Vet wrap fixes everything – or at least an ankle sprain

It’s been more than a month since I face planted going down three steps at my favorite watering hole, and I still have a bruise halfway to my knee.

I wish it were a better story for the reason I’ve been on crutches, in an ankle brace and finally vet wrap for the past 33 days, but it’s pretty uneventful. I was outside on the patio at an undisclosed location watching a Sunday football game when I came back inside and my weak ankles (weaker than that of Hank Hill) led to my demise. There wasn’t even alcohol involved – just an ankle that has known to fail me at times.

AnkleFirst step, right foot – fine. Second step, left foot – belly flop onto the floor. Within seconds, my ankle began to swell and bruise, looking more like those of the pink elephants in “Dumbo.” The pain was excrutiating. I’ve sprained a many of ankle in my day, but nothing crippled me more than this incident. I hobbled as best as I could to the passenger seat of my car, tears rolling down my cheeks, where I was taken home and consoled with ibuprofen and an ice pack. Continue reading

Jumping from the sinking ship of journalism

Friday was my first night manning the high school sports desk at a major metropolitan newspaper for the opening day of football season.

And it was also my last.

My computer is closed and my last press badge is left behind.

My computer is closed and my last press badge is left behind.

I’ve been trying to break up with the abusive boyfriend of journalism for about two years now, only to keep getting sucked back into the career that has been my life for the past 15 years. It’s really the only thing I know how to do – and I do it very well. It’s a love-hate relationship of the thrill of turning a huge breaking story on an impossible deadline while dodging the layoff bullet in an ever-changing, low-paying, crappy-hours industry.

I’ve always said every time we run an obituary, we lose a subscriber. It really is a dying industry.

When I walked out of the Shreveport Times newsroom in December 2013, I thought it was finally over. I was relieved – I was about to get my life back. No more watching first responders pull a lifeless body from a mangled vehicle. No more watching a home burn to the ground at 2 a.m. No more half-day city council meetings listing to politicians argue about nothing. No more feigning interest in some do-gooder’s fundraising efforts. Continue reading

Awesome band, awesome venue: Papa Roach at House of Blues, New Orleans

What is power? Holding an office? Being the boss? The one in charge? Maybe so.

Or maybe it’s pumping your fist in the air and having hundreds of people mimic you. Anyone who has ever seen Papa Roach knows Jacoby Shaddix has that power and then some. Whatever this guy is on, I want it.

Papa Roach at House of Blues New Orleans

Papa Roach at House of Blues New Orleans

The House of Blues New Orleans show in May 2015 was my third time to see them. This is my absolute favorite venue, but after seeing Papa Roach at the coliseum in Biloxi and the Verizon Center in Birmingham, I didn’t know how their show would work in a small location.

These guys use every inch of the stage in one of the most high energy shows I’ve every seen. This was no exception, and Shaddix even made his way through the crowd at one point.

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The Perv, the Cropduster or the French Whore: Which one frequents your gym?

I love the gym. It’s the only “me time” that I have. Ninety minutes, six days a week to sweat out any aggression to angry rock and rap music pounding my ears through my headphones. Unfortunately, it’s not my own private gym, therefore I have to deal with other people, even if minimal interaction.

But sometimes that minimal interaction can be maximum annoying, especially as a woman in a generally-male dominated world. Here are my top annoyances.

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Skinny Jeans Should Stay in the Closets of Skinny Girls

1341853109828_5858762Four 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.

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Running Playlist for Shorties

I’ve never run unless it was while crossing the street from bar to bar to avoid being hit by a taxi. But somewhere between divorce #2 and quitting smoking, I somehow became a runner.

776e369a7f1081cc56f9b49812e535d6I’m not a serious runner. I keep up with my distance and time, but only for my knowledge. I don’t do 5Ks. I don’t have a running buddy or a run schedule. But I love the feeling of decompression I get running out all of the stress of a very hectic career — I can only take so many deadlines and dead people.

Where I get serious about a run is the music. If I don’t have the iPod and Bose noise canceling headphones, I ain’t running.

I have found that having the right playlist is critical to being able to push myself beyond my limit. It has to be upbeat, but not too fast, otherwise, I wear myself out too quickly.

At 5-feet, 2-inches, my leisurely pace is about 5 to 5.5 miles per hour or about an 11 to 12-minute mile average. It’s steady and I can go six or seven miles without feeling like death, Jello maybe, but not death.

I know it’s complete randomness, but here’s my short-leg, steady-pace, playlist. Some angry, some gangster, some old, some new — just shows it’s more about the beat than it is the song. Continue reading

Journalism: The boyfriend that jaded me

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Journalism is the boyfriend in a bad relationship. It sucks the life out of you, makes you miserable, broke, exhausted, wreaks havoc on your social life, yet you always come back for more because when it’s good, it’s freakin’ A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!!! I can honestly say in 14 years of doing this (both for a small community daily and metropolitan daily and web), I’ve never had a day where I didn’t want to go to work.

Don’t get me wrong — there were some days I dreaded what with dealing with editors who fail to communicate with each other or the phone calls coming with a controversial story — but those things are minor compared to the hell of being chained to a desk. I love what I do, but lately, it’s a relationship on the rocks. I still enjoy writing, but the new has worn off, it’s not fresh or exciting — same graduation, different class… same homicide, different body… same city council, different players… same festival, different holiday… you get the idea.

I’ve been back at my hometown paper for about six months. I realize I have no true friends — only people who are nice because they think they need to be in order to get their child, business, event, party, campaign announcement, arrest, birthday, obituary, wedding announcement, blah, blah, blah in the paper.

I sat in our one of three restaurants that serve booze last night, enjoying a Jack Daniels as I worked on a few blog posts. I knew 80 percent of the people who walked in — not a one walked over to my table to speak. I guess no one had a new baby to announce.

I realized tonight just how jaded I’ve become as I sat next to a coach’s wife on the back row of a church pew at graduation. (Yes, in the south it is common practice to hold high school graduations at Baptist churches.)

She said I didn’t look happy to be there. I turned to her and said, “It’s the same old. Three or four will go on to finish college and become successful with careers and families. The rest will go to LSU, party their asses off, flunk out, come back and go to community college, marry their prom dates, get pregnant (if not already), move into a doublewide behind her momma’s and get a coon dog to ride on the back of the four-wheeler.”

She fell out laughing — it’s funny because it’s true. We’ve both seen it too many times.

I know it’s true because I’m that statistic, maybe not quite to that extent, but I did not follow the path of least resistance. It has been the gift of gab and not an educational pedigree that has gotten me this far in my career. But it’s not going to get me any farther, so back to school I go where I’ll be taking bets on who flunks out first from the Class of 2014.