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.

Oh, hi.

Oooops. I've neglected this blog-a-ma-bob for a little over a month now, and I've had good reason. I swear. Let me tell you all the reasons...
1. I got me a job!
No Diggy (and all the rest of you), it's not on a corner or in a spa. And it's no Red Rocks. Or Grand Central. Or MSC. There are real rules (like I can't wear my nose ring) and Jameson/soda water/pepperoni are not at my disposal. It's horrifying, terrifying, and absurd all at the same time. But, it's allowing me to meet new people and paying mah bills, so it will suffice for the time being whilst I search for a big girl job.
2. Danny G. came to visit.
This, my friends, it one of my closest pals from GW. We met at the Key Depot and made it our job to drink and listen to Mariah Carey's 'All I Want For Christmas Is You" while making feeble attempts at sympathizing with girls who got drunk, lost their keys, and came begging at our office window. It was hilarious times.
Danny and I spent the weekend eating too much food (Frank & Johnnies! Cafe Du Monde!), enjoying many drinks in the street, and gossiping like schoolgirls (sorry). We traversed the city, visiting Brad Pitt's Make It Right campus in the 9th Ward and stomping our way through the French Quarter. If you didn't get a chance to meet him, he will be back (hopefully) for Mardi Gras and (definitely) for Southern Decadence.
On to the next one...
3. Piggy G. Tomkins came to New Orleans and ruined it.
One of my other best pals, Piggy, visited the weekend after Danny G. We've seen each other for a total of 3 hours since February 15th so this visit was much anticipated and appreciated. We drove to Nebraska bookending our trip with stays in NOLA. We hit Holdrege, Lincoln, Omaha, Wichita, and Kansas City, witnessed Tringer and Bram tie the knot, managed to not get one speeding ticket, and somehow, are still friends. I wish I could recount each event that occured on our epic 12 day journey, but that would be attempting the impossible. If you know me, or Pigs, you may understand. If you know us together, you know that we left a trail of destruction (and coffee) in our wake.
Cue SpottieOttieDopaliscious!
I am now back in New Orleans, attempting to put my life back together and wishing that I could rewind and do it all over again.

Photo credit Danny G.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Turned Around. Not Lost.

My mum would tell you that I have never been good with directions, and at one point in time I would have argued with that statement. I know! Me arguing? Never! Yet now, I would completely agree with her and fully blame my directional incompetence on the heat. I yearn for the letters of M, K, and U Streets, the numerics of 18th, 16th, and 6th streets, and the familiarity of Columbia, Park, and Pennsylvania. Instead, I'm becoming frenemies with Chestnut, Oak, Valance, Magazine, Napoleon, and Carrollton.

I am having a terrible time figuring out how to navigate New Orleans. And of course I don't want to be "that" driver, the out of state fool with the Seahawks sticker and embarrassing license plate, so I just drive. Having no idea if I turned in the correct direction onto St. Charles. Once I realize that indeed I am going the wrong way, I make a left turn (which involves crossing the streetcar median) and retrace my steps hoping that no one notices my blue Jetta driving down the street. Again.

Maybe my city befuddlement demonstrates how I'm feeling at the moment. I lack a routine, a sense of stability, and feel completely out of my element. I'm nostalgic for the days of walking into a bar where everyone knows my name (literally), the nights of Diner dinners, and afternoons of Bar Pilar bloodys n' brunch. Hell, I even miss the customer who called our Montepulciano "spritzy" every single time he ordered it. Okay, maybe I don't miss him.

In time I'll figure out the streets, the bars, and add to my awesome group of friends (or, just convince everyone to move here), but for now I guess I'll just get comfortable with being a little uncomfortable.

And maybe I'll have Jay explain the layout of the city to me one more time. Please?

Thursday, July 22, 2010


Happy one week anniversary to me! I've lived here for 7 whole days. During that time I've unpacked (my current closet is 4x the size of my Elm St. closet. Woo hoo!), built a seating bench (women at work- yah!), visited Ms. Mae's, Cafe du Monde, and Port of Call, sat poolside, and spent a lot of time with my "niece", Lola. I have also successfully navigated the streets of New Orleans without incident. Things are going well thus far...

Here are a few comparisons between my old home and my new home:
All scenarios have occurred unless otherwise noted.

Scenario #1
"Pardon me, um, Girl? Where could I find the toothpaste?"
"Furst, it's Gurle. And second, I don't know."
NOLA Home Depot
"Could you please point us in the direction of the light bulbs and wood stain?"
"Sure, what size bulbs do y'all need? They are right over here. The wood stain is on aisle 4."
5 minutes later.
"Have y'all found everything that you needed? Ok, great. Have a nice one!"

Scenario #2
WDC: A beer and a shot - $10.
NOLA: A beer and a call liquor drink - $4.50.

Scenario #3
WDC: Drivers speed up to hit you while crossing 18th Street, NW. Then yell at you for being in the crosswalk.
NOLA: Drivers slow down, let you jaywalk across Magazine, but don't use turn signals when turning onto Napoleon.

Scenario #4
WDC: "Hola, mamacita. Ay ay."
NOLA: "Hey skirt!"

Scenario #5
WDC: Drive around for 30 minutes trying to find parking. Fight with some MD'er/VA'er. Then get a ticket because you were double parked while attempting to move into your apartment on Columbia Road.
NOLA: Parking space and garage come with the apartment. And it's still cheaper then Adams Morgan.

Scenario #6
WDC: Live in the same building as Joy's Spa (aka Happy Ending Brothel - nope, not kidding). Encounter her customers when exiting our apartment (now that I don't deal with you sitting at my bar, I can call both you, Keith, and you, Matt, out for visiting said brothel. Assholes.)
NOLA: Live in a cute neighborhood where the neighbors don't want us to leave and find a bigger place with a yard.

Oh, and truthfully I still haven't been to Frenchmen...maybe this weekend.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Honey, I'm home.

It's now Monday. I've been in New Orleans for 5 days, and still have neglected to write about the last leg of my journey. Honestly, it's because there isn't that much to report. I got up at the break of dawn last Wednesday, hopped into Ms. Jetta and navigated my way out of Kansas thru Oklahoma, into Texas, and finally reached New Orleans, Louisiana around 8pm. I saw enough big pick-up trucks to last me a lifetime. I learned that no one in Texas knows how to drive, that my disdain for OKC hasn't disipated two years later, and that I really need to stop playing the song Black & Gold while driving otherwise people are going to think I'm a Saints fan.

Thursday, July 15, 2010


I made it to New Orleans last night. I am utterly exhausted. I'll write something on the last leg in a while but while it's fresh on my mind, I want to make an observation:

People in Texas fall into two categories, those that drive pick-up trucks, and those that don't understand what "keep right except to pass" means. The Texans that fall into both categories hold a special place in my heart. All groups made my drive yesterday stellar.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Mile 1839.0.

I am sitting in my AmericInn in Wichita, Kansas thankful that they provide free wi-fi (for the first 12 hours then fees will apply - shocking), but happy nonetheless, since the I-forget-the-name hotel that I stayed in last night (in Salt Lake City) did not. Hence the absence of a "post" or an "update", although had I been able to, it would have probably consisted of "yawn. made it. bye." My brain was practically mush upon arrival.

Today was better.

I have made it to Wichita. I've gone from Washington thru Oregon, Idaho, Utah, Wyoming, Colorado, and now Kansas. I've seen mountains, desert, and wind turbines. I've said hello to Dick Cheney's home state, seen Mormon country, and stepped foot on Dorothy's yellow brick road. All in all, that is 1839.0 miles according to my AAA app and not including any detours, you know, to the drive thru Starbucks.

I have happily sang-screamed my heart out to the Backstreet Boys (Backstreet's Back AND Millennium), Bob Dylan, and the Brazilian Girls while also getting every 15th word correct when any Outkast, Lupe, or the Roots song comes on. I have utilized the wonders of cruise control to the fullest (which also has allowed me to dance while singing to along with the aforementioned artists). I have no doubt that that paired with up with my Seahawks decal, fake flower on the dash, and my purple sunglasses makes me look like I escaped from somewhere.

And if I had a dollar for every time my dress flew in all the wrong directions while getting gas yesterday, I'd be...well, I'd at least have a few Abitas bought once I got to New Orleans.

My mum and dad sent me on my way with heaps of healthy snacks which Em supplemented with sweets. Perfect. So last night, I, being too terrified of and confused about Salt Lake, sat in my hotel room avoiding Fox News and eating these snacks (Cheez-Its, raspberries, and cake. That was just to make you jealous, Diggy). Tonight however, I was more adventurous and went to Applebees. It was either that or the Golden Corral, and since I haven't a clue what that is, Applebees won. It was awful for all the right reasons - you can't go wrong with Budweiser, Bud Light, Miller Lite, and Coors all on tap, can you? Tomorrow I may venture to some place I keep seeing signs for - Taco John's. Oh la la.

Needless to say this trip so far has been an absolute success. And I haven't even started talking to myself!

My eyes are fighting with me and demanding to be shut. Tomorrow promises to be another long one including a drive through the Sonic Stealer Capital (aka OKC) and a stop in Dallas (yes, Ms. C, I plan to seek out Kim Kardashian's bf).

I'll leave you with today's deep thought: Jesus Trusts in Me (You). The big highway sign cut out of him told me so.


Sunday, July 11, 2010

Only 2731 miles to go.

It's early Sunday morning (12.11 am to be precise), and I can't sleep because it's hot and I'm rather nervous for the 5-7 day drive that begins tomorrow. I know, I know. You probably can't sleep either because you're a) in Rwanda and the cat is chasing the Geico gecko around your bedroom, b) in WDC, and it's a hundred degrees and humid (but you have AC, so I don't want to hear it), or c) in New Orleans, anxiously awaiting my arrival (who am I kidding - there is only one person in NOLA waiting for me, and she BETTER be excited because I'm bringing the vacuum).
Oh right, did I mention that I'm moving? Again? For the second time in five months? In February I traded in rowdy Redskins fans (no, I never did hail to the Redskins), epic snowstorms, and the Nation's Capital for the San Juan Islands, drizzly days (and days, and days), and Seahawk's of Seattle. But of course, I couldn't stop there. No, I just had to move one more time (sorry Seattle, it's not you, it's me. Really.). On Monday, I will trade cities again (just like Cliff and LeBron!) and hop in my brand-new-not-yet-named Jetta and hit the road headed for the music, the beignets, and H (my sister), in New Orleans.

The Big Move (version 2.0) is proving to be slightly easier this time around - no Snowpocalyse complicating goodbye gatherings and no packing tape or bubble wrap - plus my little black pup isn't tripping me up at every turn (she's enjoying my mum & dad's big back yard, and will be staying in Seattle for the next few months).

This little 2700+ mile jaunt between the Emerald City and the Big (Too) Easy will undoubetdly provide me with some hilarious tales (and I hope, photos), though this time around I'm laying down the road tripping law: no hitchikers, no trail mix, and (unfortunately?) no Cracker Barrel.

Armed with the best Justin Bieber, Outkast, and Bye Bye Gooser music mixes, I'm off! Let's hope I don't get lost.