Monday, January 31, 2011

Shuck it to me

I threw an impromptu oyster roast this past weekend – BECAUSE I FELT LIKE IT!!— and it was super fun, and the sun came out of the clouds and, man, it was so pleasant. Sorry rest of the country, I hear it’s winter where you live.

It was perhaps New Orleans’ first (and only) oyster roast. People don’t eat steamed oysters here. They prefer theirs fried, raw and/or charbroiled.

But steamed is how I’ve been eating them for the past 10 years when I was living in South Carolina and have grown to love its hot, salty goodness.
I was determined to push them onto my friends using this exact preparation and actually got some new fans of the steamed oysters.

“They’re not steamed, they’re boiled,” said my friend Nicole, not a fan, as I was trying to cook the first “test” batch.

“Boiled” was sort of true, though. At one point, the water bubbled up over the grate of oysters in the pot, so they were yes, sitting in boiling water for a little bit instead of getting cooked just by the steam.

But, boiled or not, I ate like a million of them, and I thought they were great. And no, they weren’t covered in oil, and were actually quite large. Three inches long! (That’s what she said!…And then frowned.)

The real winning oysters were the ones that my dad grilled. He showed up with a mixture of butter and garlic and parmesan cheese and HolySweetBabyJesus they were effing delicious.

Being outside with friends enjoying unseasonably warm weather reminded me of South Carolina since my twin sister, Joy, and I used to throw a Christmas oyster roast every year at our house with our friend, April.

However, there are a few differences in the oyster lingo between the two coasts, as I will try to explain in this “Good to know” list, in case you ever decide to throw one yourself:

1.) You buy the oysters by the BUSHEL in South Carolina, by the SACK (or gallons) in New Orleans

New Orleans sack

South Carolina bushel

2.) A New Orleans sack costs twice as much as a South Carolina bushel, but it’s still cheaper than dinner for two at Chili’s.

eat up!!!

All that salty goodness.

3.) In New Orleans, when you call the store to see if they have any oyster shuckers for sale, they think you're talking about a person. They call them oyster knives here.

4.) In South Carolina, you don't need to buy oyster knives shuckers. Just wait for a restaurant to throw its own oyster roast and steal all their shuckers.

5.) No matter what state you are in, oyster shooters are gross.


6.) Oysters are best eaten near water.

7.) At oyster roasts, you learn new things about your friends that help make the oysters happen.

Matt, the master steamer.

Tatiana, the master raw oyster shucker.

8.) Oyster roasts are more fun with costumes.

All I want for Christmas is my own engraved oyster shucker

Supa fly

9.) In New Orleans, people know what you mean when you offer them a charbroiled oyster and say, “It just got all ACME up in here!”

nom nom nom nom nom

10.) In New Orleans, dad shows up and makes something delicious.

nom nom nom nom nom nom


Thursday, January 27, 2011

The crazy train

I got my lifeguard certification when I was a senior in high school, but I was never a lifeguard because the only place that called me back for a job was the mental institution.

“Ya’ll have a pool?” I asked, jealous.
“Yes, and we pay $10 an hour.”

Holy sh*t! That was lot of money, especially in 2001 wages.

“That’s awesome,” I said. “Wait…how many times do the lifeguards actually get in the pool?”
“Average twice a shift,” the lady said.

Holy sh*t. That meant I’d actually have to save someone instead of just blow a whistle and yell “no running.”

I then asked an inappropriate, yet pertinent, question.

“What if someone…is trying to drown themselves?” I asked. “And they’d pull me under when I try to help them?”

I was concerned she didn’t get what I was asking.

“Oh!” the lady said, finally. “No, we don’t let our suicidal patients swim.”

Well you don’t know they’re suicidal until they’re sucking water! I thought.
Instead, I said, “Are you aware that I’m five feet tall?”


I told her I’d have to think about the job offer and call her back, but I never did because I didn’t trust my CPR skills on a non-dummy.

I thought about that this week when I had to call a bunch of mental hospitals for a newspaper article. (The article doesn't involve the pool schedule).

And because irony loves me so much, I’ve been in an unexplained SOUR MOOD all week, and found myself getting irritated with the very people who specialize in emotional disorders and acute psychiatry.

“WELL, WHEN WILL SHE BE IN, THEN??” I demanded to the nurse in charge, exasperated. “WELL, YOU TELL HER THAT I SAID…”


On Tuesday, I came home from work furious for no reason at all, and sat in my massage chair in the living room, but it, too, began to annoy me.

“Want to watch an Office episode?” asked my roommate, who knows exactly what can cheer me up (when I’m normal.)
“NO!” I yelled. “I’M GOING TO TAKE A NAP!!!”

I was still spitting nails when I woke up an hour later, and for some reason went to the grocery store.
I irrationally gave people dirty looks when they were in the same aisle as me.
I almost asked to speak to the manager when they didn’t have my favorite breakfast bar in stock.

“DAMN YOU OATS’ N HONEY!!! I wailed in my head, almost throwing myself onto the empty shelf. "YOU’RE RUINING MY LIFE!!”

Maybe I needed my own lifeguard.

Thankfully, the Chill Out train hit me while I was sleeping last night, because today I feel fine. Dare I say, even cheerful.

And I got a call back from the person at the mental institution! She said New Orleans isn’t the best place for recovering mental patients, and there should be more “transitional” facilities for people to “ease back” into society.

I HEAR YA, I told her. They totally need to stock up on more breakfast bars in this town, too. Cuz that’ll put someone over the edge.

Just kidding.



Tuesday, January 25, 2011


One of the most luxurious things about living in a beach town is getting to go out on a boat.
Wakeboarding! An even tan! No sand in your crack!

And you get to wear your flippity floppities!!!!!!

Unfortunately, sometimes boat rides can be a complete disaster.
For example, a captain can misread the tide charts and get stuck in stinky mud for hours. They can accidentally sink their boat when too many people are sitting in the front.

Or, THEY CAN LEAVE YOU on a FREAKING ISLAND like GILLIGAN because they’re jealous that you’re hanging out with another guy.

This is what happened to me on Fourth of July three years ago.
I got left.
On an island.
By a guy I wasn’t even dating.

Taylor had just moved to the South Carolina town where I lived, and he worked with my boyfriend at the time. (Also a toolbag)

When my boyfriend and I broke up eight months later, Taylor decided that there was some sort of chance we’d start dating, contrary to the fact that I had given him ZERO signals.

Taylor had a boat, and he asked my twin sister, Joy, and I if we wanted to go out on July 4 to the island that all the cool people with boats go to drink beer.

He said we could even bring two of our friends.


“We’re gonna be out there all day,” Taylor said. “Let’s stay out on the boat until dark and watch fireworks.”

He instructed us to bring enough beer and food for 8 hours of boating. (To be clear: THIS MEANS THAT HE PLANNED TO STAY OUT ALL DAY. AM I RIGHT??)

Ok, then.
We arrived at the island and all of us set up our towels and coolers and beach games, and I ran into a guy I knew from college.

“BIOLOGY CLASS!!” we high-fived and caught up for a bit. The trouble (for Taylor) came when my college friend introduced all of us to his friends.
See, one of them had ridiculous six-pack abs.

(Like, The Situation from Jersey Shore, only he didn’t have an ugly butt-face attached to it.)

Six-pack asked me and my college friend if we wanted to go wakeboarding in the nearby marsh.


I asked EVERYONE in the group, including Taylor, if it was OK that I went wakeboarding.

“I’ll be back in a half-hour or so,” I said. It was noon.

The wakeboarding lasted longer than a half hour, more like an hour (hour-and-a-half MAX) and it was fun, even though I always feel like a moose being lifted out of the water.
And my bottoms almost fell off.

On the way back to the island, the guys decided they wanted to cruise around more marshes instead of anchoring the boat on the beach.

“Here, we’ll pull up close and you can jump off the back of the boat and swim to your friends,” they said.

So, I swam back to the island and looked at the spot where we had set up our towels and coolers.

“Wha--?” I looked at the spot where Taylor’s boat had been anchored.
And my college friend had long sped off. I was stranded.

I stood there, soaking wet with no towel, bewildered and confused, when suddenly I heard my two friends yelling my name.

“JENNY!!!! JENNY!!!!” They were running towards me with my beach bag. I shook my head.

“What’s going on?”

“Taylor left 20 minutes ago to go to the boat launch,” they said. “We told him not to, but he got mad when you didn’t come back after a half hour.”


“Joy went with him,” they said. “But we stayed because we didn’t want you to come back and be alone.”


“We even wrote your name in the sand so you’d find us,” they said.

A poor photo of the “e-n-n-y” of Jenny. (S.O.S. y'all)

My buzz was quickly fading.

I thanked my friends for staying, and used the word BULLSHIT a lot.

I called Joy, who was furious with me because “Well, you did take longer than a half hour."
(Taylor brainwashed her.)


“Taylor said his stomach hurt,” Joy said.

“Can I talk to him please??”

I told Taylor that I was, uh, back on the island now, and could he PLEASE come back and get us and I rolled my eyes as I told him I was sorry about saying I’d be a half-hour when it was really AN hour.

(The apology was at the insistence of my friends.)

“Fine,” Taylor said. “I’ll come back and get you.”


HE SAID HE WANTED TO STAY OUT HERE ALL DAY!!! I yelled and flailed my arms.

Instead of yelling at Taylor when he pulled up, for fear he would chuck me overboard and leave me to drown, my friends had the idea to be overly sugary sweet about how nice it was that he came back for us.

“YOU’RE THE BEST!” we said to him with big, sarcastic grins when he pulled up. “THANKS SOOOOO MUCH, TAYLOR. WHAT WOULD WE DO WITHOUT YOU?”

(Joy wasn’t talking to me. She thinks I'm the toolbag in this story)

To make matters worse, instead of heading back to the boat launch, Taylor boated to a quiet area and pulled out a freaking FISHING POLE.

I opened my mouth to say something about why he IMMEDIATELY needed to leave 45 minutes ago — boating etiquette be dammed — and now he wants to go FISHING??

What was the matter with this guy??

I was completely confused.

“HOW WAS I SUPPOSED TO GET HOME TAYLOR??” I started to ask him, but my friends shushed me and we all went swimming instead.

(They told me to hold my tongue until we were on dry land. My question to Taylor went unanswered.)

He brought us back to the boat launch well before fireworks, since it was super awkward because I wasn’t talking to him AT ALL.
And I haven’t talked to him since.

“Are you mad at me?” he sent me a Facebook message later.

Joy got the real scoop from Taylor, in her own Facebook message. It was sad and infuriating:

“…and then Jenny sees the skinny guy with the abs and is instantly off with him and then out on their boat. That was part of the reason I wanted to leave that island so bad although my stomach was really bothering me.”

Well! I'm so glad that Taylor made his abs complex my problem! (And that I'm not allowed to go wakeboarding with anyone better looking than him.)

Joy didn't write this back, but she should have told him that acting like a complete baby and leaving a girl WHO YOU’RE NOT EVEN DATING on an island by herself isn’t the best way to win her over.

He should apologize to boat captains everywhere.

AND he should apologize to America for ruining her birthday.


Thursday, January 20, 2011

Cookie monster

Someone brought complimentary Girl Scout cookies to work today, but there were no boxes of Thin Mints, so I had to yell.


Thin Mints are the best cookies in the whole world. Once, I ate an entire box at my desk in elementary school. I didn’t share with anyone, even though people asked me for one.

I had none to spare. I took both of the long, plastic-wrapped stacks of cookies and ate them one by one until all 42 were gone.

“Weren’t you supposed to get Girl Scout cookies delivered at school today?” my mom asked later.

“Yea, no. They ran out,” I said, holding my stomach.

I don’t care about any other Girl Scout cookies besides my Thin Mints. I had a brief love affair with their lemon cookies, but I don’t think they make those anymore.

I keep forgetting about Girl Scout cookies until they magically show up all of a sudden once a year, and then I freak out.


When my co-worker said there were no green boxes among the ones delivered today, I was genuinely depressed.

It’s a problem. A friend of mine dressed as a Girl Scout for Halloween one year and had a box of Thin Mints as an accessory and she wouldn’t let me hold it.

“But, boys at the bar won’t appreciate them as much as I will!” I cried.

(Some people say to put the Thin Mints in the freezer, but they never make it all the way to my house.)

It’s not easy to get my hands on these cookies since I (thankfully) don’t know any girls ages 8-14.
I have no idea when the cookies will arrive. Or when the cookie season is. Shit, I don't even have a hookup in the Scouts.

That would be a mass email I’d love to get in my inbox: “If anyone would like to buy Girl Scout cookies see Coco in accounting. Except for Thin Mints, Jenny has already called dibs on every single box.”

Nobody’s called dibs on Dos-si-dos, they’re still sitting on the “free food” table in the office right next to me. I’ve been staring angrily at them all day.

I can’t believe someone would drop THOSE off and the STUPID shortbread cookies and not the lovely and delicious Thin Mints.
This is an outrage!


Can I buy a box on Ebay???

Excuse me for a moment.


Tuesday, January 18, 2011


Pearl Jam did a song about it. Countless wedding vows include it.
But many guys infuriatingly decide to do it only after they break up with their girlfriends:


Today’s Toolbag Tuesday is about guys who suddenly get all enlightened after they break up and start making the life changes their girlfriends told them to do for a year.

(Things that if they had done DURING THAT YEAR, for example, may have resulted in them still being together.)

From getting a new job to just getting out of the house, countless men (boys) have infuriated women with their drastic post-breakup life changes.

I mean, it’s like, "I’m really happy for you and I’mma let you finish, but I’ve been telling you to get a new job this whole time." (Kanye’s lesser known speech).

This is what happened to my friend Frannie. She was all kinds of fired up when she found out that her ex-boyfriend, Tom, enrolled in physical therapy school within a month after they broke up.

Frannie had dealt with Tom’s unhappiness as a manager of a restaurant for a year-and-a-half. He was miserable, depressed and making less money than the servers.

After months and months of bitching and moping, Frannie tried to get Tom out of his career funk. She emailed him job listings she thought he’d enjoy. She redid his resume. She gave him advice on how to ask his boss for more money.
She was his little cheerleader.

“Keep in mind that I told him that he should be an EMT or something in the medical field like his dad,” Frannie said. “He said no, it wasn’t his thing.”

After months and months, Tom’s constant bitching without doing became a total turn-off. Frannie had to end it.

“And NOW he’s in school to be a physical therapist!” Frannie said. “I’m SO GLAD he decided to get a new job the second we broke up!”

“Well you kicked his ass into shape,” I said.

“Yeah..into shape for his next girlfriend.”

It wasn’t the first time a guy pulled a 360 post-breakup with Frannie. Before Tom, she dated Rick, who also made dramatic changes when they stopped seeing each other.

“Where do I FIND these people??” she wailed.

Frannie and Rick dated for eight months, and for eight months he bitched about his landscaping job.

He wasn't a manager or supervisor, no plans to own the company, just a guy who planted flowers and hauled mulch like a high school kid doing community service.

Rick graduated from a very good college and had his teaching degree. He complained to Frannie about how his back hurt, it was hot working conditions and he was broke.
“Well, get another job,” Frannie said.

Rick said he couldn’t do that, that he had some sort of loyalty to the landscaping company and continued to eat Ramen noodles for every meal.

Yet he bitched about his job and his life ALL THE TIME. Frannie sent him emails with job openings, including teaching jobs, but his life didn’t change.

Until Frannie broke up with him, that is. Now, Rick’s a teacher. Shocking.

It’s not just job changes. Other guys I know have improved their lifestyles post-breakup by being more social, outgoing people.

In one of the more extreme cases, a friend of mine said her ex-boyfriend — who had such bad social anxiety and was so uncomfortable around people that he couldn’t even go out to dinner — now drives a pedicab for a living.

“Oh, he’s meeting LOTS of new people now!” my friend said. "Glad he got over that."

And then there’s Oliver. A workaholic I dated who never wanted to go out during the week, go to smoky bars or hear music.

Among the laundry list of reasons why we needed to break up, the reason, "I want you to go out and do things with me” fell high on my list of problems.

So, of course, when we broke up, his normally untouched Facebook page blew UP with pictures of him and status updates about all the super fun, social things he was doing and bars he was going to...ON A TUESDAY.

Where did he find the time?


He should tell his next girlfriend I said you’re welcome.


Monday, January 17, 2011

I don’t dance to Dr. King

I was dancing at a club in Barcelona, Spain, when a techno version of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s “I Have A Dream” speech came on.

It took me a minute to recognize the speech through the drumbeats, since I haven’t heard “I have a Dream” outside of a classroom or that Kenny G New Year’s Eve “millennium mix” song.

But when I realized what exactly I was shaking my booty to, I stopped dancing immediately.

“ONE DAY MY BROTHA---BROTHA---BROTHA---BROTHAS-- AND SISTAS--” Dr. King's voice played on repeat, and then it faded to house techno music.
I stared at the DJ booth in shock.

The rest of the song had eerie, morphed excerpts of his speech echoed in and out of the music.
(Peace, justice...and a dance track!)

“I don’t know, Megan, I don’t feel right about dancing to this,” I said to my friend, a fellow American stuyding abroad.
I felt like the song made the speech a joke.


“This is offensive,” I said, and went to the bar to get another vodka and orange Fanta soda.

Megan didn’t think it was offensive. Neither did everyone else at the club who were dancing like crazy for the song. (They probably had no idea what it was, since it was in English.)

“At least they’re getting the word out,” Megan said. “At least people are listening to the message.”

“They’re not listening!” I told her. “They’re shaking their asses to the word Negro!! It's wrong.”

I got really defensive, as if I was somehow appointed the MLK Jr. etiquette police and felt like someone should have asked me before playing it.

Maybe it's because when I was in middle school, I did a long interview with my older neighbor about segregation and it made my heart hurt, and I'm partial to the good fight.

Kenny G = "I Have a Dream" appropriate
Sweaty discotech = not.

“Well,” Megan said. “We are at the 'Fuck me I’m Famous' party. And Martin Luther King, Jr. is famous.”

She was right on both counts.
It happened to be dress up as a celebrity night at the discotech. (There were a lot of Britney Spears lookalikes.)

“You think that’s why they’re playing ‘I Have a Dream?’ I asked, as I took a sip from my vodka/Fanta.

“No, probably just a coincidence,” she said. “But I wouldn’t mind F-ing him."

“MEGAN!” I shouted. This isn’t progressive! This isn't equality!

“Oh, calm down,” she said.

All the other American students agreed with Megan. When I told them later about the song, they said they thought it was actually QUITE progressive and we got into a typical college student debate about it.

I was outvoted, but still stood my ground that I thought playing a techno song with “I Have a Dream” laid over it all chopped up and stripped of its meaning and message was mierda, amigos.

For all my defending of Dr. King, you’d think the man would find a way to pull some strings and give me the day off today.

But no, I was grudingly up and at work early this morning and I wasn't happy about it.

I wasn't the only one in the office. My brotha-brotha-brotha-brotha and sista had to work, too.

Someone find me some orange Fanta.


Tuesday, January 11, 2011


In the summer of 2004, my twin sister, Joy and I spent the best three months of our lives living in New York. It was so much fun, in fact, that I don’t think I could live there again for fear it won’t be as awesome.

We actually lived in Hoboken, New Jersey (fist pump!!!) but, NO it wasn’t like meathead JERSEY Jersey, it was actually filled with cute, young professionals.
AND it’s closer to downtown Manhattan than Brooklyn, OK??? (Joy and I are Hoboken ambassadors…love it…birthplace of Frank Sinatra and baseball).

Anyway, to get to Hoboken from Manhattan, you have to take the PATH train, which is exactly like a subway only it doesn’t come as regularly.

When we lived there, the PATH train would come every 15 minutes during the day and every half hour after midnight.

The train had a hold on our drinking schedules after midnight, since we had to strategically leave the bar either close to the :15 or the :45 each hour to catch it, because missing the train by a SECOND and having to sit in the hot, smelly station half-drunk for a half-hour isn’t terribly fun.

But, we made the most of it. We played a card game, Phase 10 (buy it), we squealed as we went out of our way to watch big rats running along the tracks.

Joy would also start up conversations with other people bound for Hoboken.

Joy is much more social than I am when it’s really, really late and we're drunk and ready to go home.
I would turn into a brat and slump over and try to sleep on the tiny train seat, while Joy would ask a cute guy his life story and see if he wanted to share a cab with us once we got to Hoboken.

One night as we rumbled from New York to New Jersey, I was trying to doze off, but I was too amazed by the conversation between Joy and a guy on the train, who kept repeating that he was a super successful architect. He was desperately trying to impress her.

“Yea, so I took clients out for dinner, the bill was $800!” he said, loudly. “Here, look at the receipt!”

This guy actually TOOK THE BILL OUT OF HIS POCKET and flashed it at Joy, who looked at it wide-eyed and said, “I can’t even imagine getting a $160 tip off one table!”

“Yea, well, I go to dinner all the time,” he said, his head swelling. “This isn’t even CLOSE to the most expensive dinner I’ve paid for.”

At this point, even though my eyes were closed shut and I wanted to sleep, I had to see what this douchebag looked like.

Slumped over sitting across from them, I opened one eye to look at him but before I could scan up to his face, I saw HIS WEDDING RING.
I laughed aloud.

“Dude, you’re married!!” I said, the first words I had spoken in 20 minutes.

He and Joy were taken aback since I looked half-dead up to that point. Joy looked at his hand, then looked at him and then he looked at me, and got uncomfortable.
(For the record, he was "sort of" cute).

“Um, yea, my wife, she’s an interior designer! She stayed in tonight,” he said, hurriedly.

(No one asked him what his wife does for a living).

“She knows I’m going out tonight!!” he said, responding to another question no one asked.

“Whatever,” I said, and slumped back in the chair.

Joy kept the conversation going for the next few minutes because she's nice, even though I had ruined it — haha — and we shared a cab with another guy when we got to Jersey.

‘Look at my $800 restaurant bill,’” we both mocked him in the cab, laughing. "Look at my gold shoes!"

“Please!” I said. “Like, you’re gonna drop your panties because he's got 'super important clients'.”

I totally forgot about him until the next week or so. I was coming back from Manhattan by myself and got off the PATH train and waited at the cab stand.

“Wanna split a cab?” a guy asked, and I nodded absentmindedly, making sure that we were going to the same part of the city.

I slid into the backseat and then realized that guy I was sharing the cab with was the super successful architect.

He looked at me.

“Are you the NICE twin or are you the BITCHY twin?” he asked when he recognized me.

BITCHY TWIN??!” I asked. “I’M a bitch because I called you out for being married?”

“I mean, your sister and I were just talking,” he said.


“I wish she was in this cab.”


(Perhaps his wife should have weighed in on who exactly was the bitch in the backseat.)

I made him pay for the whole cab fare. I wonder if he showed off the receipt to anyone.


Monday, January 10, 2011

I should probably just win the lottery

Sometimes when I get overwhelmed at work, I imagine that I work at The Gap.

It seems like such an easy place to work to me, and it smells good, and you get to touch clothes all day and get discounts on things. (Maybe I just wish I was as cool as Janeane Garofalo in Reality Bites.)

I’ve worked full-time for five years, ever since I graduated college (and have a ridiculous assortment of work clothes and black pants, I'm so FUN!) and I’m fascinated by the jobs other people have. Especially ones that are completely opposite from my job as a newspaper editor.

Like, how AWESOME would it be to work in a grocery store??

I imagine I’d have a lot of fun stacking cans of creamed corn (and beer) into delightful displays and stealing popsicles and ahhhhhhhh!! staring at the lobsters in the tank with their claws rubber band-ed together.

I found myself wandering around the grocery store one day during lunch daydreaming about this fantasy grocery store job, juggling potatoes on the side and hosing off produce every 20 minutes while making thunderstorm noises with my mouth.

This weekend, I thought about another AWESOME fantasy job: being in a band.

This would work for me because I hardly EVER get clapped for and really enjoy validation. haha (Of course, I’d have to come up with some sort of musical talent other than playing a memorized Piano Man chorus drunk at house parties).

This weekend, happily dancing to my favorite New Orleans band, Johnny Sketch and the Dirty Notes, I imagined what it would be like to be a musician. The free beer and admiration would be nice.
And talking into a microphone and having everyone pay attention would be pretty awesome too.

Not to say that being a newspaper editor isn’t super cool in its own right. Just check out my co-workers' conversation watching the Saints lose in the playoff championship game: “Man, I wonder what the headline is going to be tomorrow.”
We made dramatic suggestions and I actually laughed. haha

Still. I thought about alternative careers as I drove to work today. Perhaps it's because I have zero motivation to do work in weather colder than 50 degrees, and thought about all the new sweaters at The Gap right now.

I tried to think of all the ways these "dream" jobs would be a pain in the ass so I’d feel better about my chosen career.

I mean, the fun would probably end pretty quickly in a grocery store if I had to work in the meat department. Can you imagine being at work hungover and having to smell that???

Or, perhaps employees at The Gap get tired of khaki pants and woven scarves and people WHO TAKE CLOTHES OFF THE DUMMIES to try on.

And people in bands probably hate having to be nice to annoying people trying to crash their afterparty and get irritated playing even though they’re sick or hate when people…um…tell them how being in a band is their dream job (for example).

Still. I'm at work and no one is clapping for me.
Or Drew Brees.


Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Shot in the ass / Stupid nurse to blame (GIVIN’ STREP THROAT A BAD NAME)

I’m sick, like SICK sick, not hungover sick ThankYouVeryMuch, and I’ve spent the first week of 2011 in bed. And not in a naughty way.

Unless, of course, you think it’s fun to wake up from nightmares at 3 p.m. on a Monday in a cold sweat while accidentally swatting medicine off your tiny bedside table. (Related note: Taking Nyquil P.M. at 9 A.M. messes with your mind.)

I used to get strep throat twice a year, which knocks me on my ass, and I cry and lay in bed and moan and wail (which makes me SUPER CUTE) and I don’t have a boyfriend or my twin sister, Joy, here to feed into my desperation and general feeling of not wanting to live.

I haven’t gotten throat sick this bad since 2006, I remember because I had a terrible editor at the time who didn’t believe that I was that sick, really, and demanded that I get doctor’s notes even though I was clearly croaking into the phone, reminding her that strep throat is contagious.

Despite the fact that four years had gone by since my last general sore throat/lymph node inflammation, I figured it would be handled the very same way.

I could have written out my own prescription for amoxicillin, for Christ’s sake.

(By the way, the liquid form of amoxicillin is quite tasty and cold because you keep it in the fridge, similar to OLD SCHOOL Children’s orange Triamenic. Do you remember Triamenic? They don’t make it anymore. Something about being unsafe or having ingredients similar to meth. IT. WAS. DELICIOUS.)

But anyway. Today was not an easy, breezy antibiotic prescription visit. (I’m not an ideal patient as it is, so this wasn't surprising).

No, today, I got a STERIOD shot in my ASS like a dog at a veterinarian’s office. I’ve never had a shot in my ass before and no doubt had eyes similar to a poodle.

Did I mention that my mom came with me to the doc-in-a-box because I’m sad and pathetic, and she thinks I’m 10 years old?

I don’t have a doctor here in New Orleans yet and I thought that the urgent care clinic was the easiest and cheapest option. My mom was worried.

“I don’t want a shot in my ass,” I told the nurse practitioner. “I’d like it somewhere else.”

“Honey, you DON'T want this in your arm, trust me,” she said. “Now pull down your skirt.”

It all happened so quickly, that I had no time to think and suddenly I yelped…like a poodle.

“I know, it burns,” she said.

I was already mad at the nurse because she didn’t properly prick my finger earlier. (It was a very traumatizing trip to the doc-in-a-box).

The doctor wanted to test me for MONO, which is way scarier than strep, and I had to get my finger pricked to fill a vial of blood.

I turned my head as the nurse practitioner pricked me (VOMIT), but she couldn’t get my finger to pour blood and kept pinching and squeezing it and I started to cry at her incompetence.

(My mom sat quietly in the corner, reading up on “Mono” on her Blackberry.)

“Am I hurting you?” the nurse asked.
“YES, YES YOU ARE!” I said.
“Well, I’m sorry, I can’t get your finger to bleed! You are a very slow bleeder!”

I knew this already, according to the fussy phlebotomists (favorite word ever!!) at the Red Cross, the several times I’ve donated blood.

(I bleed slow!! Hear that hot vampires? I’m like a fine wine, something to be savored! Um, moving on.)

So, the dumb nurse had to prick TWO MORE fingers until she got enough blood, and then she left, giving me a ridiculously tiny piece of gauze to sop up the mess and I ended up using it as a tissue for my tears instead.

For the next five minutes while we waited for the MONO test results, my mom decided to read aloud the history, symptoms and causes of MONO from her phone.

“OK, GREAT MOM!” I howled, as I laid down on the paper-wrapped patient table.

When it came back negative, Doctor Peacock (yes that was his name) gave orders for the shot and SURPRISE!!!! an Amoxicillin prescription.
(He said the strep test came back negative, and formally diagnosed me with tonsilitis.)

But what doctor’s visit wouldn’t be complete without me passing out?

Yes, I passed out, sort of, after the steroid shot, because it hurt really really bad and I haven’t eaten anything substantial since Sunday night.

“I'm dizzy,” I squeaked, flopping my body onto the table.

It was hard to regroup my body, since there was a crying, screaming child in the next room and someone else in the hall loudly talking about all the STDs he wanted to be tested for.

When I finally got to my car, I realized I had spent well over 2 hours in the doc-in-a-box and still needed to pick up my prescription for antibiotics.

At the advice of my editor, who told me to go home, I went to a popoular Italian Ice Creamery and got a vanilla bean gelato cup and big ass piece of cheesecake.

I came home and passed out for three hours, the first time since Sunday I've been able to do so without the help of drowsy meds to block out the throat pain.

I'm happy to say I feel more than 50 percent better now, which I am attributing to the TWO antibiotics I took today, and not the stupid steroid shot.

F.Y.I. My biceps aren’t ANY bigger than they were earlier.


Tuesday, January 4, 2011

I’ve been watching you people

OK, OK. About six months ago, I put a tracker on this blog to see how many people read it a day and where you people are from.

Hello regular readers from Canada!!! I don’t know anyone from Canada but I want to visit your foreign land!!!

Really though. This tracker is like a nanny cam, only I don’t care if you curse at my blog while watching Jersey Shore instead of holding it and feeding it and burping it.

In the year I’ve had this blog, 8,971 people have read it, although many probably got here by accident and X’d out the page before even reading about the adventures of me and my twin sister, Joy.

Of the MASSES of readers, I can tell what “location” they are in, which is mainly New Orleans and the South Carolina town I lived in for ten years.

(No idea how the Canadian readers found it…perhaps it was this blog that drew you in???)

I also have some readers in Amsterdam, Japan and New Zealand, although I can vouch for friends in those countries (lucky bastards).

I know how long YOU PEOPLE spend reading the blog (average two minutes), and I know how y'all GOT to this blog, the “referring” page if you will.

(Mainly Facebook...thanks, friends!!! Are you bored at work, too??)

The referral feature is my favorite part of the tracker because at least once a week, people will get referred to my blog from a crazy Google search.
Yes, I get to read people’s dumb Google searches!!!!

Did YOU Google search something and land on this Web page? Was it “Toolbag Tuesday”?
Because people have totally Google searched Toolbag Tuesday!!!! It’s going global, y’all!!! haha

Now I’ve certainly Googled some crazy things in my day, like a video of a “chicken with its head cut off” to see if it really does run around…like a chicken with its head cut off.

(I was too nervous to watch the video, and never got the answer).

I’ve Googled COUNTLESS WebMd searches (including “hypochondria” and “paranoia”) and I’ve also Googled the name of the characters from the 90s TV show Salute Your Shorts recently to prepare for bar trivia, so I’m in no position to judge.

But I have learned from my site tracker that people search for things way more bizarre than Donkeylips and Camp Anawanna.

My favorite???

“who are the blonde twin sisters in the stouffer's lasagna commercial”

Haha... this was a Google search from someone in Norway. I have yet to see blonde twins in a Stouffer’s commercial, - or a Stouffer’s commercial, period – so this was a pretty bizarre search. (I'm pretty sure this post came up in the results.)

Sorry, Norwegin reader, it wasn’t me in the commercial. Good luck though.

Another Google Search winner?

“youtube jeans and feet twin sisters puking throwing vomiting in there toilet mouths videos”

(the domain location was unknown). WTF.

Another search, which no doubt brought up this classic Toolbag Tuesday post, was from an IP address in London from a medical research facility:

“peed drunk embarrassing”

(Let’s hope my blog is cited in a research paper about the subject).

So, what did I do with this information? I saved all the Google searches into a Word document so I could eventualy write a blog about it.

I’m like freaking WIKILEAKS y'all!

I don’t know what’s more surprising: people’s Google searches or the fact that this blog came up in the search results.

I highly doubt anyone who searched for these things found the answer they were looking for on this blog. At least for the first few:

pictures of little boys butts

masseuse "pinched my earlobes"

did michael jackson's nose fall off

boyfriend breaks up week before Christmas

in a relationship with nivea green facebook

saw you at the club hugged up with some tramp

pictures of men doing very unsafe things

what is cuhnal angus

hair perm pictures (a search from an IP address from Malaysia)

thriller dance costumes

man passes out in wheelchair at michael jackson video

emeril live audience

nola pride

nola garden flags

water meter doormats


hot girls embarassed

consumer reports underwater mp3

toolbag tuesdays blog (YAYYY!!!!)


what were the dimensions of the cave the chilean miners were trapped in

he's in high school

chilean miners and new years' resolutions

stomach flu embarrass

new bar trivia names

earlobe nibbling

cookie dough


blog profile crossdress

cave size for the chilian miners

how did chilean miners get stuck there

i dont care about the miners

chilean miners cave blind

whole foods potato sack

worst halloween costume stories

products that no longer exist

annoyed at chile miners (haha).

And the final Google search, one from the fine country of Greece:

“Jenny and joy porn”

(No, that hasn’t been released, PERV.)

Really, though, thanks to everyone for reading my blog this year, from the bottom of my heart.

It’s the only New Year’s resolution I remember keeping, and it’s been fun to let everyone in on my life and Joy and my crippling neurosis.
And toolbags.

Stay tuned.



I’ve always dated older guys — not only because it makes my mom mad (haha kidding) — but because older guys are usually smart and funny and mature and generally much nicer.

They don’t lie about being in high school, for example.

Yet, one older guy I dated, Ryan, didn’t start off as Prince Charming. But then again, we met under false pretenses.
He thought I was older than I was, and I thought he was younger than he was.

That was the problem with my 19-year-old self having a fake ID. False advertising.

I had an AWESOME fake ID when I was in college. It worked everywhere and when I’d come home to New Orleans for fall breaks and summer vacations, I hardly ever had to use it.

One break, I was at a bar uptown with my twin sister, Joy, and we were chatting at a table when two guys came up to flirt with us. Fortunately for me, the guy who talked to me was actually quite cute.

Ryan and I went on a few dates, just the two of us, and he was funny and nice and I liked him and he paid for my drinks. On our fourth date, we made a plan for our friends to meet.

“You’ll love Jason!” he said to me. “He likes his pancakes with honey like you do!” (Or, whatever.)

“Yea, well, you’ll like my friend Sarah, she's HILARIOUS!”

This was all very exciting.

Getting ready to go to the gathering, I called my friend, Natalie, also 19 years old.

“Hey, when you meet Ryan tonight, can you ask him casually how old he is?” I asked her. “Like randomly ask him.”

See, NOT THAT IT WAS A BIG DEAL, but I noticed that Ryan had a bit of a bald spot on his head when he was bent over playing pool.

And when we’d talk about music that we liked, he had a more…dated love for the Doobie Brothers and The Grateful Dead.

“Oh Lord,” Natalie said, unsurprised by my predicament.

We agreed to meet at a dive bar that was accepting of older and younger patrons and I knew right when I met his friends that he was much older than I was. Not that his friends weren’t fun, chatting with my young, hot friends.

But Ryan was clearly the youngest-looking and youngest-acting person of his group.
Natalie noticed, too.

I remember sitting at the bar next to Ryan, when she came over and draped her arms over each of us, putting her face in between us.

“HOW OLD ARE YOU?” Natalie asked Ryan in front of my face. NOT CASUAL, NATALIE!!!!! NOT CASUAL!!!!

“27,” he said.
“BAH!” Natalie laughed. LAUGHED. And then walked away. (How very 19 of her.)

I sat there and squinted my eyes shut for a few seconds and then opened one eye to see if he was looking at me. He was.

“Um, how old are…you?” he asked me.

“Um, guess.” I said, trying to be flirty.

“Twenty-two, twenty-three?” he said.

I shook my head.

“TWENTY, TWENTY-ONE?” he asked, with a little more desperation.

I shook my head.
He suddenly looked sick to his stomach.

“Please tell me that you’re over 18,” he said.

“I’m…nineteen,” I said, sheepishly.


“Oh, well, that’s cool,” he said uncomfortably, ordering another beer. “You’ve got a fake ID, then?”

I nodded, squinting again.

We ended up having a nice time for the rest of the night and he took me home and acted like he still liked me but at brunch the next day, he was singing a different tune.

“I can’t date someone who’s 19,” he said, after ordering a Bloody Mary.
“Um...OK,” I said.

“I mean, you’re younger than my younger sister.”

“Well, I can’t very well change my birth certificate,” I said, playing with my breakfast.

“I know. I'm sorry.”

Suddenly, he stopped talking and called the server over to get the bill, even though I wasn’t done eating.

“Wanna split it?” he said. “I don’t have enough for the whole thing.”

(FYI, He would have had enough if he hadn’t gotten a Bloody Mary.)

I paid my half of the bill (UGH!) and left and decried all men to Joy when I got home.
“I can’t believe he made you split the bill,” she said. “That’s just adding insult to injury.”

Two weeks later, however, Ryan came crawling back. He met me at the first bar we ever met, and he profusely apologized and said he was sorry, he knows you can’t change how old you are, and said something about FATE and that he'd get over the age thing because we really clicked and he missed me.

(I was also a hot 19-year-old).

So, I agreed to be taken out and wined and dined and we actually dated for a surprisingly long time after that considering the shitty start.

I never saw him drink a Bloody Mary again.


P.S. Happy New Year y’all !!!! I’ve got a New Year’s post coming up but I’ve been terribly sick and took the day off work yesterday and could barely lift my head to watch Judge Judy, let alone type anything.
I’ll try to post it tonight unless my extreme UN-interest in the Sugar Bowl puts me to sleep at 9 p.m. zzzzzzz

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