With the holidays coming up, we often reflect upon our riches and give to those that are less fortunate than us. The Polar Express benefit is a concert that doubles as a toy drive for kids at Children’s Hospital and Ochsner. Attendees can either pay a $10 cover ($7 for students with college ID), or opt to bring a toy donation instead.
Growing up here in the New Orleans area, you’d think I’m accustomed to mild winters. Fall down here is just a quaint notion, one that comes from a brain soaked with humidity in desperate need of some crisp cool air. I’m not one to obsess over the weather, but I get antsy in anticipation of consistently nippy days. Unfortunately, we all know drinking pumpkin spice lattes while wearing shorts is inevitable, but with a little careful planning you can make sure you are dressed for Mother Nature’s most erratic behavior by planning ahead on a daily basis.
“Expect the worst and you won’t be disappointed” was the most solid piece of advice my dad ever gave me. I find my dad’s words of wisdom oddly comforting in the most dire of situations, including the panic felt when dealing with named storms.
With Hurricane Isaac whipping through town, there was nary a household saved from the massive power outages. And while we were charging our phones in the car, checking our Twitter feeds, and complaining about Entergy not doing it’s job, I have to admit I chuckled a bit as to how spoiled we’ve become.
I’m a part of a very unpopular, secret club where the members only speak amongst themselves in code and whispers. Stepping out as a whipping boy, I speak on behalf of the people that are too chicken to admit it: I’m not a football fan.
I knew I didn’t want kids as early on as middle school, and high school squelched any maternal instincts I might have possessed. Going to an all-girls Catholic school in the 90s, we were succumbed to scare tactics such as watching videos of abortions on a projector screen in the school’s gym to prevent us from experimenting sexually. And since having sex before marriage is a sin, pregnant students were permanently kicked out, their only option being attending an alternative school until they gave birth. Since I was barraged with so many negative connotations about sex and pregnancy at such a young age, I associated pregnancy with delinquent behavior and never had much desire to go through what was described to me as an awful experience.
There’s an old joke that eventually, people start to resemble their dogs. I got a greyhound about two years ago, and while I’m still waiting to be tall and skinny like her, I’ve grown content to share personality traits with my retired athlete instead: We both like long walks, yogurt, and hogging space in the bed.
A new crop of college freshmen will infiltrate our city soon, calling New Orleans home. Whether it’s one semester or the next four years, the 2012 crew will be looking for jobs, be it for extra spending money or to work their way through school.
As a decision maker in the hiring process, I’m often befuddled by some of the things I see on job applications. Granted, I’m not talking about hiring to fill an upper management position. This is entry-level retail we’re talking about, but I deeply question if people really want a job given their tendency not to present their best selves.
I was sitting down with a friend a few weeks ago — a hip, in-the-know, bargain-loving type of gal — and over a lunch of ahi tuna salad and shrimp and grits I waxed poetic about my latest eBay find and how much money I saved. Much to my chagrin, my hip, cool, and decidedly-younger-than-me friend sheepishly admitted she’s never experienced the pleasure of bargain hunting on the “world’s largest online marketplace,” deeming it overwhelming and frustrating.
I’ve been utilizing eBay since 2000, long before flash sales and coupon sites became all the rage. And while I don’t frequent the site more than a few times a year, like a long lost friend that doesn’t hold a grudge, it’s always there for me with open arms when I decide to visit. My tricks to a successfully frugal purchase? Check your competitive side at the door, and limit your search to help better your odds at finding what you want.
Some mornings, making a cup of joe is an inexorable ritual. Stumbling bleary-eyed down the stairs, the only thing that ensures I’m not sleepwalking is the sound of beans being beaten into submission by my coffee grinder. Other times, it’s a luxury, an indulgent treat served over ice, accompanied by a dog eared book in a favorite cafe. No matter what your relationship with caffeine is, venturing to new coffee shops is always a treat, at least for me.
Don’t get me wrong, I can tear into a fried shrimp po-boy with the best of them, but eating like that everyday is the equivalent of putting your name on a high cholesterol waiting list. As much as I adore Southern cooking, I attempt to eat healthy at home — that way all bets are off when dining out.
Given my proclivity for staying close to home, I usually have to be pretty motivated to head downtown. Don’t get me wrong, I love going for an afternoon stroll through Jackson Square, or an evening romp down Frenchman Street. But having worked in the French Quarter off and on for several years, I prefer to eschew the headache that is downtown parking and stick to activities that are closer to home.
Regardless of my sheer laziness, catching a comedy show at The New Movement is always worth crossing Canal Street. The comedy scene in New Orleans has come a long way since last year, when co-founders Chris Trew and Tami Nelson first started building their presence here after enjoying much success in Austin. Having seen a glimpse of The New Movement’s inner workings, it’s not hard to guess why their formula works. While I haven’t taken one of their improv classes (yet), I’ve had the privilege of being a guest monologist for a Megaphone improv show and a judge for Air Sex (think air guitar, but naughtier and way funnier). I can say this is a tight-knit clan, and it’s refreshing to see a true community being built versus individual performers competing for an audience.
I love Spring in New Orleans. The weather is as perfect as it’s going to get, the roster of festivals grows every year, and we get to enjoy balmy, beautiful evenings. But in order to maintain this idyllic mindset, you’ll need the proper clothes and accessories to keep that fun day in the sun from turning into a sunburned sweat fest.
You know those design shows where couples win home makeovers just by submitting a peculiar story? Well, I have a hell of story, and I’ve got the cats to prove it.
If you keep up with trendy Southern magazines they way I do, you might have noticed the diatribe in the latest issue of Oxford American by editor Marc Smirnoff, thoughtfully bashing his competition, Garden & Gun. In a nutshell, he calls G&G out for being a romanticized glossy for rich, white people. If you aren’t familiar with the publications, Oxford American touts itself as the “Southern magazine of good writing” and Garden & Gun is “the soul of the South.”
Even though my career centers around fashion, I’ve never felt obligated to fall victim to every single fad that comes along. There’s a reason we cringe at old photos (although those combat boots and baby doll dresses I wore in the ‘90s are the thing now, but I digress).
Now, personal style? That is something else entirely, and so many New Orleanians have it. From the guy in the-three piece suit waiting to catch the street car on a Wednesday morning, to the girl who makes her own clothes, that’s what I’m interested in. Not what the magazines say are the hot new trend, not what the malls are churning out — I want to see the unique, highly individualized stuff.