Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Sing a Song of Sixpence.

It's Jazz Fest time in New Orleans, so unsurprisingly there's a lot of music happening in town. And it has got me thinking about my musically minded and gifted friends near and far. Those of you who write songs, release albums, sing at random - yet fitting - times (ahem, Lis), play gigs at dimly lit pubs, and, of course, make wonderful compilations for my ears to enjoy. I consider each shared song and lyric a glance into your soul.
And I thank you.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Goodbye, friend.

I broke up with Washington DC one year ago today. It was a long time coming, and parts of me never thought I would leave the city I had grown to love. But I did it. I packed up my belongings, gave away dishes and kitchen ware, and parted with my furniture.
I said a tearful goodbye to Diggy - my first DC friend, roommate of 3 years, and my soul mate- who herself, was off to Ohio and eventually Rwanda to serve in the Peace Corps. I had my last shift at RR, drank many last shots of Jameson, and tried to eat at all my favourite restaurants. And at 530am on February 15th, Piggy pulled up in her trusty Jetta and lovingly drove me towards National Airport. As the sky begin to lighten and our song softly came through the speakers, Charlotte trembled in my lap and tears slid down my cheeks.

I was leaving a city that had seen me change from a teenager into a young woman. A city that saw me through college and provided me with my first grown-up job. A city that handed me my first broken heart. And my second. And helped me avoid my third.

I was leaving a city that for so long I had resisted, yet now was so ingrained in my soul that I wondered if I wouldn't be lost without her. A city that provided me with endless laughter, friendship, and warmth.

I was leaving a city that stood by me as I quit my job, and comforted me as I questioned my decision.

I was leaving a city that tested my loyalty more than once.

I was leaving a city that saw me through the Bush years, and allowed me to be present when Obama was Inaugurated. A city that has been called the most powerful in the world, one who holds a deep history unlike any other. A city whose skyline will never grow any taller, but will make me smile every time I see it.

I was leaving a city that entertained me constantly. A city that attracted the acts of Mos Def and Rock the Bells, and let me dance into the wee hours of the morning to Prince. A city that let me prance on rooftops in the rain, and forced me to climb seemingly never ending escalators.

I was leaving a city that brought some of the most amazing people into my life.

I was leaving a city for the comforts of my childhood home. I was leaving a city for the adventure of the unknown.

I left.

I have visited twice since I moved away. The visits couldn't be more different. The first, two months after my move, left me wanting to move back and resume the life I once knew. The second, nine months after my move, not only reminded me of my love for the city, but also why I left her, leaving me to finally be happy with my decision.

A short thank you slash I-owe-you-one to all my friends (in Seattle, in WDC, in New Orleans, and in lands afar). Your endless love, support and words of wisdom helped me get through this past year.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Happy Birthday, Diggy.

Today you turn 27. I wish I could be with you celebrating and throwing down like old times...guess we'll just have to wait until 2013. Much love being sent your way. Happy birthday.

Dearest Diggy,
I have no doubt that this will make you cry. I'm not sure if it will make you cry from a) laughing, b) sadness, or c) a smidgen of both, but you will have salty water dripping down your cheeks. And I will gladly take the blame.

Just be thanking your lucky stars that I'm not making this post into a drinking game.

It's been 364 days since we last saw each other, since we last lived together, since we last dealt with the Howard boys or the epic snow together. And how our lives have changed. You are saving lives and learning new words that have too many consonants in them for me to comprehend, come on ibishyimbo? We both know that isn't real. I am living in the city that you raved about and volunteered in post Katrina - the city that I resisted for so long.

But now I'm here. Living it. And wishing you were here with me. You're in a far off land, doing things that I'm so proud of, but I still wish you were sitting next to me on the sofa watching marathons of Dexter. Or listening to me go on about the latest "hot" new album that I have found. Or gchatting me explaining excel data spreadsheet that is currently ruining your after work plans. We could be sharing a bag of Oreos - you could be driking milk and I could be, well, not drinking milk.

How about a shot or two of Jameson at GC? Or a pizza at RR? I'd even go for a dollar beer at McFaddens.

This is getting a little awkward, it's starting to sound like a love letter.
How about you just hop on a flight and we can grab beignets and a beer together...I know a really great place on Magazine...

Don't worry, I'm still saving third bedroom for you.


Monday, January 24, 2011

Drink. Eat. Dance.

When I lived in Washington, DC I went out. All the time. I met friends for drinks, dinner, or coffee. I went to consignment shops. I frequented the bead shop. And I went to shows. A lot of them. Drive By Truckers. Gnarls Barkley. 2am Club. Raphael Saadiq. Mos Def. Method Man and Redman. David Banner. Girl Talk.

Six months in to my New Orleans life, I can count on one hand how many shows I've seen, and I can use the other to tally up the restaurants I have been to. I find myself drinking coffee at home, avoiding the bead shop, and going out involves one or two beers post-work.

During my visit to DC last month, I stomped around that city like I owned it...and still lived there. It was liberating, refreshing, and wonderful. I want to be that same girl in New Orleans. To know all the awesome restaurants, the best hole in the wall bars, the quickest driving routes, and the most enjoyable music venues.

I didn't move to New Orleans to be a slave to a job that I don't love, or eat at Subway because I'm too nervous to dine alone, or sit at home because I don't know what good bands are playing. I moved here to have new experiences and explore a city completely different from my previous home.

And that's what I'm going to do.

Do know, however, that no way am I miserable. So don't worry, Diggy! I have a couple of wonderful girlfriends, am dating a fantastic guy, and do thoroughly enjoy living in this city - and yes, sometimes, just want to sit at home with a glass of wine in my hand and Charlotte at my feet.

This is the year that I find myself again. The Return of Lucy. Watch out world.

Monday, September 20, 2010

NOLA, I like you.

I had this post all figured out. It was going to be entitled "one year ago" and recount silly things I/we would have been doing on a humid Friday night in DC. I would laugh as I typed and thought about the Jameson shots, the Too Short songs, and the bama-ass customers. Then someone close to me here in New Orleans told me that I tend to dwell on the negative and consistently point out how DC or Seattle are better than, well, everything.

So, I'm editing my post idea. People keep asking me why I moved to New Orleans. From Seattle, from DC - why here? While I have no succinct answer or exact reason, each passing day provides me with another reason to love the city and to remain.

Here are a few of those reasons:

While I'm not a full Saints fan (yet), I love the way the city has rallied around the team. That on game day, everyone is wearing something Saints related, and that there are few cars in the city lacking a flag/sticker/decal declaring "Who Dat" or "Super Bowl Saints". I'll admit, I enjoyed wearing my Who Dat Nation tee today...and I'm watching the MNF game as I type.

Because I can get $1.50 Miller High Life at Ms. Mae's while enjoying a good conversation and watching my sister kick butt at air hockey.

Because two months in, New Orleans still has me beat. I keep getting turned around, and while it is annoying at times, it's also endearing because I know that I didn't figure out DC until 4 years in...

Because I enjoy hearing the boats on the Mississippi and the streetcars on the tracks.

Because I now know two ways to get to work, and three ways to get home.

Because I now say, "y'all", though I haven't made strides toward adopting "where y'at" or "heard that". Or maybe it's "heard dat..."

Because I've seen the tavern that LaDonna owns on "Treme" and can snicker since I know it's not in Treme...

Because I snuck into the abandoned Dixie Brewery and took pictures for 5 hours on a Saturday.

Because each person I meet has a story to tell, advice to give, or a new place for me to visit - from Katrina to spending Christmas in New Orleans - I want to hear it all, experience it, and take it all in.

Because every time I drive down Napoleon and pass the church on Camp Street, I think about miniature Jay's and Ian's chasing each other home from school.

Because I know how to say "Tchoupitoulas". And no, it's not "chalupas" per the Piggy brain.

Because apparently I can get a great burger and a beer, while being taught to play pool and do my laundry - all at the same BAR. Admittedly, I have only succeeded in juggling the burger, beer and pool parts. I'm lucky enough to have a w/d in house, but if that ever changes, Igor's or Buddha Belly will be my favourite places to hang.

Because I'm the owner of a really cool Water Meter shirt, and soon hope to obtain a Defend New Orleans one.

Because Frenchmen Street reminds me of 18th Street in Adams Morgan. Except that there is awesome live music, you can take your beer to go, there is no Jumbo Slice, and people don't descend upon the area just to hang out on the hoods of cars.

Because (for the most part) I know how to handle my car on the treacherous streets of New Orleans.

Because there are endless amounts of bars and restaurants that I want to try out.

Because I've signed a lease with my sister on a three bedroom, two bathroom apartment that has New Orleans charm.

Because slowly but surely, it's all starting to feel like home.

Oh, and the Saints won.
Field goal to beat the 49ers, 25 to 22.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

B'scuze me, Mr. Officer...

As luck would have it, Piggy and I got pulled over at 11:45pm on Tuesday. Here is what happened:

Piggy: "OH SHIT. A cop!"
Gooser: "Maybe he won't pull you over. Maybe. Hopefully? Oh, fuck."
Piggy pulls the car over, puts it in park and places her hands at 10 and 2 o'clock.
Piggy: "I've done this before, can't look like I'm doing anything suspicious."
Officer: "Hi, m'am. Do you know why I pulled you over? You were going 80 in a 70. May I please see your license and registration."
Piggy: "I need to reach into the back to get my wallet. Goose, where is the registration?"
Gooser: "Uh, good question. I don't know."
Officer: "Who is the car registered to? Where are you girls going?"
Piggy: "It's her car, well, it's the dealer's car, we're borrowing it. We're coming from Louisiana and going as far as we can get tonight."
Officer: "Uhhh?"
Gooser: "My car is in the shop so the dealer gave us this one. We're headed to Nebraska, stopping just north of Wichita tonight."
Officer: "You're north of Wichita now. And why is this a Washington, DC license? I thought you were from Louisiana...?"
Piggy: "I'm visiting her. Going to a wedding. I'm so tired I don't know what is going on."
Officer: "Let me go run this license."
5 minutes later.
Officer: "Ladies, I'm issuing a warning. It took me so long to figure out the Washington, DC license that I gave up. Drive carefully. Have a good night."

Piggy: "I'VE NEVER GOTTEN A WARNING BEFORE. I'm framing this."

What we learned in Kansas is that so long as one of you is brunette and one of you is blonde and both of you are white your story can make no sense but you still get a warning ♥

Going to the chapel, gonna get marred.

I had the distinct pleasure of being invited to the weeding festivities of Tringer and Bram this past weekend in Nebraskee. The week was filled with bridal showers (mmm, pie!), visiting parents and friends in Lincoln (thanks for the Jameo, Ders), catching up with old DC friends at a Mattress Factory (a pants-pissing good time, wasn't it?), and learning the true art of the Shake Weight. Trust me, if you're not jealous already, you should be.

I had been looking forward to this event since I moved from DC. I knew that it would be the first opportunity to see everyone together, and with the copious amounts of alcohol sure to be provided, it would supply us with endless laughter and fun. I was right on every level.

The weeding provided Piggy and I the opportunity to spend 40+ hours in the car recounting life's latest trials and tribulations (there are many). It also provided a platform for Kunta Kitty and I to judge everyone, whilst swapping terrible and hilarious comments and stealing Miller Lights from the mini-fridge. It allowed for Manhattan to fulfill his dream of being a human lamp, and it set the stage for weeding attendees to march down the street singing carefully crafted songs celebrating the newlyweds (Mollet, Mollet, Mollet!).

Most importantly, the weeding allowed friends and family to celebrate the love of two wonderful and fantastic people (well, one fantastic person and one amazing goat).

I am honored to have been included in the festivities.

I am happy to report, that upon driving back into New Orleans I didn't feel an ounce of sadness or dread. I was excited to return to the city, my few friends, and even the heat.

All in all the Omaha Trainwreck shed a painful light on what I am missing here in New Orleans, but also a beautiful reminder of what I gained while living in DC...a network of insane friends who find it appropriate to use offensive language in any situation and at anytime of the day.