I’m a Dolphins fan. Which means there’s not a lot going for me right now, although Dan Campell at the helm is giving me hope. The internet has had a field day with the turnaround of the Dolphins since he assumed head coach duties.
After his first two weeks on head coach duty, I was ready to make him my third ex-husband.
Four score and seven years ago… Well, not quite that long, but it sure does feel like it.
The last time I set foot in a classroom was about 1999. Now I’m on target to finally have a college degree in the spring of 2017. I’ve spent the past three months trying to get everything together to enroll in the University of New Orleans.
When you’re not fresh out of high school, it’s a pain in the ass. When you’ve got an ex-husband you shared (and didn’t share) tax returns with, it’s a pain in the ass. When your ACT score is more than three years old, it’s a pain in the ass. But on the flip side, they don’t make you sit through freshman orientation, live in the dorms or have a meal plan.
I love guns. I’ve been shooting up milk jugs, coke cans and targets made from feed sacks since I was a kid. Now, I’m not one of those you-can-have-my-gun-when-you-pry-it-from-my-cold-dead-fingers extremists, but am a firm believer in the second amendment.
I also believe school sports teams and other extra curricular activities have to do fundraising to afford uniforms, equipment, field trips, etc.
You would think these two topics are unrelated, but not here in north Louisiana. For just $10, you can have the chance to win an AR-15 while raising money for a baseball team at the same time.
Not pictured is the sign above the leg press “Please rerack your weights. The next person may not be as awesomely strong.”
I am 5’4″, 135 pounds, squatting 185 and benching 95. I have no problem lifting a 45-pound weight. But really??? Come on, man.
This is the guy who grunts with every rep then drops the dumbbells on the floor as if they were a Volkswagen. This is the guy who leaves a slimy puddle of sweat on every piece of equipment he uses. This is the guy chugging his protein shake from a gallon milk jug. This is the guy who adds plates to the cable machine. This is the guy who crop dusts the women on the treadmills.
This guy is the gym asshole.
So that was the advice of a friend from New Orleans. I spend a lot of time in the Big Easy, but have never been to Mardi Gras. I hate crowds (married to a cop too long). I hate parades (nothing but a traffic hassle). I hate people throwing things at me (bad experience as a nerd in P.E.).
But as a person who tries to experience everything life has to offer, I figured during this weekend’s trip – the last before Fat Tuesday – I had to go to at least one parade. We chose Endymion, one of the “super krewes”. Fortunately, I didn’t have to attack as the normal tourist. I joined my resident friends so parking was not a problem and we had a “home base” on the route for booze storage and a bathroom.
After securing the cooler, we found a spot on Canal Street. The photos show the progression of a Mardi Gras parade. Things started to get blurry when I got pelted in the eye with beads (my eye lid is still purple five days later) – and it wasn’t due to the injury.
The first rule – invest in a cooler with wheels.
Secure in our spot. I’m drinking the “c-minus” because of the first instance of alcohol abuse, aka Jack Daniels spillage, caused by another parade goer.
The crowd thickens just before parade time.
The floats are rolling. Let the fight for beads begin.
And we’re acquiring beads…
Then the selfies start to get interesting…
From the bathroom window of our home base – not sure if this was of the parade or the light pole.
Then beads can double as a shirt and you get a neon halo…
Then there’s the walk back to the vehicle… Thankfully, I had a driver.
And after that, things got so blurry I couldn’t document with photos.
So I should have posted this Friday, but I was en route to my own Valentine’s Day celebration in south Louisiana – a Star Wars marathon, complete with both Ewok movies.
Three days late and a dozen roses short, I guess.
Anyway, the weather that was Icepocalypse 2014 was over just in time for thousands of roses to make their way to the desks of women everywhere.
It’s Valentine’s Day – the day our calendars remind us to tell our significant other that they mean something to us be it through an elaborate spray of roses, dinner date or nocturnal activity.
That’s all well and good, but let’s be honest. It’s Valentine’s Day that is the day we as women learned just how complicated relationships can be, the day we learned the opposite sex would either surprise or disappoint, the day we learned to dislike our own friends.
And it all goes back to the innocence of elementary school for it was on this day that those envelopes made of paper plates graced the walls of our classrooms and we learned just who was crushing on who.
I remember what a big deal it was going to Walmart to pick out cards to take to school. Selection was so important – we were all judged based upon what cartoon character was on those cards.
Though I have no recollection of what I chose, I’m sure I strayed from the typical girl character and went for He-Man or Transformers.
At any rate, once cards had been chosen, there was the stress of choosing just the right card for that crush. And unlike the rest of the cards, where you simply wrote “to” and “from”, this one might have a carefully drawn heart or other special inscription.
When we arrived at school, we “delivered” our cards and were forced to wait until the afternoon to learn if our crushes were reciprocated. There was no greater feeling than opening the card from that cute boy to find he had carefully signed his own name “with love.”
There was also no greater heartbreak to find it was his mother who had signed his name and his personal note was on the card that belonged to your best friend.
The first scenario played out well with a quick kiss on the cheek in the tunnel at final recess. (For those of you who don’t know about the “tunnel”, it’s common practice in the south that concrete culverts are placed on school playgrounds as “equipment.” They really serve no purpose other than an awkward first kiss.)
The latter – we found ourselves crying on the shoulder of the girl who, just a few hours earlier, was an enemy but now our best friend because our previous best friend was in the tunnel with our crush.
As we grew up, things didn’t change much. In middle school, the kiss on the cheek progressed to the lips or we made more frienemies. In high school, we got a single rose or stuffed animal at school which led to a skipped class or even more of those frienemies. As adults, we get a dozen roses at work, which leads to us having a headache later or comparing our arrangements to the woman at the next desk.
I suppose I should drop the cynicism. I write this as the sweet smell of a dozen red roses wafts through the newsroom, and this time there’s no one crying in the bathroom.
I survived Icepocalypse 2014. But had it not been for the random pair of six-inch acrylic platform heels in the back seat of my car, I might still be in the frozen confines of my driveway.
I live in the south for many reason, one namely the weather. I fucking hate cold. Strong word, but that’s how I really feel about the mercury dropping below 50. Fortunately, north Louisiana winters are typically mild. I can count on one hand how many days it dips below 30 in the two-month cold season.
Until this year. And of course, there had to be a little sleet and freezing rain mixed in with 20-degree temperatures. Shut the whole damn parish down.
School kids (and every person with a normal day job) were all “Yippee!!!” on Wednesday. For a reporter, it’s also “Yippee!!!” because weather is the easiest thing to write about and for some reason, people love to read about it.
But then it’s also a little FML because while everyone else was out enjoying the free day from school and work, I was bundling up in two hoodies, rubber boots and all of the other winter wear that northerners make into fashion statements.
Upon awakening to the slippery mess, I did the pajama run outside and cranked my car to allow adequate time for defrost. I got ready and miserably tromped outside to begin the treacherous drive to my office.
Except my wipers were buried under thick chunks of ice, unable to wipe away the water from the defrosted windshield.
I’ve been a reporter way too long, which means I essentially live in my car and am prepared to be stuck in any situation. If I’m hungry, there’s a protein bar in the console. Thirsty? There’s a bottle of water under the front seat. Sleepy? There’s a 5-Hour Energy in the door. Stuck standing on the side of an interstate at a crash? There’s a reflective vest. Don’t like my music? Have some headphones. Got caught in a monsoon? There’s a change of clothes.
You get the idea.
But there was NOT an ice scraper to be found. However, there was a pair of stilettos. And not just a nice pair of black slingbacks for an impromptu interview with a public official. No, these are a little more risque’ – six-inches tall, clear platform with iridescent straps going up the calf.
I know the obvious question, and sorry to disappoint anyone, but no. I do not moonlight as a stripper. I just have a shoe obsession and the ability to walk gracefully in sky-high heels.
I grabbed the shoe and began to chisel away at the frozen chunks holding my wipers captive. And I’ll be damned, it worked. And I didn’t break the windshield or the wipers.