Sunday, March 31, 2013

What the past week looked like

The weather in New Orleans is getting perty purrrrfect right about now. Let's all enjoy it as much as possible before it's impossible to live outside the 5 ft radius of an air conditioner. 

1. Cafe Reconcile reopened! I was never there before, but glad I've been now. Holy bajeebus-- a delicious plate of southern cooking for 13$? Yes please. It is a rare occasion that I am off of work when they are open, but this is the best lunch deal in town. AND it's also around the corner from my house on OC Haley Blvd (yeah!). 

fried catfish with crawfish etouffee, smothered okra and collard greens
2. Velvet Cafe opened a second location, also on OC Haley. It's bigger then their other store and has a piano! I'm itching to play that baby...

My friend Matthew has a beautiful soul
Velvet Cafe is on the left corner...

3. Oh, hey, pan to the right a bit...

As much as I am excited about all the new happenings on OC Haley, I equally can find enough to lament about in terms of dead spaces. I was pondering in my head what this building could become and then was recently told it is becoming a Trader Joe's! Alright, now let's talk about what we can do to help all the homeless people that congregate in the area near the mission...

4. I spent some time at the playground this week with my buddy Tibo. I always find myself corralled by multiple children, and I think I really need to become a teacher.

5. This one warms my heart and soul. I love her to the moon and back 

6. I created a new drink at work; Wheat grass, lemon, and cucumber. It's super light a refreshing. We gotta get a wheat grass juicer

I also have to think of something delicious for these babies. We got a ton of delicious and beautiful produce from Inglewood Farm. They are da best.
Ormagawd kumquats.
7. Aaaaaaannnd today was Easter Sunday. I went to this little church in the Marigny with my friend/neighbor Nathan and his family visiting from out of town. Nathan recently started singing in the choir and he is awesome. The end. 

I hit up the Chris Owen's Easter Parade on the way back uptown (of course there is a parade, this is New Orleans). So this is my Easter "Basket", heh heh heh. 

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Green Beer and Flea Bombs

This past weekend was pretty fun considering everything running against it. Any weekend in New Orleans is tough when you're sober, so you can imagine how I felt bracing myself for a holiday celebrated by getting completely inebriated starting as early in the morning as possible. Throw in flea bombing the apartment and you've got yourself a party! (I did get to eat corned beef and cabbage, so please, don't feel too bad for me)

Saturday morning was the uptown St. Patrick's Day parade in the Irish Channel. Before the parade, St. Mary's church has a special service attended by all the tuxedoed and kilted men that march in the parade. It is quite a sight to see. Apparently it is one of the biggest celebrations for the holiday in the world. I recommend trying to catch the service next year.

The parade itself was disappointing. I love parades, LOVE them. I love getting all crazy and yelling for things, catching useless crap. And although I've been at many a crowded parade, I never had a rude interaction as such:

Me (to a 10-year-old girl): "Hi, can I squeeze in here next to you?" *big smile*

Girl: *looks at mother next to her*

Mother (old hag) to daughter: "Ignore her" *elbow brace*

What?!!!! Jerk. Let me give you a little background to the St. Patty's day parade in New Orleans. Drunken men parade down the street with flowers and give them to ladies for kisses. The streets are lined with middle aged women drunkenly groping for plastic flowers while sticking their tongues down some stale beer throat. And that's just at the beginning of the parade route.

I saw a girl hurdle over the police barricade to have whiskey poured down her throat from a guy leaning off a float and then french kiss the dude next to him. I also caught a head of cabbage.

My cousin's live where the parade ends. It's pretty entertaining to watch as everyone disassembles and staggers away. We sat in front of the house in the gorgeous weather . My Rosie angel played with chalk. She covered a stick in chalk. She's so hip.

Next door to the house is a community garden. They have chickens! They gave us their eggs as a present for new baby Pearl. I love finding little bigs of gardens and farm life hidden away in the city.

That evening I went to Mod Dance Party at Saturn Bar. Matty plays some great tunes and it's a nice option for someone who likes to go out to dance to not sucky music.

Oh, how did my cat/flea situation turn out? Well. I took the cats on the bus to the animal shelter, flea dipped them and applied ANOTHER round of advantage. Went home and flea bombed my house and evacuated for 69 hours. Came back after said amount of time and totally cleaned the place from top to bottom. Also washed every single item of clothing (and if you know me, then god damn yeah that's a lot of clothing). Got back on the bus to pick up the cats. Realized I got on the wrong bus and walked 5 blocks and paid 1.25 to get brought back to my apartment. Got a ride to the shelter from my awesome neighbors (yeah, pussy posse!), got the cats, and brought them home. Gave them cuddles and OMG WHAT THE HELL WHY ARE THERE FLEAS!!!!

So needless to say, I'm done. I inherited OCD with cleaning from my mother, so usually when I get off work, before I can do any sort of productive or creative project, I have to clean. I used to do this in college as well, as a procrastination technique. No, I cant write this paper yet! I must re organize my closet first!

But after this whole ordeal...F it. My clothes are staying on the floor. Papers- everywhere. Dishes-unwashed (well maybe). Point is, I'm tired of constantly cleaning and cleaning and cleaning. It's not like it's filthy. It's just a bit of a mess. And I'm gonna see what comes out of that mess. Hopefully something creative (and not disgusting). Cheers to messes!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Oh, hey, haven't seen you in a while...

Yeah, sorry. Doing the whole blog thing means I need to be actually writing, huh? Thing is, what about those times, when you don't want to do the things that you know you need to, SHOULD do? Things that you know are good for you but you're just like, "Aggggghhh noooooo". 

No Mr. Carrot Stick, I'm hanging out with chocolate bar

Ugh, yoga, pffffffttt. Hey nap time.

That's what depression is for me. Yes, I know eating healthy, exercising, being around people and involved in society (even if all I want to do is get in bed and cuddle with my cats) will eventually jump start you into a better place. Positive thinking produces positivity, even if you have to force it at first. 

But that week happens. When it doesn't happen. When you can't shake it. When, even though you recite the slew of positive affirmations you've learned about life through your brain countless times (It's okay to be sad sometimes, count your blessings, you're healthy and smart), you still feel jaded and pointless and angry. 

You hate the things that you usually love. They make you angry, and you make fun of that person you were when enjoying life. That person is blinded, and doesn't see how crappy everything really is. You find something wrong in everything. 

And then you start to think, "Well, maybe I should try medication again". 

Because thinking is too much. Figuring it out is too much. You can't stop comparing, not just yourself to others (which you know you shouldn't do), but yourself to yourself. Where you want to, but where you are, and how far you've come doesn't make you feel better. 

When it gets to the point where you don't even know where you want to be...

I may be down for the count. 
But I'm not giving in yet. 
It may be sunny outside and storming in my head,
But we'll hopefully figure it out
when I figure out hope.
And for now here's some pictures of what my week looked like. 

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Unwanted Critters

I've been dealing with a bug infestation in my apartment and haven't been in the best mood about it. The place is so small and all I do is clean...sigh..

I thought I had gotten rid of the little critters, all while feeling horrible because my cats got sick from the topical flea killer I used on them. But alas, there they still are. It's not horrible. But for someone with a bit of cleanliness OCD....UGHH!

I was trying to find some natural tonight I tried mixing some garlic into their cat food and am brewing some rosemary in hot water (apparently fleas don't like the smell of rosemary?) My neighbors told me nothing short of moving helped them. So needless to say I'm not feeling very encouraged.

Have you ever dealt with this problem? Anything work for you? Help?

Monday, March 4, 2013

Treat Yo Self!

Phew! What a weekend. Mine was filled with art galleries, French movies about love and death, cheeseburgers and ice cream sodas, and a bit of shopping in the 'burbs.

1. Boy was out of town so I was left to my own endeavors Saturday night. The first Saturday every month is Art Walk on Julia Street, when all the galleries are open later, serve booze, and people mingle. Its all a bit pretentious and trying, but I enjoyed the vibe of the new Boyd Satellite Gallery from a previous visit, and wanted to pay the lovely gallery director, Ginette Bone, a visit.

The gallery was showing works by David Eddington. Since Blake wasn't in (and I was there to meet him), I wandered about overhearing snippets of the audience's critiques. Oh, what a load of bull. I didn't think people actually talked like that about art anymore; "Well I feel the spacing of the lines is very expressive of the early oppression of the artist's family blah blah blah". Trying to pull whatever art class rhetoric they could remember. I messaged boy, "Oh, you would LOVE hating this so much right now". It was all very boushie. Apparently, the artist felt so too. 

Me: Did you use the same template to create the design on this painting as the one on this or are they all unique?

Mr. Eddington (in a bored, yet sassy English accent): Clear girl. I found it in a junk yard. What is the first thing you notice about the painting?

Me: Well, the edges aren't done, there's no frame (well hello captain obvious)

Mr. E: Yes, I like that you can see how it progressed...are you an artist?

Me: Oh, no. Uh, I guess I "craft". 

Mr. E: Well what the hell does that mean?

Me: I take care of children a lot, so I've done a good bit of projects..(ehhhh)

Mr. E: (Ew) Do you like children? I have four, my daughter she is a 'Freegan', she dumpster dives and won't ride in my car. I'd respect it, if she wasn't my daughter.

Me: Oh, uh...I like other people's children?

Mr. E: Good, the one thing I hope you get from tonight is this; don't breed.

Me: (Laughing nervously way too loud cause I don't know what else to say) Okay, well, Bye!

I've gotta start hanging out at art gallery openings more often. Such interesting conversation. 

2. I was really feeling saucy after all the art, so I decided to take myself out to dinner! Over the past couple years, I have learned how to hang out with myself. It is wonderful. I used to have social anxiety like woah. I always had to be doing something with someone, knowing what was going on, being out and about twenty fo seven. I would freak out if the person picking me up was a few minutes late. If phone calls went unanswered, I'd lose my shit (I have a very over active imagination sometimes).Gosh, that's exhausting. 

It takes some getting used to, but I love taking myself on dates. I get to choose where I go, choose what I want to eat, and feel super liberated. I believe that most things happen for a reason, and if you are sensitive to the universe's hints, pushes and pulls, things usually run smoothly and you have a grand ole thyme. The universe told me to go to Sylvain for dinner, where I saddled up to the bar next to someone else dining alone, had some great beef cheeks (no, really, fantastic), and great conversation (p.s. the bartenders at Sylvain are super entertaining and cute). 

I left in such a good mood, running into the sous chef outside and passing on the positive vibes ("Dinner was delicious, Thank you!"). I also believe the nicer you are to people, the nicer people will be to you. I decided that I needed some dessert and went again to Booty's in the Bywater (I can see this getting to be a dangerous habit). When I walked in, a friend who I was just saying I missed seeing was sitting at the bar! It truly was a fantastic night. Sigh. 

3. I spent Sunday with my Aunt Winnie (who is probably my biggest online fan, woot woot, you go Aunt Winnie! xoxoxo). We went to World Market, which is the bane of my existence. How can there be so many useless but things that I love SO MUCH in one place?! Gaaa! You kill me World Market, KILL ME! 

We had lunch at Stanley's on Jackson Square, where sitting at the old school counter completed the old school diner vibe with my delicious cheese burger and ice cream blood orange italian soda. I INHALED it. (as well as the popcorn during the movie, gaa). 

Us ventured on to the fancy pancy Canal Place theaters to see Amour. I wont give anything away by saying it was sad. But in a "this is life" kind of way...which is..sad..and beautiful? and love? Oh, you France. We really must visit you some day....Hey, Aunt Winnie, next time let's do France, Okay?!

How was your weekend?! Do you have any special places you like to take yourself?

Friday, March 1, 2013

Thank you.

I've been sitting in a cafe for the past two hours thinking about what approach I want to take. Comical? Serious? Uplifting and heart warming? Straightforward and logical? Thus is trying to find your voice. Or in my case, which of the many voices in my head do I want to use.

The subject is today. An anniversary of sorts. For me, not you (or maybe you, too). Six months ago today, half a year ago, I decided to stop drinking alcohol (or the universe decided for me) and I was able to take control of my life.

I could go into the why, the how, and horror stories in between. And I probably will at some point. But I think I'm gonna give thanks for now.

I am completely aware that one of the biggest reasons I was able to make this change is my family. I am blessed that I was born into a family with the capabilities to support me when I couldn't help myself; emotionally, physically, financially.

Like most adolescence, I spent half of my 25 years thus far on this earth pushing away from my family. It continued into college, getting my feet deliciously wet with freedom. But then it continued after college.

I would avoid phone calls for weeks on end, because what was there to talk about? How hungover I was that day? How hard I partied the night before? When you are in a destructive cycle, the last thing you want are these beams of healthy normalcy trying to leech in, showing you that how your acting, what your doing, isn't okay, isn't healthy. Holding you accountable for being a productive part of this world (or even a participating member of your own world, which I wasn't).

I'm really trying to think back to how I felt then, try to understand the nerve I had. Who did I think I was? I want to smack that person. In hindsight, it seems like my family, as well as I, were waiting, patiently, for something to click into place (or hit rock bottom). And all the time, there they were. Never judging, and never angry. Never questioning. And when I needed it, catching me and holding me. And helping me. Again, not judging, and not angry. Just there.

Mom, Dad, Richard, Elaine; I don't think I can ever express how much I appreciate each one of you. The biggest blessing of sobriety has been able to see how clearly you love me, be able to fully appreciate that love, and give it back. Thank you

Sensory Overload


Scott Listfield has some awesome paintings about this astronaut wandering about a future world. He also has photographs of his plastic dinosaur that he takes traveling with him. 

I love Diane Daeun Han for this. More then she will ever know. (The fish taco is pretty awsome as well).


To this

And this. (LaBlogotheque's whole "A Take Away Show" series is pretty great. I'd suggest taking some time discovering new artists through them.


I make my travel plans based solely on pastries . Seriously? A hard boiled egg inside a muffin. SERIOUSLY?!

I never used to like scones. Now I'm all like, "Rachel, you are cray cray!"


Oh hey, someone did embroidery of my boyfriend. These would make fantastic presents.