Tuesday, August 31, 2010

TOOLBAG TUESDAY

After four coffee shop dates, Stephen told me that he didn't want to see me anymore because I drink alcohol, dance and don’t go to church.

I suppose his preference for someone WAY less fun than me (kidding. sort of.) doesn’t make him a toolbag per se, but the way he did it was just rude.

Stephen and I met at a town council meeting. I was there covering it for the newspaper and he was there as a concerned appraiser opposing a ban on large “McMansion” rental houses.

Granted, when we met, I wasn’t drinking and we were in a church (where the meeting was held) but, I did tell him I was from New Orleans so that should have given him a clue about my interest in alcohol.

We exchanged business cards (“in case you need me for a quote,” he said.) Stephen called me the very next day and asked me out for coffee.

If he had asked me if I liked coffee, I would have told him NO, and suggested a better meeting spot, like the park.

But he seemed excited about the date so I suffered through an iced chai tea that was too sweet, and sat in an overstuffed chair.

Stephen was good-looking, from South Carolina originally but lived in New York for a few years. He dabbled in acting and had a guest spot on an episode of Dawson’s Creek.

“Oh my God I love that show!” I exclaimed. I actually remembered the episode he was talking about. Joey Potter rules!

Stephen said he had a videotape of the episode somewhere and we should watch it together. “What are you doing later this weekend?” he asked. “We should hang out again.”

Two more consecutive coffee dates, (even though I never actually ordered coffee) we finally moved on to a lunch date.

It was only memorable because it was on a Monday, a holiday, and we both had to work that day. (The news never sleeps, people!!)

We had a nice talk on the phone the night before and agreed that lunch would be the best way to make the day not completely horrible while everyone else was at the beach.

Stephen made me laugh in a quirky way and I really wanted to see him in that Dawson’s Creek episode. I was looking forward to lunch.

That is, until I found out that his lunch spot of choice was rather…old. Like, Jell-O for dessert and early bird specials.

It seemed like an odd choice since there were a ton of trendy “young people” restaurants in the downtown area, and we were both 22 years old.

And at least one of us (me) was cool.

Even though I cringed (to myself) at his lunch spot suggestion, I didn’t argue because he seemed really excited that I hadn’t eaten there before and said the food was amazing.
(It was OK, if you’re into meatloaf.)

At lunch, we both complained lightheartedly about having to work on the holiday, and talked about other normal things and then he asked me what I did that past weekend.

(Does he want to know where I hang out so we can hang out together next weekend???)

I told him about my Saturday night, saying I had heard and enjoyed a really fun band at a restaurant/bar. (I didn’t mention that I also did several vodka shots with a friend from out of town.)

“You were dancing?” he asked. “Do you like to dance?”
“Uh, yea, who doesn’t like to dance?” I said, rhetorically.

“Are you a good dancer?” he asked.
“I think so,” I said. “A beer or two makes me dance better, though.” (Or five.)

“Oh,” Stephen said. “I’m not really into that.”

I shrugged and pushed cottage cheese around my plate.

The next day, Stephen asked me out for coffee again, which was getting pretty freaking monotonous. This time, however, he didn’t pay for my overpriced Chai Tea, and sat in the overstuffed chair looking concerned.

(He was also wearing really ugly bright red sneakers, I remember that distinctly.)

“Look,” he said after letting me buy a $5 tea and then sitting down next to him. “I don’t think we can see each other anymore.”

“What?”
“I can’t go out with someone who drinks alcohol.”

“WHAT?” I repeated. “But, I haven’t…drank…alcohol…in front of you.”

“I know, but you said you had a few beers (ahem, five) the other night,” Stephen said. “And, you were dancing to music, and I really can’t go out with someone who thinks that stuff is fun.”

“You don’t think dancing is fun?” I asked, embarrassed for some reason, feeling like a criminal.

Then I added, “Maybe you should have told me that over the phone instead of ask me out again.”

He just sat there. I looked down at his ugly red shoes and suddenly got really angry. Like a bull.

"You know what, that's bullshit!” I said. (get it? huh huh huh)
“The past two weeks, I’ve met you at places I really wasn’t into and I thought we had a good time," I said. "And I still met you here after you said you weren’t into dancing or 'my kind of stuff.'”

I was starting to raise my voice.

“AND… I’ve met you at THIS STUPID COFFEE SHOP FOUR TIMES! AND I HATE COFFEE!”

He sat there and then finally spoke up.

“You also said you were Catholic and you don’t go to church.”

“Church??? We've never even talked about church!!" I said. "You know what? WHAT. EVER.”

I stood up, looking down at him. “I thought we've been having a nice time and I think you’re being really judgemental,” I said.

I left the coffee shop, leaving him and his stupid shoes all alone.

I threw away my full cup of tea before I got to my car and secretly hoped that he saw that.

An hour later, Stephen called.

“I’m sorry. That was really judgemental of me,” he said. “I shouldn’t have assumed that you didn’t drink alcohol. I’d like to go out with you again.”

I felt my pride come back a little, but I was still fuming.

“Well, most people who are 22 years old DO drink,” I said. “You should assume that everyone you meet drinks alcohol.”

I then pointed out, “I’m also from New Orleans.”

“I know,” he said. Then he paused.
“Actually, you know what? I changed my mind again. I don’t think this is going to work out after all.”

He hung up right as I took the Lord’s name in vain.

And then I opened a beer.

-Jenny

Monday, August 30, 2010

Bar trivia

The best bar trivia question I ever heard was, “What female farm animal is called a Jenny?”

“I KNOW THIS!!” I shouted. (Like I haven’t Googled my own name.)

Smiling, I took a piece of paper from the middle of the table and wrote the word “DONKEY” on it and raced to turn it in to the trivia host.

It was my moment of glory, even if it was a bit embarrassing.

Hey everyone! If you look up my name in the dictionary you’ll see a picture of a donkey!

But, my name served me well that Friday afternoon. Because, if I wasn’t sitting at the table that day at that very moment, my team wouldn’t have gotten the right answer.

They told me later they would have written “sheep.”

Being the only one to know the right answer is the most gratifying part of bar trivia for me. I like being needed. (I may have insecurity issues, haha)

Unfortunately, no one needed me at bar trivia last week.

It was my first time playing trivia in New Orleans and the only answer I knew, someone else on the team knew, too, so it didn't matter that I knew it.

The question was who played the devil in the movie Bedazzled.

“I KNOW THAT ONE!” I said. “IT’S PROBABLY THE ONLY QUESTION I’LL KNOW!”

Sadly, that was a correct statement. Unlike my vast knowledge of Elizabeth Hurley, the other questions were about Louisiana history and the New Orleans Saints.

“Just put Reggie Bush down for every answer,” I told my friend, Nicole.

Thankfully, our boyfriends were also playing on our team and knew a lot about both the Saints and Louisiana history so our team wasn’t a complete failure.

It wasn't as easy as the bar trivia that my twin sister, Joy, and I used to play after work almost every Friday in South Carolina.

We’d send mass text messages to our friends asking them to join us. (Especially our geology friends, history buff friends and sports fanatic friends. They were useful.)

Usually, we’d get drunk less smart by the time the game ended, and never actually won the first place $30 bar tab prize.

(Once, I was in a three-way tie for second place and needed to chug and entire PBR the fastest, and got more on my shirt than in my mouth. Uh, loser.)

In the grand scheme of bar trivia, the one in South Carolina was the easiest I've ever played.
Rather than ask political questions or sports draft pick questions, they had a popular “either/or” category, where the host would say a name, and you’d have to guess if it was the name of a My Little Pony or a porn star.

(Hint: The ones that sound like porn star names are really My Little Pony names. Like Cherries Jubilee.)

But, there were no pony/porn star names at the trivia in New Orleans, which was unfortunate.

Also unfortunate? That my boyfriend had to see that I had NO BRAINS WHATSOEVER when it comes to reciting our state’s history.

Actually, I don't have brains when it comes to any kind of history.

(What exactly was the Battle of the Bulge?? Wait, I thought we were off porn star names. haha Earmuffs mom.)

I've actually learned quite a few things from bar trivia. Tons and tons of useless knowledge I have stored away until I'm asked to recite it again. The movie quotes, the Boys II Men album names, the Saved By the Bell Trivia.
I'm really hoping it comes in handy one day.

such as:

- the cult people that all drank the funny kool-aid in Waco, Texas wore NIKES

- The largest Swiss army knife has 225 tools

- Passion fruit makes a New Orleans hurricane cocktail red

- When the hockey puck goes across the ice without anyone touching it, it’s called icing (not “table scratch,” which was my drunk less smart guess)

- Pinkie Pie is a My Little Pony.



-Jenny

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

TOOLBAG TUESDAY

There was no denying that Mark was hot.

He was a surfer, with the accompanying abdominal muscles and bleached blonde hair.
He worked at a popular coffee shop near our college campus and girls would line up to order drinks, even if they didn’t like coffee. He was funny, charming and talkative.

He was also in high school.

But, he didn’t mention that last part to my college roommate, Samantha, until three months into their relationship.

(You’d think the fact that he was in high school would be a deal breaker, but no, Samantha stayed with him for almost a year, did his chemistry homework and even WENT TO HIS HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATION.) haha

Mark lied to Samantha when they first met, saying he already graduated from high school and was taking “a year or two” off to surf and save money. Samantha was a sophomore in college, and lived off-campus.

Samantha and I had just moved into our first real apartment (not a dorm) and we were 800 miles away from our hometown and high school was a distant memory.

We never considered that anyone we hung out with was in high school, since we were so old and grown up and Mark certainly didn’t scream “high school.”

He lived with his dad, who was totally cool with him staying over at his girlfriend’s house (what!!), he was practically a manager at the coffee shop and he had lots of college-age friends.

He also had a fake I.D. (as did we) and he’d hang out at bars all night.

On weeknights he spent the night with Samantha, Mark would get up at 7 a.m. to “go surfing,” which didn’t seem out of ordinary.
(Surfing was a good excuse, since he was really going to homeroom.)

Samantha soon became suspicious when Mark wouldn’t meet her for lunch during the week.
“I have a break between my classes,” Samantha would text him. “Want to grab a bite downtown?”

He wouldn’t respond, or he’d say he was at his house sleeping, or that he was tired from serving all those coffee drinks.

“He’s cheating on me!” Samantha told me one day, after several weeks of being blown off. “He NEVER hangs out with me during the week! I bet he’s hanging out with somebody else!” (Like his math teacher.)

“Well, he sleeps over here every night!” I pointed out. “He gets up early to go surfing, I’d be sleeping all day, too!”

(I don’t know why I give people the benefit of the doubt. Mark had me fooled, too.)

“But he NEVER calls me during the day! He won’t return my calls!”
She was insecure about how good-looking he was, and saw girls bat their eyes at him, and she was convinced he was up to no good.

After Samantha's fourth freakout, I told her to ask Mark what was going on.

Yet, like many girls (um, guilty), her tone was more accusatory than inquisitive.

“ARE YOU CHEATING ON ME? Because you never call me during the day! You NEVER meet me for lunch!”

Mark said no, of course not, that he liked her a lot and has been really happy dating her.

“Then, what’s going on then?” she asked. “Something is going on.”

Mark said yes, something was going on, and that he’d like to take her out that night and explain everything.

Us roommates were very nervous for Samantha when she left that night to meet him.

“What do you think it is??” we all asked when she left. “You think he’s broke and can’t afford to pay for lunch?”
“You think he’s really seeing someone else??”

Samantha came home an hour later frazzled, and dumbfounded.
“He’s in high school,” she said.
Our mouths dropped.
“What??”
“He’s a senior in high school, and that’s why he can’t get lunch during the week.”
“BECAUSE HE’S AT HIGH SCHOOL!??!!!”

All of us, except for Samantha, burst out laughing. We then thought it through.

Ahhh, this makes sense now! The getting up early part. The living with his dad part. The only seeing him after 3 p.m. part.

Before his confession, Mark had brought Samantha out to a romantic spot in the city, overlooking the water. He lightly touched her face, pulling her hair back.
He looked her deep in the eyes and said, sweetly,
“What would you do if I told you I was still in high school?”

WHAAAAAAT!!!!! she said, and got into a coughing fit. She asked him more questions, and then told him that she needed to think for a few days.

I don’t know, maybe it was his incessant calling and apologizing, maybe it was his abs, maybe it was the fact that she liked getting free coffee --- but she forgave him and they stayed together for almost a year.

She met his dad. She went to his graduation. Seriously, he even invited her to prom (they didn’t go).

They broke up soon after he graduated, and he ended up moving away. Perhaps he’s working at another coffee shop somewhere, surfing, pulling girls’ hair off of their faces, looking them deep in the eyes, sweetly saying, “What would you do if I told you I was a toolbag?”

-Jenny

Monday, August 23, 2010

Choir cheating

I was in a choir once, and lip-synced my way right through it.
For two years.

(Successful lip-synching is not just a matter of moving your mouth to the words. You have to also take fake breaths, to fool the director.)

What was I supposed to do? I didn’t want to be in the choir in the first place and my singing range is straight up embarassing. But, I had no choice. My middle school and mother forced me into it.

At least my twin sister, Joy, was also forced into it with me.

Everybody in the entire seventh and eighth grade was automatically enrolled in the choir, an unfortunate offshoot of attending a small, private all-girls school.

Like Spanish and math, choir was mandatory unless your parents wrote a letter saying you don’t have to be in it, and our mother would rather die than opt her children out of choir.

She happens to be a good choir singer and had high expectations for us.
If asked, I’m sure she would have joined us on stage in singing a musical adaptation of the poem Shall I Compare Thee to a Summer’s Day.

(That song was particularly hard to “fake breathe” to, by the way.)

Since there was no audition process (everybody’s in!!) Joy and I didn’t have to sing solo ever, thank GOD, and we were shuffled into the soprano section for some reason, expected to sing high-pitched notes.

It was positive torture to make everyone join the choir. Singing is not something you learn at age 13, like grammar. You're either good or you're not.
And, if you’re a bad singer, practicing for an hour every other week isn’t going to make a difference.

(It didn’t take long for us to find other choir members who were also on board with the lip-synching.)

Despite at least four members of the 30-person choir fake singing, the choir still won all sorts of awards and competitions and we even went to the STATE finals.

We were pretty much riding on the coattails of ten or so girls who could actually sing, and they stood closest to the microphone.
The director asked a lot from those girls, who often had to carry the whole choir by singing Italian sonatas.

Man, did I feel bad for them.

But us fakers didn’t have it easy, either. The "singing" and "breathing" bordered on nerve-wrecking at the STATE competition, where we stood on a stage with spotlights and had to “learn” a new song in 20 minutes.
(Learn how to pretend to be singing, that is...in very uncomfortable white silky blouses and red skirts, blech!)

Fortunately, we were experts at breathing fluctuations by that point, and our cover was never blown. The choir may have even won something that day.

Joy and I transferred to another high school that didn't have a mandatory choir policy and singing in a group was never mentioned again. The silky shirts and red skirts were quickly put in the giveaway pile.

This past Saturday, I saw a choir perform the national anthem at the Saints game (in the dome, y’all!!!!) and I was reminded of the years I used to be a choir member.

I studied the small group of singers on the large screen in the dome and tried to pick out any fake singers/professional “breathers,” but I didn’t find any. Perhaps it’s a dying breed.

The girls didn’t remind me at all of my choir experience. They were talented, confident and happy to be there with a spotlight and microphone.

Granted, their outfits still looked horribly uncomfortable: floor-length velvet green dresses in the middle of summer.

But they got a loud round of applause from the crowd, especially during the crescendo: “for the laaaand of the freeeeeee”
They hit that note perfectly. It was impressive.

I could have fake sung it brilliantly.

-Jenny

Friday, August 20, 2010

Happy fake birthday to me

In my second week of work, in front of nearly 30 co-workers, I had say that it wasn’t my birthday.

The enormous cream cake had my name, “Jenny,” spelled out on the top in red icing.

The boss had pulled me to the head of the conference table with all the other “August” birthdays, for a photo.

I was confused; all I had heard was an announcement on the loudspeaker about everyone meeting in the room for cake.

“I didn’t know it was your birthday!” a co-worker said to me from way down the table.
“Oh..it’s…not,” I said. “My birthday is in April.”

The room turned to silence.

“What?? Well, who is ‘Jenny’ then?” asked an actual August birthday person, pointing to the red icing.

“Hey, everyone, who is ‘Jenny?’ Does anyone know a ‘Jenny?’”

“I’m…Jenny,” I spoke up. “But my birthday is in April, not August. Maybe it means Jennifer?” I asked, referring to another co-worker who wasn’t at work that day.

“No, her birthday is in May,” someone pointed out.

Everybody was staring at me.

“Well, maybe there was an “A” letter mix-up,” I said. “A for April, A for August.”

Everyone was still staring at me and I didn’t understand why. It was obviously a mistake, and I was embarrassed and didn’t want to be standing at the head of the table anymore.

I smiled sheepishly.
“I mean, it could be my birthday,” I joked.

“Oh, well, it will be your ‘welcome’ to the job cake then!” the human resources lady said, nervously glancing at the receptionist who keeps track of all the birthdays.

“Now come stand over here so you won’t be in the picture.”

The cake was actually quite delicious and people were very nice to me about the whole thing telling me that “my name tasted delicious” and all that.

But, still, not my ideal first impression at the office.

“Oh, that girl? That’s Jenny! The one who had her name on the cake when it WASN’T her birthday!”

I finished the exceptionally large piece of cake (dammit New Orleans, how can someone possibly keep a diet here??) and made as much small talk as I could, and then went back to my desk and saw an email from the receptionist.

“Sorry I had the wrong month,” she wrote. “The good news is that April was the month in which we previously had no birthdays and no cake.”

I shook my head. This would only happen to me, seriously.

Perhaps this was karma for pretending like it was my birthday once, when my fake ID alias turned 21. (I’m sure she was off celebrating somewhere, too, legally.)

But, really, I’m not surprised. My birthday is anything but nondescript.
It’s on April 19. Does that date mean anything to you?

Hippies and bartenders like to point out that it’s “one day off, man” from 4/20.

Others note that it’s the same day at the Okalahoma City bombing. Oh, and the date of some disaster in Waco, Texas!

A long line of Unabombers are born on April 19, someone said once, ominously.

Perfect.

April 19 is also the date of my twin sister, Joy’s, birthday and we’d prefer separate gifts, thank you, unless it’s something really expensive ;)

I went to college in South Carolina and Joy went to college at LSU and I remember calling her at midnight (Eastern time) saying, “I’m 21 now and you’re not hahahaha!”

When we lived together in South Carolina, we’d celebrate by treating ourselves to a ridiculously fancy meal together in lieu of buying each other gifts.

But what am I supposed to do to celebrate a fake birthday?

Eh, I’ll just go to a ridiculously fancy meal anyway.

-Jenny

Monday, August 16, 2010

TOOLBAG TUESDAY

This week’s post is dedicated to confusing toolbag behavior.

In past posts, the toolbags’ behavior has been clear and obvious.

For instance: asking out the friend of a girl you’re dating means your head’s too big and you’re pretending to be a pimp.

Desperately creating a MySpace page as an ex-girlfriend to get information from her friends means you’re sad and bored and maybe still in high school.

Getting “something”-whipped by a girl friend who you’re not even dating means that you’re living in la la land. And also, easily whip-able.

Yet, some toolbags' actions are so bizarre they can’t even be analyzed.
(Which, for the record, doesn’t make them any less of toolbags.)

Sarah and Jake had been going out for a month, and, like most toolbags, he seemed totally normal.

He played on an adult soccer league, he drove an SUV and he was very romantic.
He sent flowers and candy and he even booked them a PENTHOUSE SUITE at a fancy hotel downtown for no reason at all, complete with strawberries and champagne.

It was that very night, however, when Jake started turning… confusing.
(Getting sloppy drunk at dinner wasn’t the confusing part.)

After dinner and more drinks, Jake and Sarah got back to the hotel and Jake decided that he needed more food. He left Sarah in the room while he went to the lobby restaurant.

And he didn’t come back for two hours.

When he finally did, Sarah asked him what took him so long, and he said he didn’t remember.

She reasoned that he was super drunk and was probably just wandering around, and she noted that this was the first time he’s been less than perfect. So, he was off the hook.

Not too long after that, Jake met up with Sarah at happy hour so he could meet her guy friend, Joseph, who was visiting from out of town.

Sarah was chatting with other people at the table and didn’t pay much attention to Jake, who was happily chatting with Joseph.

But soon everyone noticed that Jake didn’t return to the table after a bathroom run, after a very long time.

“Where is he?” Sarah said. “Ugh, is he, like, GOING to the bathroom?” she asked, turning up her nose.

Joseph shrugged his shoulders, but after 20 minutes of looking irritated, he got up to go look for him, and came back to the table alone, fuming mad.

“He’s not in there,” Joseph said. “And I just loaned him $60.”
“What??” Sarah said. “You loaned him money? Just now?”

“Yea,” Joseph said. “He told me that he didn’t get paid until tomorrow and that he wanted to take you out tonight and was embarrassed about not having money, so I loaned him some.”

(This was not even a week after he had booked the penthouse suite. With champagne and strawberries. Overlooking the water.)

“He said he’d pay me back tomorrow,” Joseph said.

“WHAT!!?" Sarah screamed.

She called Jake's phone, but it was off. Then, at that moment, the server came back and gave Sarah the tab for both their drinks and food, which ironically was very close to $60.

Two days later, Sarah called me with an update.

“I told him that he was a sketchy piece of crap and I never wanted to see him again,” she said.

Jake didn’t have a good reason for leaving the bar without saying goodbye, but he did say that Joseph was a liar and he never borrowed any money.

“WHAT?” I asked. “Joseph would never lie about that! You've know him for five years! WHAT THE HELL?”

We never did figure out where Jake went or what he did with the alleged money, although Sarah ended up paying Joseph back the $60.

Perhaps Jake though Sarah wouldn’t have noticed that he left?

Or not minded paying the bar tab in his absence?

Did he consider that she’d spend the next 20 minutes apologizing to Joseph and everyone else at the table for her “sketchball” date?

No he didn’t. And no penthouse suite that can make up for that.

-Jenny

Sunday, August 15, 2010

That’ll do New Orleans

I had a really, really perfect weekend, but prude people would totally disagree.
Maybe they would have cried.

(Unless, of course, they enjoy staying up until 5 a.m. listening to a loud New Orleans funk band and seeing men in red dresses and thongs running through the streets at noon).


Oh yea.

The Red Dress run is a charity pub crawl where everyone (men AND women) don crimson dresses and walk through the French Quarter for charity, and it was quite possibly the funniest thing I’ve ever seen.

I laughed especially hard at the big, muscley men wearing V-neck halter dresses and thrift store red moo moos.

It certainly was a good conversation starter.

“Sweet prom dress,” I told one guy, who immediately showed me the bustle on the back.
(I learned what a bustle was that one time I was a bridesmaid, and this guy got mad points for knowing the term.)

“People are telling me I look like a lesbian,” a smaller, blonde guy told me when I complimented the gold buttons on his red polyester business power suit.

Ha. Maybe a lesbian from Working Girl.

Other guys wore tutus, thongs and wigs and gyrated around the street screaming, laughing, spilling beer and smoking cigarettes.

But everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, dressed up.
That’s one thing I love about New Orleans: 100 percent participation rate.
It was like the best Halloween ever.

I was wearing a red dress, but I wasn’t a registered participant for the run, mainly because I didn’t have $70 for the registration fee.

But I did have spirit, and that only cost a 12-pack of miller high life.
I put the beer in my backpack and my friend, Bailey, and I each popped open a can (IN THE STREET!) and walked down to Bourbon Street to join the revelers.

(Drinking in the street is my favorite non-law ever, because you can party immediately.)

People in New Orleans come prepared to party with surprisingly loud speakers attached to beer coolers being pushed down the street, and instruments (of course), and you couldn’t swing a red handbag around without hitting a dance party.

I also ran into people I knew from ten years ago in high school, and it still weirds me out how small New Orleans can be.

After several beers and a few sips of a hand grenade, I rode my mom’s old bike home (FYI: Bike rides! Super fun!) and proceeded to take the nicest nap I’ve had in a long time.

Fast forward three hours, and I was sitting with my mom at a Norah Jones concert, wishing that I could play the piano like her, look like her and be a sexy siren with a smooth jazzy voice.

Norah Jones should dress more like Jessica Rabbit, I thought. Like when she came out with that glittery red dress with the big slit up the side.
“Like another maaaaaan…..do..” haha.

Norah Jones put on a great show, and everyone laughed when someone screamed “WHO DAT!” and Norah said, “Did you just say Hooters?”

Silly rabbit.

After the concert, I went to another concert --- this one with lots and lots and lots of dancing ---- and lots and lots and lots of dancing with MY BOYFRIEND ---- and dancing with my boyfriend is pretty much my favorite thing in the whole world.

The band, Johnny Sketch and the Dirty Notes, is my favorite band in New Orleans, and I’m pretty convinced after last night that I have an involuntary condition that prohibits me from sitting still when I hear brass instruments.

(Especially the saxophone and trombone.)

I forgot that bars don’t close. I was honestly in shock when the band ended, and it was after 4 a.m.
(Another thing I like about New Orleans).

Oh and before we went home, my friends all stopped by a snowball stand and got some treats.

As such, today I slept till noon. Then I got brunch with my boyfriend at a neighborhood cafe and lounged with him on the couch for the entire afternoon.

It was glorious.

Dinner at a restaurant uptown included gumbo, followed by a stop at the most decadent little gelato place where we got “big kid” shakes that included alcohol.

Mine? A “gelato-tini,” strawberry blossom flavored gelato with champagne. (It was very dainty.)

My boyfriend got something with a hazelnut liquor and whipped cream.
We noted that it would be a great hair-of-the-dog place for a hangover. I’ll keep that in mind.

Now, I’m home at my parents’ house and I’m watching the roast of David Hasselhoff and my mom left the room after the fourth C-word was uttered (um…awkward).

But other than that, this really was the best weekend I could have asked for back home in the city.

Perhaps a more conservative person would think it was a bit over the top, though.

I mean, alcohol in the ice cream? 5 a.m. bedtime? Unproductively laying on the couch?
And what about that red dress debauchery???


Too scandalous?

Hell no! It was totally perfect, and it included all of my favorite things. Including David Hasselhoff.

(Sorry to those who didn’t have a perfect weekend, because I’ve totally been there and the last thing you want to hear about is someone else’s perfect weekend when yours was bad, but you know what? Come visit anytime. But, only if you’re not offended.)

-Jenny

Friday, August 13, 2010

Learning the ropes

My mom’s friend told me this week that some people stay in their jobs for years even if they hate it, because starting a new job is really EFFING STRESSFUL.

I don’t know if that’s true or not, but I believe it. Starting a new job IS super effing stressful.
And super awkward.

First, you meet a small army of new people and hear all sorts of names that you forget instantly (unless they are fun name like “Coco” and “Pewter.” Seriously.) and you make what you hope is appropriate small talk, but thankfully, you can always just talk about the Saints here in New Orleans.

Then, you must figure out other people’s personalities and gauge how you’re going to interact with them.
Will it be a more professional “business only” relationship?
Or will it be a “Hey I just got an email with a list of DUI checkpoint locations, and do you want me to forward it to you?”

Then, you must figure out the work dress code. But it's NOT the debate over if you’re too causal or something is inappropriate.
I'm talking about the dress code for when the Saints are playing.

I arrived at the office on Thursday wearing a dress and everyone was wearing jeans and a Saints jersey.
What?? I thought jeans day was Friday!!! I was confused and felt left out.

I was then told that when the Saints play, jeans and WHO DAT paraphernalia are required, and HELLO??? It's pre-season!!
(Thank God my dress was black).

Figuring out lunchtime at a new job is also a challenge.
At my old job in South Carolina, I left the office almost everyday to eat because I liked having ME MYSELF and I time, and I was also too lazy busy in the mornings to pack a lunch.

But a new job, a new routine. Do people leave the building for lunch? Do they bring lunch to the office?
Do they go to the café on the first floor?

Or maybe they bring lunch from home and sit in the conference room and watch the Food Network. (Barefoot Contessa anyone??)

Ehhhh..I’ll learn to get into cooking shows. Maybe...not.

Once these pesky social issues at a new job are worked out (or fumbled through) you then must deal with the actual work and job expectations.

(You can only go so long getting a free pass to be an idiot because you’re new.)

All week long -- and for some reason this first week of work has been a very, very long week – I’ve spent hours and hours trying to figure out how to be on top of news in the city, since I’m working at paper here.

I spent HOURS online searching city council minutes (I don’t recognize the council members’ names! …yet) and reading agendas and newswires that I’ve been so sick of looking at the computer screen that I could barely stomach Facebook when I got home from work.

But, I am pleased to say that after a week of awkward moments, filled with counting to ten in my head slowly and biting the inside of my cheeks and picking my fingers, I got a reprieve.

I got TWO COMPLIMENTS on my work today (YAAAY!!!) and for the first time, I stopped counting to ten and stopped biting my cheeks and was able to take a full breath. (Oh calm, deep breaths how I've missed you!!!)

It was then that I could return text messages and emails from dear friends in South Carolina about how I’m doing.
YES! IT'S GOING WELL! I’M "PLEASING PEOPLE WITH MY WORK!"

To make it even better, it’s about to be my first real weekend in New Orleans. Finally!!!

Now if you will excuse me, I have to go buy a Saints jersey.

-Jenny

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

TOOLBAG TUESDAY

I don’t often feel bad for guys, because they can pee outside and usually have ridiculously high metabolism.

But, I do feel bad for guys who are hung up on a terrible girl friend ---- a girl who they’re not dating but really want to date--- and the girl knows it, so she deliberately and thoughtfully keeps the guy’s balls in a chokehold, just to make sure he's never happy with anyone else.

They’re the girls who never actually date the guys that pine for them, but are instead the guy’s “best friend” and string them along enough to get attention.

It’s not really fair to blame a horrible, possessive girl friend for a guy who acts like a toolbag, but guys really don't know better.
They can't see that their girl “friend” turns on the charm in order to drive away any other girl he actually likes. Boys are blind like that.

(If you are unsure how to spot these horrible girls, they are usually the ones calling the new girl “sweetheart” and being generally insincere.)

My friend Lani had to deal with this firsthand, and if she had known that Aaron had such a manipulative menace with his balls in a chokehold, she would have avoided him like high school math class.

But, when Lani and Aaron met, Becca wasn’t around.
Aaron told Lani he was single, and the poor thing actually believed he was.

Aaron and Lani had several nice dates and they both laughed a lot and liked the same music, and really, in college that’s pretty much the perfect relationship.

But, then one weekend, a group of people met out at a bar and Becca showed up. Like a shark….dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dundundundundunddundundun….

“Hey Sweetheart,” she said to Lani, looking her up and down. “Aaron has told me so much about you!”

Don’t be fooled; the sugary, sappy tone and the slight cock of the head meant that Becca was really being threatening.

“Oh, you and Aaron are friends?” Lani asked, playing along with the bitchy game. “He hasn’t mentioned you.” (Lani’s good.)

Becca then swooped Aaron away to the bar, where she got him shots and more beer and stood way too close to him.

Later, Lani confronted Aaron about he and Becca’s relationship.
“Nothing is going on!” Aaron said. “She’s my best friend.”
“Did ya’ll date?”
“Yea, a long time ago, but she wasn’t interested in me. We’re just friends now. I don’t know why other girls are so threatened by her.”

Lani was wary, like anyone would be after seeing that their new love interest’s “best friend” was a tall, blonde girl who had once rejected him.

Nonetheless, Lani still continued to date him, because he was sort of charming. Becca, however, wasn’t having any of it.
She had picked up on the fact that Aaron actually liked Lani, and had to intervene.

First, Aaron suddenly couldn’t come to dinner because Becca’s dog had swallowed something odd and she needed him to come over.
“You’re not a vet,” Lani pointed out.

The second time Lani got stood up it was because Becca had broken up with her own “sort of boyfriend” and Aaron was the ONLY shoulder she could cry on.
“She’s really upset,” Aaron told Lani over the phone.

Lani was downright furious when Aaron told her he was trying to get a group of people to drive down from South Carolina to Miami for New Year’s Eve, and that Becca was invited, too.

Lani told him that she got a bad feeling about Becca, and there was a reason that other girls have said something to him about her.

Lani told me, later, that Aaron reasoned with her that no, it’s not like that between them and that it’s not his fault that she hangs out with his group of friends.

“Baby, I really want you to come to Miami,” he said. Charming. Lani considered it.

It turned out that Lani couldn’t go to Miami on New Year’s Eve, because a family member had fallen ill and was suddenly rushed to the hospital.
She called Aaron to say that she would be staying in town.

“Man that sucks! No one can make it this trip!” Aaron said. “You’re the fifth person to cancel!”

“Oh, really, well, who IS going?” Lani asked.
“Just me and Becca.”
“Oh, UH--UHHHHH,” she said.

“Do I have your permission to still go?” he asked.

The sad part was that Aaron really, really did think he and Becca were “just friends” and he was oblivious to Becca’s grip on his balls.
(For the record, they DID hook up on the trip to Miami, which Aaron admitted to later.)

But Lani didn’t know that, then.
“I’ll call you every hour!” he promised.

Aaron shouldn’t have bothered to call at all. I know this because I was with Lani that New Year’s Eve, and while he did call every hour, each call made the situation exponentially worse.

“My friends that I was planning on staying with in Miami don’t have any more room,” Aaron said. “We’re going to have to get a hotel room.”

“All the hotel rooms are booked. We’re going to have to camp on the beach in a tent.”

“Woah, I’m so drunk and it’s only ten o clock.”


Lani stopped returning Aaron’s calls and texts after several glasses of wine and whole lot more “UH-UHHHHH’s” from all of us who were celebrating in South Carolina.

This prompted a poor “are you mad at me or something?” text, and by the next morning, it was a new year and Lani had moved on.

But, a week later, Aaron came crawling back.

“You were right about Becca,” he said, almost in tears. “I thought she really liked me, but she was just trying to break me and you up. She’s such a bitch!”

Lani said a million “I told you so”-s and, thinking that Becca was totally out of the picture now, agreed to take him back on a probationary basis.

After all, she and he weren’t exclusive at the time, she reasoned.

Aaron, however, remained a toolbag.

Not even a week after that conversation, on a night where Aaron was supposed to be groveling to Lani and cooking her dinner, she got a call from him insted.

“So...Becca called and said she was really sorry and missed me, and then she asked me to hang up some curtains in her living room,” Aaron said. “Can I meet you later for dessert?”

Lani hung up and then cursed at the phone, and herself.

UH UHHHHHH

-Jenny

Sunday, August 8, 2010

How it's going

Aside from the anxiety attacks, the move to New Orleans has been good.

I’m officially on day TWO-AND-A-HALF of moving back and living in my hometown again, after living in South Carolina for nearly a decade.
And, well, I’m sort of a mess.

I’ve cried more than TWO-AND-A-HALF times because I miss my twin sister, Joy, who is still in South Carolina.

But, I’ve also laughed more than TWO-AND-A-HALF times because people in New Orleans are funny, and I’ve certainly had way more than TWO-AND-A-HALF drinks and crawfish dishes.

I was also at a bar at HALF PAST TWO in the morning, and well, that doesn’t happen in South Carolina. TWO-AND-A-HALF bonus points, perhaps?

I’d like to skip right now to month TWO-AND-A-HALF, or even day 12-AND-A-HALF, because I’m not good at change or adapting and why can't I just skip all that and not have my first day of work tomorrow? SCARY!

I had a really good day yesterday, on DAY ONE of the move back to New Orleans. I saw an all-male dance troupe audition for new members at a bar downtown.
They wore short shorts, tall socks and moustaches, and for a while I forgot about everything other than which ones had the most rhythm.

Last night, I went to an event where everyone wears white and walks around the art district being all cultured. With lemonade ginger vodka drinks.

I drank in the street, legally. I learned at least 10 new things about my boyfriend, who I now get to see all the time, which is delightful.

It was a far cry from Friday night, TWO MINUTES into my move back to New Orleans. I had driven 12 hours by myself battling traffic and rain, and all these conflicted feelings about leaving my life in South Carolina.

I was both physically and emotionally exhausted and burst into my parents’ house crying and hyperventilating. I MISS JOY!!! I NEVER WANT TO DRIVE AGAIN!!! WAAAAHHHH I’M…SO SAD!!!!

(This may have had something to do with the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo book on tape I was listening to on the drive. The actual Girl with the Dragon Tattoo was in a terrible state when i pulled into my parents' driveway.)

Today, I relapsed. Today, day TWO-AND-A-HALF, I was on the verge of tears. Even though I ran into several people I know from MIDDLE SCHOOL and ELEMENTARY SCHOOL on the street today (like, woah), I’m still scared and jostled.

I’m not yet comfortable even though I’m wearing my most comfortable pajamas right now.

I would like to jump ahead to day 12-AND-A-HALF, and I hope it comes soon because day TWO-AND-A-HALF is super scary.

My clothes still aren’t unpacked.
I don’t know what I’m going to wear on the first day.
The humidity is making my new perm look like a static electricity experiment.

Joy would totally make fun of me. Two and a half times.

-Jenny

Monday, August 2, 2010

Life of luxury

Today, I added something new to my “what I’d do if I was filthy rich” list.

On the list already is a personal assistant to be organized for me, a driver who likes listening to Howard Stern and an old-fashioned popcorn maker (I would seriously marry popcorn).

but today...on the list...I have added monthly hour-long spa massages.

Oh yes! I got an HOUR-LONG MASSAGE today! How ever did I survive before this??? Ahhhhhhh

I’m a sucker for massages of any kind, just ask the chiropractors I’ve met at bars. Haha.

No, but really.

(Chiropractors, do yourselves a favor make up a new profession when you meet me, or else I’ll make you examine massage my traps.)

According to WebMD - the hypochondriac's source for diagnosing illnesses - my muscle aches are a combination of not stretching after the gym (too time consuming), constant stress (Me?? Neurotic??) and not owning a Tempurpedic bed. (Another item on my filthy rich list).

Thus, I crave constant massages. I thought I had a perfectly acceptable massage chair in my living room (the best thing from Walgreens, ever). But, no.

I may just chuck the whole thing after the SPA EXPERIENCE today.

Seriously, I had muscles worked out that I didn’t even KNOW could be massaged. Like MY TOES!!! I got my TOES massaged!!! Also, the backs of my legs. That felt good too.

I was lucky enough to get an LUXURIOUS SPA massage because my boyfriend got it for me for my birthday. (I guess I’m lucky twice. Awwww shucks.)

I got it as a birthday present back in April, and today was the perfect day to redeem it.

See, it’s my last week in South Carolina, and I just had an AWESOME going away party this past weekend. (Blog to come later this week, WITH PHOTOS).

Preparing for a party of that significance stressed me out considerably, and I had booked this massage specifically for today.

The masseuse, Nikki, had surprisingly strong hands considering she was so tiny.(Umm… “that’s what she said?”)

Ok, mom, let’s try this again…I had requested a person who specialized in deep pressure, and Nikki was the girl who was doing me. (HOLLER!!)

I told Nikki that I was anxious about moving to New Orleans THIS FRIDAY (OMG, woah) and therefore, I was SUPER STRESSED OUT and PLEASE , PLEASE HELP MY TRAPEZIUS! JESUS!

Nikki gave me a white, waffle-weave robe and slippers, and gave me full reign over the lemongrass-scented products in the locker room. (Oh, the life of the filthy rich!)

Once all pampered, I shuffled into an oh-so-tranquil room, and even though it was, 1,000 degrees outside and I was sweating walking from my car to the spa, the layers of sheets and blankets felt heavenly to crawl into. I buried my face into the circular head rest.

Now, I’ve never gotten a full HOUR-LONG massage before, but I have gotten pansy 30-minute massages, and this was leaps and bounds better.

Let me tell you things that were massaged that I’ve never gotten massaged before: the aforementioned toes, cheeks and EARS.

EARS! Nikkie rubbed the edges and she sort of pinched my earlobes and pulled down on them. (They needed it, too. I talk on my cell phone a lot.)

I told my boyfriend later about the massage and HOLY THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU and I may have used the word AMAZEBALLS, and he said the one time he got a massage he felt all loopy afterwards, since it makes you so relaxed.

And that is JUST how I felt afterwards, too.

Half-drunk, super zoned out, all loosened up and warm. And my hair was a mess because that’s what you must put up with when you get a lengthy, mesmerizing head and scalp massage. Man, life is so hard.

Now that I really think about it, the greater benefit of the massage - other than working out all the muscles and making my whole body smell like lemongrass lotion - is that it gave me a nice little oasis to think about when I get stressed out…again….tomorrow.

For the entire hour, there was nothing to worry about, no phone to answer, no one to talk to. (Nikki didn’t talk to me during the massage, knowing that I needed to relax with my own thoughts). And I will go to that place again when I pack all my clothes, and my life, into my car this week.

I will go to that place when I start my first day at my job and inevitably get that uncomfortable first day, OH MY GOD, DID I JUST LOOK/SOUND LIKE AN IDIOT moment; I will go there when I get hungover…again…tomorrow. Ha. Just kidding.

Maybe I should buy the lemongrass lotion to hold me over. Maybe I should get a waffle-woven robe. Maybe I should put Nikki on speed dial.

Just in case I win the lottery and become filthy rich.

-Jenny
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