Friday, April 20, 2012

I like your leg.

Katrina hit during my senior year of college- which, to say the least, put a damper on my last year. (Bonus points for the worst pun ever?) I moved to Boston for the semester, played refugee with a very good friend's family (thanks Nicole, Gasper, Janice, and Alex! no thanks, Max) and learned things like where to get the best cannoli, how to not make eye contact on the T, and why people own long underwear.

When I got back to school in New Orleans, I felt like I was given a new shot at life but also felt like every day that passed was a huge milestone and so every morning I woke up more and more sad knowing that I was about to graduate from unreality. My parents knew I was having a tough time with this, as well, and decided that they wanted to give me an early graduation gift- and got Nicole and me a spot on Muses, an all women's Mardi Gras parade. It was a big "Thank you" to Nicole and pretty much the best graduation gift ever for me.

The night of the parade was a blast. It was one of the most memorable experiences that I don't remember that I have ever had. It was certainly an amazing way to celebrate my four years in New Orleans and Nicole and I couldn't have had more fun.

At the end of the parade, my Dad picked us up downtown and, upon my demand, took us to F and M's (a total dive bar- and in the top four of my "favorite places on Earth" list). On the way to the bar, we were stopped at a red light when my Dad interrupted the inebriated conversation with "Leila- GO GET IT!" I had no clue what the hell he was talking about and explained that to him. "Right there- on the median- go grab it!" I stared at him blankly and he put the car in park, got out and ran down the median. I couldn't even imagine what he was going after that would make him park his car in traffic, but didn't have long to try to figure it out.

He got back in the car with a mannequin leg.


"Loooookkk!," he said as he held up a "life like" leg with perfectly pointed toes. "It's amazing..."

"Dad- the light is green- come on- I'm ready to go to F and M's and you're weird."

Little did I know, my Dad just found the newest addition to our Mardi Gras crowd, Poydras. My Dad proudly carries "her" out to any parade and has come to be known as "the guy with the leg." Yes- he's that guy.

Poydras has been adorned with fish net stockings stocking and glitter shoes shoe and dozens of people stop to take pictures with her each year.

Yes- I know I am chunky, but it is the leg what we are looking at here.
Who gets to hold the leg has become a pretty big thing. It attracts so much attention from floats that my dad has caught things that people clearly did not intend to throw (such as a bead specifically made for krewe members only).

There was almost a scuffle this year at Mardi Gras when another weirdo came out onto the parade route carrying a mannequin leg. Some words were exchanged, but ultimately they set up shop further down the block. Personally, I would have liked to see an American Gladiator style throw down with the legs used as props. 

So, that fateful night in 2006, my family became even weirder as we added another limb to our family tree (second worst pun?) and brought Poydras into the home she always deserved.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Me VS Fruit Flies

Things I love about living in South Louisiana: pretty much everything. Things I could do without: the roaches, worms, caterpillars, weird bugs in my garden, spiders, and the disgusting fruit flies that have taken over my kitchen and life.

And before you waste your mind power thinking this-- NO! I DON'T HAVE FRUIT SITTING OUT IN MY KITCHEN. DON'T ASK ME IF I DO.

One- I don't like fruit (except for apples- which is a topic of its own) and two- I'm not a European painter from the 1700s- I don't need some bowl of pretty stuff laying around for inspiration. So where did these fruit flies come from!?

I have diligently emptied the trash. I even got rid of my luxurious second trash can. Long story. Well- not that long. I use to recycle. I don't anymore (the city hasn't given dropped off my recycling bin- chill, hippie). I kept the can. Which, when I think about it, is kind of the opposite of recycling- having two trash cans instead of one in your kitchen- so you have to make less trips and produce more trash per trip.

I have done everything I can.

I successfully got buzzed and unsuccessfully tried to suck them up with my vacuum cleaner.

I desperately googled 'how to get rid of fruit flies' and started perusing.

I started reading and then quickly stopped reading to make sure I didn't google 'scary fingernails.' Turns out, I didn't. But really- why does she have such long, dark nails!? Are those to scare off the fruit flies?

I tried a few different things and, with the help of an intuitive friend (shout out Steph!), created my own fruit fly killer. 

Turns out the fruit flies and I have something in common- we both love champagne! Who knew!? I would have invited them to my party... Oh wait- I did. See above.

This method has certainly worked on the dozens or so fruit flies that have flown to their imminent death lusting after the sweet bubbly concoction, but there are still THOUSANDS left in my freaking kitchen. I'm out of champagne (big surprise there), so I have moved onto other fruit fly vices to take these little rapid breeding assholes down. I now have 6 death cups in strategic points with hopes of total annihilation.

I just can't live like this anymore. I can't. It was funny the first seven times Sophie, completely annoyed, swung unsuccessfully at the fly buzzing around her. But it turns out even humor has its price- and laughing at my cat is not worth living amongst dirty, annoying, stupid, never ending pests.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Guest Blog: No good deed goes unpunished...

Or let's hope it doesn't for this poor shmo's sake.

This is a guest blog presented by the talented Melissa. She got to experience an awkward life experience the other day and I invited her to blog about it. Enjoy!

The day was off to a great start. My first class was canceled, the sun was shining, and I was way ahead of schedule. So, on the way to work I thought I would stop at PJ's Coffee, since I was in the mood for a nice, iced caramel latte to complement this seemingly perfect. day.

Once inside I was pleased to find that there was only one person in line! What a rare sight! I quickly took my place behind a man in a purple baseball cap, who appeared to be in his mid thirties. I did my usual thing where I let myself pretend I'm going to purchase a second breakfast in the form of a chocolate croissant only to remind myself that I am trying to eat healthier when I hear someone talking to me. I whip my mop of wet hair around only to find baseball cap man talking to me.

"So," he says with a really big-ass grin on his face, "are you gonna buy me my coffee today?"
"Uh, no..." I say with a nervous laugh. I wish the man would have let me continue my chocolate pastry musings. Damn him. "Not unless you need me to..." I say nervously to fill the stifling silence.
"Oooooh dang!" He replies with that same big-ass grin on his face. "How about I get you yours then?"

Ok, stop. I HATE when dudes pull this shit. Granted, I tend to be oblivious to it most of the time, but still. You date the same person for three years and it becomes pretty easy to pretend you're asexual and undesirable. I don't know how to react to this stuff anymore, ya know? Plus, this dopey, purple-hat wearing man was not my type. Sorry, bro. Also, I have a boyfriend. But I'm not perfect and I would have kept flirting if this dude wasn't so...cheesy.

"Don't do that!" I protest, "There's no need!"
"Nonsense," says Purple Hat Man, "I got this one. Tell the man what you want."

Now, I am so upset that this man is buying my coffee that I try to cheapen my usual order because I feel bad that ice and flavor syrups cost an extra 60 cents. What if this puppy-eyed fool is spending his last precious pennies on my coffee? The thought scares me, so I reply that I would like a skim latte. Ew. I hate hot, unflavored lattes. But guilt consumes me and I realize there is no way I am getting out of here with what I really wanted -- an iced caramel latte and a quiet morning in my own thoughts.

So I promise the man I'll "pay it forward" and buy someone a coffee sometime soon. (No I won't. This man creeped the shit out of me and I am not stooping to weird person in a van with tented windows status- even if it means performing a good deed. Sorry.).

He proceeds to hand the barista a credit card. The barista swipes it. "Oops! Didn't go through!" he says with a smile and proceeds to swipe the card again...and again...and again....

"Oh shit, that ones not working!?" Purple Hat Man asks. "OK fine, try this one!" He hands the man another card. Declined. Again.

This happens with one more card before Purple Hat Man starts to sweat and even gets a little bossy, "PUT A RECEIPT ON IT!! SWIPE IT WITH A RECEIPT ON IT! THE MAGNETIC STRIP IS JUST MESSED UP MAN!" he tells the Barista. The line behind me is now 5 people long. They are all staring. Perhaps its my neon orange shorts that have them so captivated. But, based on their faces, it was definitely due to the scene that Purple Hat Man has caused between trying his hand at chivalry and subsequently experiencing the embarrassing effects of bankruptcy.

Finally, I interject. "How about I pay for it so we can just get out of here." I say. I can't remember my tone here, but I imagine myself sounding a lot like Daria from that old MTV show -- flat and unimpressed.

The barista looks at me, looks back at Purple Hat Man who is now chuckling nervously and fumbling with more of his credit cards, and then looks back at me. I make eyes at the barista that say, "HELP ME, YOU BASTARD. HELP ME." He sees my eyes and says, "Ya know what. They're both on me. Y'alls drinks are free. Enjoy your day."

My nasty hot latte could only be salvaged by Splenda, but I do not dare take time to add a packet since that would mean spending another second with broke-ass Purple Hat Man. I tell him thank you under my breath and jet out the door.

Once the humiliation wears off, I start to laugh to myself. That was great! I call my Mom. She is amused. I decide to make the story my Facebook status. It gets 21 likes and I am feeling pretty damn good. What a LOSER, I think to myself. Either that broke dude tried to scam me for a free coffee or he really is just a sad, broke man hitting on a tiny, tan girl in orange shorts who doesn't give a shit. The man couldn't win.

Later in the day I check my Facebook. Under my little story of the day's event, my friend posts a comment:

" card machines have been down on campus all day today."

Shit. That man REALLY couldn't win. Oh well.