWEVER, most locals I know will agree, for a serious tongue-in-cheek birthday throw down, the Quarter is a super fun option! So, for Day Three of McCoy’s Super Rad 30th Birthday Weekend of Doom, we headed downtown for some Technicolor cocktails and karaoke!

Fortunately, I work at a religious institution and have off all of Holy Week, so it wasn’t a problem for me to step out on Sunday night….or Monday night…..or Tuesday night, the next night in my chronicle…

Tuesday, 19 April was the day I had been waiting for for two months!

The Best Chefs of Louisiana fundraiser event!!!!

All you could eat, drink, and experience, and all by some of the most talented chefs in the world! This event provided me with experiences I would never have otherwise. While I will likely visit one or more of these chefs' restaurants at some point, I was able to sample them all for less than a dinner at any one restaurant! So delicious! So fun! I'm gonna leave you with some pics of the decadence! Hooray!

17 April 2011

There is no cure for birth and death save to enjoy the interval.

Well, this week has been a little quieter than the last few...but just a little!

After my bike was stolen, I spent two days in quite a funk. I was pouty and whiny, and, in general, not much fun to be around.

Fortunately, Wednesday came quickly. McCoy and I made our usual lunchtime trek to the Prytania Theater, where we watched "Laura," a great noir film starring Dana Andrews and Gene Tierney. I love watching these classic films every Wednesday. It provides me with an amazing sense of nostalgia and a desire to create beautiful things, to be around beautiful things, and to adopt a more romantic perspective in general.

We decided to take a break from our usual Wednesday trek to the zoo/aquarium since I'm off work all next week. So, I went home to sew! I've made two wearable muslins this week out of some good quality thrifted bedsheets. I plan to make several summer dresses from multiple patterns, in search of the perfect pattern for this fun Day of the Dead fabric I got at Joann's. I don't plan to make this dress until I've lost a bit more weight, but I want to have the perfect pattern picked out!

I'm pretty happy with both of them, though I'm definitely leaning more toward the halter pattern for the skull fabric. Something really strange happened with the zipper on the green dress, but that's fixable. Both dresses fit well and the fabric is soft and breathes really nicely...important, as "spring" in New Orleans has already brought +90 days!

All that sewing put my brain back in a peaceful place. My good friend, Pickle Freak, loaned me her bike so I can still get around and be exercised, and the last half of my pre-spring break week at work was quite enjoyable.

Tomorrow is McCoy's 30th birthday, so a full weekend of fun celebrations has already begun! Friday, Bryan and I hosted McCoy, Banacek, Pickle Freak, and the Equalizer for a birthday cookout and crawfish feast! I made two birthday cakes: one for McCoy, and a belated one for my sweet husband, who didn't get one for his b-day a few weeks ago (*pouty face: I'm a terrible wife!!!*).

Crawfish Feasting! Oh, and hey! Don't my plants look great?

Jac's "Happy Super Rad Birthday Weekend of Doom" Cake: Lemon with Cream Cheese frosting and gummy creatures

Bryan's "Creed Sux" belated birthday cake: Chocolate Fudge with Coconut Pecan frosting and chocolate Ichthus fish

Yesterday, the birthday festivities involved going to the Convention Center to watch a taping of WHEEL OF FORTUNE!!!! It was so fun and interesting! I can't blog about details until the episodes actually air, but plan for a more detailed account mid-May!

Today's fun will commence in the French Quarter, where karaoke will happen. Oh yes! I'm ashamed to say that I haven't been to karaoke, not once, since we moved here! So, expect hilarity in the form of pictures and commentary soon!

12 April 2011

Hasty, apologetic catch-up post: The Final Chapter

I really am going to try and not to get so behind on posting from here on out, but there’s just so little time and so much to do!!!! I hope you’re having a great week! Here's the last of my catching up posts, and this one has a little good news, and a LOT of SAD!!!! You have been warned...

Last weekend was the French Quarter Festival! It's a huge, 4-day extravaganza of great music at 20 stages throughout the Quarter....and it's FREE! I must admit, I did not properly partake of the festival this year, only watching one band perform (The Pinettes, an all-female brass band!), but I still had an extremely busy weekend!

Saturday morning, my friend Pickle Freak and I had way too much fun with spray paint and cheap, plastic flower pots! Look at the transformation of this ugly, green mess (rescued from a neighbor's trash bin) into shiny red happiness! Now my little garden is colorful and cheery!

I also made this fabulous Empire Strikes Back dress! Oh yes, folks! I re-found my stash of childhood bedsheets!!!

Sunday, I lazed around with the TMC Elizabeth Taylor marathon and some fancy cheeses!!!!


My beautiful little green bicycle, Sally, was STOLEN RIGHT OFF MY FRONT PORCH!!!! I was (and still am a bit) devastated. Sally is, by all accounts, a worthless bike (the basket is worth more than the actual bike)....WORTHLESS TO ANYONE BUT ME!!! I truly loved my little friend. She got me through quitting smoking, and we've spent time together every single day! Bikes get stolen with extreme frequency here, and I'm not even overly surprised that someone finally noticed the craptastic cable lock I was using. And I feel extremely petty for being so sad about this loss, but I can't seem to help it. There will be another bicycle for me one day. And a better lock. Until then, thanks, Sally, you were a good bike. Farewell.

Hasty, apologetic catch-up post: Take 3

I can't believe how behind I've gotten on this blog! Argh!

Okay, where was I?

Last week was just as hectic as every week before (surprise, surprise!)

Early in the week, a friend and I created a unique and sporty bridesmaid dress for her to wear to a very unconventional wedding this weekend!This picture truly doesn't do it justice, though I will admit the construction was a little hasty.

Wednesday was, as always, THE DAY OF ADVENTURES AND GENERAL WINNING, during which Banacek, McCoy and I took in a classic film (San Francisco starring Clark Gable and Jeanette MacDonald), champagne, and a trip downtown to the Audubon Insectarium!

Banacek’s work schedule is changing, so it was her last Wednesday adventure day, but have no fear! McCoy and I will gladly add another ladies’ day to our weekly schedule to accommodate such an important member of the Adventure Team!

We had ENTIRELY too much fun at the Insectarium. Looking at bugs, taking pictures of bugs, climbing on giant fiberglass bugs, eating bugs....YES, EATING BUGS! It was all just super! But I think we may have frightened some of the employees!

Okay, I think I can catch it all up in one more post before another Wednesday of adventure arrives tomorrow!

Hasty, apologetic catch-up post: Take 2

The Freret Street Market is a regular monthly market, but last Saturday marked the Freret Street Festival, a great kick off to street market season! Local artists and crafters shared their wares with the world! I bought this A-MA-ZING embroidered Bearded Lady Yearbook Photo! I almost DIED when I saw it and had to take it home with me!

There was carnival food, of course, as well as more fancy schmancy food offerings!

Two stages showcased several live music acts, and, to top it off, at the end of the day there was a roller derby bout in the parking lot of a local thrift store! Hoorah!

Oh, and I finally made some more stuff! The apron is from a vintage pattern which I now officially HATE, as it is so detailed and complex I could make a dress much faster. For the red market day dress, I used an old pattern I had re-sized from a now long-gone-and-forgotten proper pattern. Both are from refashioned bedsheets.

Hasty, apologetic catch-up post: Take 1

Spring in New Orleans is full-on festival season!....I mean, it’s not like we don’t have festivals year round, but April is offering day after day of potential adventures packed three or four deep!

Last Friday night (oops! Two Fridays ago now, I AM behind on my posting!), I went to a friend’s birthday happy hour! It was a super good time (too good, I might have said the next day)! I am so grateful to have met such amazing people since I moved here!

Somehow, I managed to get up early that Saturday morning without much of a hangover (quitting smoking has helped dramatically in the hangover department), and traveled with friends down to the Crescent City Farmers Market, it’s Saturday morning location is downtown in the CBD. I was able to buy fresh strawberries and stock up on my plants for the season! A woman who saw me with my giant plant purchase called me the "Muses of Plants!"

After the market, McCoy, the Equalizer, and I took the streetcar to the French Quarter for the 2011 Road Food Festival. Royal Street was lined with dozens of tail-gating tents, each offering unique and delicious-sounding treats!

As if we didn’t gorge ourselves enough at Road Food, McCoy and I couldn’t resist a crawfish feast in my backyard on Sunday morning. The sun was out, and it was just a perfect time! After pigging out on spicy, salty deliciousness, we played the fun and grotesque "Pose the Crawdad Corpse" game!

As you’ve seen, the Adventure Team and I have taken to going to the noon Classic Movie Matinee at the Prytania Theater. Two weeks ago, the selection was Giant, and, in tribute to the late, great Elizabeth Taylor, we smuggled in champagne and a strawberry cream cheese pie! Don’t worry, we support local business (we got drinks and popcorn too!) Wow, does living in this town make it difficult to be on a diet!

I even made that blue cotton dress just for the occasion!

The rest of that week managed to be only slightly mundane, as I live in the town of Winning, and even Thursday afternoon bike rides are beautiful and made of fun! But, Saturday morning, New Orleans was ready to get its festival on again!