famous friends

Confession time: when I was younger I was obsessed with the Olsen Twins. I wanted to be their best friend — I even used to have dreams that I was their step-sister. To a vain 12 year old with no friends, being friends with a celebrity was the ultimate compliment, coveted enough to make me wake up from those dreams a tiny bit mad at my parents for still being married. 

And here we are, years later, and not only did I dine “with” Morgan Freeman recently, but I have three other brushes with celebrities with which to impress you.

1.  You may have seen this guy on The Voice this season: 

Brian and I went to summer camp together in the 90s. Were we friends? The better question may be if we ever spoke. We are the same age (so we were in the same small group), but I guarantee you he doesn’t remember me, because he was The Cute Boy and I looked like this:

At least my step-sisters accepted me for who I was.

Anyway, my friend Leila was (and is!) The Cute Girl and had the privilege of calling Brian her boyfriend. I bet they even held hands. But I’m sure she’ll tell a better version of that story on her blog soon.

2.  The man below in the glasses is Bill Joyce, animator and, as of Sunday, Academy Award winning director of The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore.

We don’t know each other. But he does live around the corner from me. I have nearly run into the low-hanging branches of the tree in his front yard on many, many occasions, and Ike has resisted the urge to poop on his lawn on many, many occasions. Congratulations on the Oscar win, and thank you, for helping me discover that I have pride in this city. 

3. Perhaps you recognize my friend, fellow book club member, and famous dentist McKenzy?

I know you’re all watching Bayou Billionaires (which takes place in the city where we currently live) on CMT. It’s a reality show about “a hardworking family of modest means” (some might prefer the term “rednecks”) who discover their home sits on a huge natural gas deposit and strike it rich. Naturally, they want new teeth (with diamonds in them!) and there was no better dentist for the job than McKenzy. 

I’m still a little bitter that I don’t have access to John Stamos and a closet full of oversized old lady afghans (and a billion dollar fortune) but at least I might be able to get a discount on bejeweled dentures. What more could a girl ask for?

quoted: up all night

Does anyone else find the show Up All Night as hilarious as I do? I like seeing Wil Arnett play an actual, functioning member of society (rather than a magician on a Segway) and Maya Rudolph as an alternate universe Oprah makes me laugh every. single. time. she’s on screen.

During an episode we watched recently, Reagan (Christina Applegate) gives a little speech about how frustrated she is that her husband (Arnett) never has her back. As it is a paragraph about pinto beans, it was probably meant to be funny, but I found it just plain sweet.

interview trail: alabama

This picture was actually taken in Arkansas, but I would not be surprised if most people didn’t know there was a difference between Mississippi, Alabama, Arkansas, and probably even Louisiana.

When you’re driving through middle of nowhere Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, it’s important to have a backup plan in case of boredom when your passenger falls asleep and your iphone transmitter won’t work. I didn’t have one. All I had was Mississippi/Alabama border radio on scan. And it was all country. Over. And over. And..

And then… I found my backup plan. As snippets of country songs played, one after the other, I realized that country lyrics were all so similar that they blurred together to form little country poems.  This entertained me for hours.

My favorites:

If Y ends up matching in Alabama and I can’t find a job, at least I’ll have a really productive hobby.

Y has been flying around the country for residency interviews since October. I’ve been writing about it. To see the rest of my notes from the interview trail, click here. 

why books might be better than e-readers, in pictures

I used to be anti e-reader. Nothing, I swore, could make me give up the smell of a new book or the mysterious scribblings in the margin of a used book. Nothing. 

And then my dad gave me a Nook. A free e-reader, it turns out, was the thing that could make me give up that new book smell. 

When next month’s book club pick was announced  (Love in the Time of Cholera) I was actually kind of cranky when I realized I already own it in actual book form. Gosh, I’m going to have to turn a lamp on to read? What if I don’t know a word? Am I going to have to use an actual dictionary? The horror!

However, as much as I’ve become dependent on my e-reader, there are still things that make me think that it’s quite possible that books are better:

There’s the obvious argument that a real book will never run out of batteries. 

Never, when reading an actual book, have I opened a title only to find the contents were that of another book. When reading an e-book? It’s happened.

I’ve never turned the page in an actual book, mid-sentence, only to find that the next page is blank. You can bet it’s happened in an e-book.

Sometimes my e-reader will want to take me from page 108 straight to page 111. I’ve actually had this happen in a real book, but it was a textbook, and let’s be honest – I wasn’t really reading it.

And, most importantly, my actual books have never been locked. After loading up my e-reader with a carefully curated plane friendly reading list (no plane crash plots; mindless, happy love stories that make me forget I’m suspended mid-air for hours at a time), I reached my cruising altitude and turned on my e-reader only to discover that MY BOOKS WERE LOCKED. I was livid. 

The happy ending was that I got to buy a book from the airport at my layover. A real, live book, that came complete with new-book smell and the rustling sound of pages turning and, thankfully, was unlocked.

As Y said when I showed him this post, “mo e-readers mo problems.”

What do you think? Pro- or anti- e-reader? 

North Louisiana Mardi Gras

Mardi Gras in South Louisiana is different than Mardi Gras in North Louisiana. The differences are subtle – king cakes tastes less like king cake and more like a cinnamon roll, little kids scream over here! instead of throw me something, mister!, no one gets off work on Mardi Gras day, and the parades are a little less impressive. These pictures are from our big day-parade.

It starts with a band. Pretty standard, right? There were a few more, but this was the only marching band that had more than 5 members.

The band was followed by the Spam float, naturally.

“Hey, how can I find you during the parade?”
“Oh, I’ll be on the float most likely to offend someone.”

Continuing the processed meat and processed “meat” theme, this float threw freshly made hot dogs.

No sarcasm here – I was a fan of this float.  Moonbot Studios is an animation studio based here. I love seeing Moonbot stuff around town because I think they bring some creativity to a city that has such potential for a little more personality. Their animated short “The Fantastic Flying Books of Morris Lessmore” is actually nominated for an Oscar this year.  Check it out here.              

           The aftermath of parades is the same in every part of Louisiana.

Don’t get me wrong, it was a fun parade. I was with these guys, and we tend to have a pretty good time together. (And if you’re really desperate, we do have drive-through daiquiri stands up here.)

Daniel Tosh has a joke in his stand up:

“Parade or fireworks — which do you go to? Fireworks! Of course! I don’t even have a joke for the moron that yells ‘parade!’. Yeah, I would go to a parade. I’m here alone because I make horrible decisions. You don’t even know when a parade’s finished – you’re like, ‘oh, is that it?'”

I think Tosh needs to make a trip to Louisiana.  North Louisiana or South Louisiana, I’d pick a parade every time. 

(Oh, and there’s a police car at the end. That’s how you know.) 

I’ll miss you… New Orleans

You never know what will happen in New Orleans. From crying in a bathroom stall of a bar while telling a drag queen how beautiful she is, to catching beads thrown by Joshua Jackson (in the Pacey Witter era), to listening to Morgan Freeman sing while you eat the best fish and bread pudding you’ve eaten in your life.

Last weekend, thanks to an overbooked hotel in the midst of Mardi Gras season, I ended up in a luxury suite with a perfect view of St. Charles where my friend and I watched a parade from a new angle.

In the hotel across the street from ours, an elderly couple enjoyed the parade hand in hand… as a girl waltzed around in lingerie in the window above theirs for 45 minutes.

Even though we weren’t dancing until 4 am with leftover fried chicken fingers in our purse (as has been known to happen) and waking up 4 hours later to dance with Ellen (as has also happened), it was still amazing to spend time with good friends. Two minutes of laughter that leaves you gasping for air and covered in snot that only happens with your best friends is worth every second of a five hour drive.

And the food. I could easily make a separate post entitled I’ll miss you… boudin and grits. And praline bacon. And king cake. And bread pudding. And jambalaya. 

I’ll miss you… archive:

gratuitous ike: i’m gonna get it

3 and a half years ago, we visited a puppy that had been left in a box outside of the animal shelter. It was love at first sight.

Would we have agreed to adopt him if we knew how much he shed? I suppose so.

If we knew he was going to destroy 2 couches? Sure.

If we knew he was going to bust our next door neighbor’s lip by jumping up skull first in excitement? I guess so. 

If we knew I would have to replace pretty much my entire shoe collection? Yes. (That was fun.)

But if I had known about this, it might have been a deal breaker. If the shelter would have come right out and said that Ike would deal with the absence of his alpha male in this way, things would have been a lot different.

Because when Y leaves Ike and I alone together, Ike whines. And whines. And whines. And continues whining until he gets what he wants. And all Ike wants is for me to chase him and his bone in a circle around the coffee table over and over again. While informing him I’m going to get his bone.

This is the only thing that will make him stop crying.

I recorded it. Because it’s kind of amusing… the first time.