north-sick




When we went on our vacation to New York and DC, I realized that other than the constant energy, the H&M on every corner, and the fact that you could eat at a different restaurant every day for the next ten years, there was another reason I loved being out of the South: everyone was rude and no one wanted to talk to me.


Yes, I just listed rudeness as a positive, right up there with the availability of cheap, cute, Swedish clothing and Indian takeout. You have to think about it from my perspective: I am AWKWARD. Every random stranger that asks me how I'm doing is just another opportunity for me to make a fool out of myself -- so I'd actually just prefer if they didn't ask.

Not to mention the pressure I feel, having to ask every single stranger how they're doing. And the disappointment when, time after time, I just hear "fine". That brings me to my next point: why ask someone how they're doing, when no one in the history of time (I've done research) has ever said anything other than "fine" or "good, thanks"?

Also: politeness wastes time. Imagine this scenario, it happens to me daily: you're approaching a 4-way stop. Another car approaches from the opposite direction -- for the sake of accuracy, we'll say it's some kind of large truck with some sort of confederate flag paraphernalia. Perhaps like this:


This vehicle gets to the stop sign a full three seconds before you make your full stop. Even though they have the right of way, they wave you through. This throws you off, since it's not your turn. So you wave them through frantically, because you (okay, fine, me) are OCD and can't handle when the flow of traffic is disturbed.

The other driver is clearly offended that you didn't appreciate their polite gesture, and waves you through again, just as frantically. You both hesitate. Finally you think, "Okay fine, I'll just go" and start to inch forward. Without fail, the other driver has that thought at the exact same moment. You take turns lurching forward until one of you takes the plunge, ending your epic 4-way stop battle, and you (okay, me again) end up being 10 minutes and 7 seconds late instead of just 10 minutes late.

Phew. Can you tell this is a sore subject for me?


I appreciate the effort, South, but I propose we set some rules. First of all, there should be no politeness in driving, other than when I need you to let me in your lane. Secondly, if you don't know me, there is no need to know how I'm doing today because surely you don't want to hear about how my dog rolled around on his back on top of a dead rat in the backyard and then barfed on the couch (true story). And finally -- this one is the most important -- if a girl is wearing heels, you must be within 5 feet in front if you plan to hold the door open for her, because we both lose when you've committed and have to hold the door open for a full minute while I run-walk across an entire room in 3 inch heels and inevitably faceplant.

it's fun to stay at the...

My lunch break usually goes a little something like this:

Therefore, while what I'm about to tell you may not sound all that exciting to you, keep the photo above in mind when I say I feel like my lunch breaks this week should have made the national news. Or at least the local news. Okay, maybe my relative sense of severity is off but what do you expect? I'm at the point where I'm making up star-crossed love stories of pretzel heir/esses. Give me a break.

My boss is out of town, and my night classes start next week (and with them starts no hope of my going to the gym after work) so I decided to test out whether I could get to the downtown YMCA branch (which I had never been to) for a pilates class at noon and back to my office within an hour.

So I Google mapped my directions out; it would take 6 minutes to get there.

Turns out "there", which Google maps told me was the Y, was a homeless shelter. I figured this out as I got out of the car with my bright green, flowery yoga mat and noticed lots of... dirty people standing around outside.

I couldn't bring myself to believe that Google Maps had failed me -- was I going to have to start using MapQuest?? -- so I decided that the logical reason for all of these homeless people was that the YMCA must be next to the YWCA, which I knew had a shelter of some kind. So my increasingly lame yoga mat and I went inside.

Yeah, it was a homeless shelter. Just a plain old, non-YMCA affiliated homeless shelter.

NOT A GYM.


The lady that worked there gave me directions to the actual Y. I got lost and confused because there were movie trucks lining most of the streets I needed to turn down - Butter (whose movie set Yoni and I happened to stumble upon once), was filming somewhere downtown. When I finally got to my pilates class, 20 minutes late for a 45 minute class, I discovered where exactly the movie was filming: in the pilates workout room.

The movie crew had infested the gym, and I tiptoed around them, thinking I might see someone famous. Nope. Just a lot of racks of clothing you might see at a butter carving contest.

While looking around, I noticed what an interesting old building I was in. I was sort of teetering on whether I thought it had a lot of character or was just plain creepy. When I asked one of the guys who worked there to show me where the pilates classes had been relocated to, he took me up some really narrow stairs to a platform above the building.


And as he started to lead me up the next flight of stairs, I had to ask him if he was kidnapping me.


By the way, I decided on "just plain creepy".

On my way to the locker room after my workout, I passed a bank of directors' chairs where Kristen Schaal was sitting. You might know her from The Daily Show, Flight of the Conchords, or Modern Family, as poor Manny's date that didn't quite work out.


My celebrity sighting fix satiated, I felt like I was ready to end my adventures and go back to The Office. As I was changing clothes, a woman (who was dressed for a county fair, not a workout) came in and checked her lipstick. She looked incredibly familiar... like an aunt, or the wife of my refrigerator supplier. Then it clicked.


Yep, I had just been staring open mouthed, with no shirt on, at Phyllis from The Office.

How was your lunch break?

hero

You may have noticed I was MIA for awhile and I have a very good excuse, I promise. Not only did I, as usual, procrastinate on studying for my exams and writing my papers for grad school, I've been saving babies.


Okay, fine. I saved one baby. On my way home from work the other night, a little boy around 2 years old and a dog crossed the street in front of me. I stopped, and waited for the adult that was sure to follow... and waited. And waited. There was no adult.

This is how I know I suck at snap decisions: my first thought was "Aw, this boy and his dog are embarking on an epic journey where they will encounter lots of talking animals and arrive home safely a few days later!"

Luckily, the part of me who's watched a few too many Disney movies was joined by Rational Me, and together we decided we should probably do something. I rolled my window down and asked the boy where his mommy was. He looked at me very seriously and pointed to his dog.

"DOGGIE!"

His "doggie" was a snarling pitbull who had walked up to my car window and was barking furiously at me. I had always heard pitbulls were mean, but I refused to believe it.



I called Y to stay on the line with me in case this was some kind of reverse abduction plan - babies are lured with candy; people like me are lured with babies. Y reminded me that where we live, this was a normal occurrence. More than once, I've seen an infant riding on the handlebars of a bike being steered by a 5 year old. No shirt, no shoes, certainly no helmet. Y said I shouldn't risk getting eaten by the anti-Ike, but I kind of felt like I had to do something.

So, I knocked on a few doors and finally found a man in a wifebeater, halfway down the street from where the little boy was, who seemed shocked that his baby, who had just been "out back", had escaped. I wanted to offer my words of wisdom ("Don't leave your baby out back.") but figured he got the point.

Anyway, the moral of my story is, before you nag someone about updating their blog, THINK OF THE BABIES.

luxury

My friend in San Diego takes her dogs to "doggy daycare" once a week. She shared the webcam link and OHMYGOSH. Forget dropping my dog off there, I want to go! Doesn't this look like fun?


As a self proclaimed crazy dog lady, obviously the thought of watching my dog play while I'm at work appealed to me. So, I looked into our local "luxury" pet daycare place.



That does not look like as much fun.

when boredom strikes, bake.

I had a problem yesterday -- there was nothing to do. I get twitchy when there's nothing to do; I need some sort of project.

So like any normal person with an entire day to herself and a hint of southern Louisiana homesickness, I decided to make a king cake.

I was promised by the commenters on allrecipes.com (who all swear they are THE most qualified to determine king cake authenticity based on number of years living in New Orleans) that this recipe was the real deal, and I pretty much agree. It definitely tasted more like a king cake than North Louisiana's version (which, while delicious, is NOT a king cake. I know. I lived within 70 miles of New Orleans for over 10 years).


On the off chance you're like me and find yourself thinking, "Why sit in front of the tv all day when I can spend hours making something I can easily find at any local bakery?", then this 20 year old Southern Living recipe is most definitely for you, provided you live in Louisiana and it's ~40 days before Easter.

I'll leave you with this vintage Mardi Gras picture, because I love embarrassing people... especially myself (I'm on the left). I distinctly remember showing our hairdresser a picture of Jessica Simpson and believing she could make me look just like her with a bunch of hairspray and a $1 gold headband. I think it worked!




...That was sarcasm. I need some really ugly high waisted jeans to make that happen.

Happy Mardi Gras!

they write real good down here.

I'm often asked what exactly there is to do in Shreveport. Well, as tough as it was to narrow it down, my absolute favorite thing has got to be waking up in the morning with a cup of tea and counting the typos on the local news.


All joking aside, this has pretty much become a morning ritual. The very bottom line of the Today Show scrolls local headlines that I assume are typed by someone at the local news station -- someone who apparently has no spell check and no editor.


Like this city needed another reason for people not take it seriously... and by "people", I mean grammar nazis and anyone else who was trained to write for mass publication. MISSPELLING = IGNORANCE.

Okay, local scroll guy. I'll give you the benefit of the doubt on this one. You just moved to the area, maybe, and you've only heard the name of this neighborhood, Broadmoor. We can look past this.


Twice? On two different days? About two different "govenors"? This is no longer a typo, my friend, you just don't know how to spell governor.


Dear local scroll guy: http://learnyourdamnhomophones.com/


3 in one sentence?! That takes talent.

(I'm assuming "Car Morris" is supposed to be "Carl Morris" because the only Google search result for "'car morris' + Shreveport" was, imagine that, from this blurb on KTAL's facebook page:)

And yes, this is a real. live. television station.

So, friends, remember my most exciting morning ritual next time you ask what there is to do in Shreveport. And come visit. We'll have lots of fun!

P.S. No, Shreveport is not that terrible. Bad grammar/spelling -- especially when trying to appear professional -- is just my pet peeve. I have no clue how Y "How do you spell hungry" and I get along.