Tuesday, January 27, 2015


Newsflash: It’s hard being a perfect, pretty pretty princess when Disney doesn’t prepare you for how Prince Charmings really act.

Sure, it’s all realistic for the princesses (Cinderella—broke, can’t afford a dress; Ariel—awkward, can’t even talk to her crush; Wendy—in love with a perpetual man-child...also...not a real princess...)



Correction: Guys should treat women like a princess every day.

...But definitely on Rex Manning CROWN-WEARING day.

Fun fact: I wore a crown once, when I was the high school PROM queen (pretty sure the voting ballot was rigged) but STILL. 

I donned a crown and it had JEWELS on it and my date was nothing but a prince and the crown is still sitting somewhere on a shelf in my parent’s house. Rusting.

What other occasion would a female wear a bona fide crown?

Maybe on her wedding day (definitely a day to treat her like a princess.)

Maybe for when she’s getting her portrait painted to be hung in a castle.

But the most important reason of all???? The day she becomes the QUEEN of a Mardi Gras Krewe in New Orleans.

And it’s that Krewe’s MARDI GRAS BALL.

Yes, Mardi Gras balls have a queen and a king and royalty and yes, you wear a crown and yes, it’s a big EFFING deal. (hahaha click that link).

Too bad Eddie, this guy my friend Lauren dated, didn’t know standard royal protocol.

Lauren was the queen of her Mardi Gras krewe and Eddie, her boyfriend in college who traveled to New Orleans specifically to escort her, instead of treat her like the QUEEN that she was, HIT ON ONE OF HER SUBJECTS all night.




I mean, shouldn’t he have been BEAMING to be the QUEEN’S date??!!?

Flashing his big Prince Charming smile???

Yes, yes, he should have.

But Lauren said that from her perch on stage, she didn’t see Eddie lugging around a glass slipper, instead she saw him playing grab-ass with her friend Georgia.

Georgia went to the same college and was specifically invited by Lauren.


At first, Lauren thought she was imagining things.

But then, as she descended from her throne into the crowd, her friends started telling her that Georgia and Eddie had been flirting and holding hands and giggling and getting each other drinks and acting like each other's dates in front of HER FAMILY AND FRIENDS all night.


What is the Disney protocol for this??!?!

As Lauren recalls: “I was wearing a crown, I did not want to get into a fight with a stupid boyfriend and people calling me ‘your majesty’ all night.”


“Your majesty, you have the best right hook I’ve ever seen!!”


So Lauren didn’t say anything and continued to be nice to, and pose in pictures with, the BEAST.


Lauren said every time she made a comment about his behavior, Eddie told her, “we’ll talk later.”

And she felt a duty to Georgia not to ditch her in New Orleans since they had traveled together and she was trying to be a noble and just queen.



Lauren said, “It was awful: all eyes were on me, so I couldn't bash his head in like I wanted to.”


Her royal night was completely spoiled, even worse when she woke up the next morning to find out that Eddie had snuck out of the guest room in her parents’ house before she woke up to discuss anything.


Disappeared without even saying goodbye!!!

What, did he turn into a pumpkin at 8 a.m.???

More like turn back into the rodent he really was.


(I know, I’m running out of Disney references.)

But I guess simply wearing a crown is one thing; a true princess is someone who remains composed and sophisticated despite Prince Charming ALARMING being an asshole and ruining the entire night.

And at least she didn’t end up with him.

...Which is the happiest ending of all.


Tuesday, January 20, 2015


Everyone has their own idea of what they think is annoying Facebook behavior.

(Asking fellow mom friends to comment on whether their baby’s poop color is normal...with photos!, waaaay too much information about the bastard you’re divorcing with incessant “guys can’t handle a strong b*tch like me” memes, posting 11 million trillion vacation photos every day that you are on vacation that makes people wonder if you look up from your phone at all...etc., etc.)

But no matter what your particular Facebook pet peeve is, we can all agree that Frank, this guy my friend Angela dated for a few months, fails the hardest at Facebook.

Because Frank was not just annoying, but dangerous. 

And when Frank couldn’t find his cell phone one day, and irrationally thought that Angela had stolen it (side note: hahahahahahaha), he took to Facebook to MESSAGE HER BOSS AND MOTHER ABOUT HOW THEY HAD HIRED/RAISED A THIEF (respectively.)



Spoiler alert: Frank found his phone in his EFFING driveway.



But Frank was truly committed to his crazy. His response to his cell phone discovery?




It’s funny now, but it wasn’t funny when Angela got a crazy Facebook message from Frank the day after she spent the night at his house about how she MUST have taken his phone because he can’t find it and WTF was her problem—that’s a $200 smartphone!!! 

Also, he might sue her.


“What are you talking about? I didn’t take your phone,” Angela wrote. She pointed out that they had both been drinking the night before and maybe he lost it somewhere.

And then Frank, uh, lost it...on Angela.

He sent her seething messages about how she was just jealous that he was so good-looking and must have taken his phone to go through all of his messages.

Angela promptly ignored, deleted and blocked him and then called it a day.

But then she got a phone call from her boss about an hour later, on a SATURDAY. Her boss was a young, smart accountant who owned the firm and thankfully, also had a track record of crazy guys.

“Um, Angela, are you OK? Your friend Frank just messaged me about how you stole his phone and he felt like I needed to know that you were a thief since you work for me,” she said.


Angela almost cried.

“Oh my God, I didn’t take his phone!” Angela said, mortified. “I don’t know what he’s talking about! I really don’t know. I’m so sorry! I can’t believe he messaged you!”

In her desperate attempt to defend herself, she got call waiting ---- beeeeeeeeeep. It was her mother.

“Angela, why is your ‘new friend’ Frank messaging me about you stealing his property?” she asked. “...and saying that I raised a liar?



It was seriously the biggest mess Angela had ever been in. S
he had to do damage control twice.

Hours later, after things were settled, she got a text from Frank’s number. It was a miracle! 

It was Frank, about how he found his phone in his driveway and that...(Ed note: OMG)...SHE SHOULD APOLOGIZE for stealing it and making him worry.


(Sorry, apparent mental illness isn’t funny).

Really FRANK????!!? 
SHE should apologize????

Angela told Frank that, no, actually HE should apologize to her, her boss and her mother and that he could have gotten her fired.

Of course Frank didn’t see it that way, and infuriatingly continued to believe that he did the noble thing by letting everyone know that she really was an iPhone thief...who returns items to his driveway when she was done with them.

“Still to this day, he believes I did it!” Angela said.



And by unbelievable, of course, I mean unbelievable that your friend’s public baby poop debate isn’t the worst thing that can happen to your Facebook account.


Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Ten things to do with teenagers in New Orleans

Yes, yesterday was Tuesday and I was supposed to write about a toolbag, but I didn't do that because instead, I spent all day coming up with something impossible: finding things for teenagers to do in New Orleans.* 

See, I got a call from my former boss who is bringing his family to New Orleans next week—his wife, 16-year-old son and 13-year-old daughter. 

And while I grew up in New Orleans (and was very much a teenager for eight of those years), I couldn’t for the life of me remember what I found fun or interesting.

Also, my standard “Nola guide” I send to people is 100-percent alcohol-related. 
No 13-year-olds allowed in Tipitinas!!! (although the 16-year-old could probably pass with a decent fake hahaha)

So without further adieu, HERE is my list:

(Side note: there is no quicker way to get depressed than by looking at upcoming events in New Orleans and not living there.)

1.) Streetcar rides

Screw inflation! This activity proves that you can have fun for the low, low price of $1.25 (per ride.) (Exact change only.) The St. Charles Avenue streetcar is the best way to see New Orleans from waaay uptown (“with the big mansions”) to the French Quarter. Bonus: My twin sister, Joy, and I (when we were teenagers...OK, fine, last year) would fight over who would get to pull the cord for our stop, so that could be a fun game.

2.) Costume shopping on Magazine Street

Parts of Magazine Street are super funky and just ooze New Orleans. The particular block I’m talking about includes costume shop Funky Monkey (3127 Magazine St.) and Miss Claudia’s Costume Shop (4204 Magazine St.) The 15-minute walk between the two of those places has you pass by thrift stores and used music instrument stores and you can try on wigs and costumes. Bonus: Absolutely no one will look at you funny if you decide to wear a costume around town in the middle of January. 

3.) Horseback riding at Audubon Park

I know, I know!!! I was also surprised to learn there were horses in New Orleans! Several are at Cascade Stables in Audubon Park. Audubon Park is a gorgeous park, and you can get there by streetcar, and they have horsesback trail rides that are much more relaxing than the horseback riding lessons I took with my mom for several weeks before I was almost THROWN off the horse and saw my life flash before my eyes. (uhhh maybe don’t mention that to the teenagers.) Bonus: Right now they are breaking in all the horses that will be in this year's Mardi Gras parades :)

4.) King Cake!!

The carnival season is upon the city and everyone is eating King Cake which you can’t properly describe to anyone from NOLA without getting yelled at for getting it wrong, but it’s a cinnamon iced doughy moist cake with a naked baby Jesus trinket inside. The colors on the top are traditionally purple, green and gold to represent the three wise men who brought gifts to said baby Jesus. Every single bakery should have this delicacy on hand. If you are on Magazine Street, check out Sucre (3025 Magazine St.) and District Donuts Sliders Brew (2209 Magazine St.) Bonus: Some bakeries serve beer. 

5.) City park sculpture garden

City Park is another glorious park in New Orleans and they have a great museum, the New Orleans Museum of Art, which USED to be the coolest museum because they had an exact replica of George Washington’s bedroom (It was ART!). But since teenagers don't like museums, check out the FREE sculpture garden next door. It has dozens of super cool sculptures hidden among lush green spaces. Bonus: Lots of selfie potential, tell the kids.

6.) Insectarium

Get your creepy on!!! Located on the border of the French Quarter (you can also get there by streetcar) the insectarium is actually really, really cool. You can put your head into a glass box and see cockroaches face-to-face, sit in a 4-D movie theater that sprays you with water as it explains the ecological benefits of gross things like spiders, walk through the butterfly atrium and EAT LARVAE SALSA prepared by a chef before your very eyes. 
If mammals are more your thing, the Audubon Zoo is my absolute favorite place and its cool to see all the animals they keep in existence by breeding endangered ones.

7.) French Quarter

There is always something going on in the French Quarter. To borrow a line from my dad: You can’t swing a dead cat around here without hitting a festival. 
I saw there's a “Kids’ Swing and Sing” event on Saturday Jan. 17 at 12:30 p.m. in the quarter, and while I know nothing about it, I DO know that if anyone can teach your kids to swing and sing, it’s dancers and singers in the French Quarter. 
The all-day event is taking place at the Jazz National Historical Park (916 N. Peters St. right near the Mississippi River. Live music and a high school band at 4 p.m.) 
Make a day out of it by getting beignets at Café Du Monde, gaze at the mighty Mississippi and walk down Royal Street. Also drink in the street! Just get your asses out of there by nightfall (danger).

8.) Cemetery walk

Because teenagers are all angsty and goth right??? And talk about SELFIE POTENTIAL! New Orleans has raised cemeteries because we don’t very well want bodies floating away during our massive floods. Still to this day, when I see “underground” cemeteries I’m suspicious. Countless companies do cemetery tours in New Orleans, but a few are free to walk around yourself like Lafayette Cemetery No. 1 (you can get there by streetcar.) If voodoo entices the teenagers, check out Marie Laveau’s House of Voodoo on Bourbon Street and buy a doll or five.

9.) Frenchmen Street 

This is a super busy, bustling street with loads of people playing music on street corners, and home to my favorite restaurant in New Orleans, Adolfo’s Italian – (611 Frenchmen St). It’s a hidden gem (and I never use that expression), upstairs from a bar called the Apple Barrel. They don’t take reservations, so you’ll have to wait, but thankfully there is an amazing arts market next door with cool silver, jewelry, prints and art where you can wait. There’s a light-up couch in the middle of the market and prices are actually reasonable.

10.) Second line
This is perhaps the most New Orleans thing on the list, a proper second line on Sunday with various marching groups and sometimes Mardi Gras Indians. 
Now, I know what you’re thinking: A second line?? Who died?!?? But various groups march second lines every Sunday, not just for jazz funerals. 
Although, Sunday, Jan. 18, the second line will be celebrating the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, so I guess HE’s the one who died. Ha
The group, “The Undefeated Divas and Gents,” an African American social aid and pleasure club/marching group, will hold a second line that rolls from noon until 4 p.m. all over the city. Join them and brass bands dancing in the street for as many or as few miles as you want. 
New Orleans Second Line Sundays are an incredible experience, with tons of costumes, amazing dancing among all ages and more culture than you can wrap your sweet little teenage mind around.
IMPORTANT: Stay together. The parade rolls through some neighborhoods that you wouldn’t want to get lost in. 

(Click here for the parade route and Click here for a video of past second lines or to brush up on your moves.)

OK, SO THERE YOU HAVE IT: Ten things teenagers might not hate as much as they hate their parents, hahahahahahaha. 

Just kidding. 

Really, though, anything you do in New Orleans is bound to be fun and exciting for all ages. 

Just DON'T send me a postcard.

I already wish I was there.


*find your own damn restaurants

Tuesday, January 6, 2015


I’d love to hire a social media/marketing person who could blast out a viral “article” to every single guy on the dating scene entitled: “82 THINGS GUYS SHOULD DO ON A FIRST DATE...YOU WON’T BELIEVE NUMBER 4!”

...and then numbers 1-82 would ALL be the same thing:

“Take her out to a damn restaurant and pay the bill.”

This is not a joke; many guys really wouldn’t believe number 4:

“Take her out to a damn restaurant and pay the bill.”

...Because guys who actually do that are in the minority these days.

It would be more depressing if it weren’t for the fact that no one wants to date those losers anyway.

You know, the ones who would rather, instead of take someone out in public, just take them to bed.

Those guys should just call a prostitute.

The most hilarious cases are the ones where guys try and reason why they won’t take someone out on a date.

Not surprisingly, this is most common in online dating.

(I think guys think Tinder is actually a prostitute line.)

Case in point: My friend Marie just quit her Tinder account after a THIRD guy that she had “matched” with suggested for their first meeting that she come over to his house.


His straight-up address sent to her inbox.

Like she was a prostitute.

“I have red wine...” he wrote.


(It was insulting and not to mention he lived in a terrible part of town, yuck.)

The guy in question was Dimitri, a very cute and buff guy from up north who had supposedly just moved down south for a job. Marie and Dimitri spent a lot of time chatting back and forth about their hometowns, their jobs, blah, blah.

Marie said they talked about their love of red wine and some cool wine bars around town but instead of asking her out to ANY of said bars, he asked her to come over to HIS house. Address sent.

“I have red wine...” he wrote.



Who FALLS for that???

Marie was completely offended.

“Ummm...ladies like to be taken out in public,” she wrote back.  

Maybe he just needs a HINT, she thought. (Maybe 82 hints...check out number 4!)

But Dimitri didn’t need a hint at all.

His response?

“Well, I don’t know you very well so I don’t want to meet at a bar.”



Amazing logic.

Marie quickly called him on it.

“Wait, you don’t know me very well but you’re more comfortable with me coming over to your house than meeting me at a public place? That’s completely backwards.”


It was backwards, but Dimitri wasn’t about to be fooled by Marie’s rationality.

He responded a few minutes later with a simple message:

“I hope you find your knight in shining armor.”





What the hell was THAT supposed to mean??

Marie wrote back something like, “yea I’ll keep looking” and decided right then that she was deleting Tinder off her phone.


(I love a Toolbag Tuesday with visual aides.)

“Ok,” she said, looking at her phone.

But as Marie scrolled, she paused, confused.

Dimiti was no longer a match on the Tinder app, nor did he show up in her messages.

Then Marie realized that Dimitri blocked her.





What the hell did SHE do to get blocked???

Marie was hurt for .5 seconds until she thought, ummm who the F cares.

She's got 82 problems, but Tinder ain’t one.


Friday, January 2, 2015

Happy flu year

So, I either got the flu the week of New Years, or I experienced the worst four-day hangover of my life.

(Considering that Christmas isn’t Mardi Gras, which requires four days of recovery, I’m going with the flu.)

Not to say that my week-long illness didn’t start with a hangover.

It was a result of almost THREE WEEKS OFF, PAID (I know....whaaaat??) and the holidays and family in town and WINNING FANTASYFOOTBALL ($298!!! I know...whaaaat??) so, Sunday night, after the Broncos or whatever officially won, I over-indulged and over-celebrated and woke up Monday morning feeling like death.

My brother, Franklin, was still in town for the holidays and I made a big thing out of hanging out just the two of us on my Monday off, but I couldn’t lift my head out of bed until 1 p.m.

And even then, once I got vertical, I was so dizzy I wanted to die.

Mustering up the only energy I had in my reserves, I suggested we eat lunch and catch a movie.

Popcorn! Darkness! It seemed perfect.

I suggested we eat at a Mexican restaurant, and not the nice kind. 

The kind with free chips and salsa and actual Spanish-speaking servers and queso dip that arrives exactly 19 seconds after you order it.


I didn’t even look at the menu, “two hard beef tacos,” I told the server, and nibbled at the chips and queso only to have this dizzy nauseous wall get higher and higher around me and by the time Franklin was done with his chorizo burrito I could barely see the top of his head and thought I’d die right there in the booth.

“I can’t...” is all I could say, my plate of tacos long pushed to the end of the table, untouched the moment they arrived.

(“I can’t...go on,” was the rest of the sentence but I couldn't even finish THAT.)

Then I took Franklin’s water, as mine was already empty.

Franklin started eating one of my beef tacos.

“Just get the check, go home and get in bed...you’ll make it though this!” I told myself for encouragement. “Ten minutes and you’ll be back in bed. You have TEN MORE MINUTES in you, I know it!”

Then I saw in horror that the server instead of bringing me the check was about to take the order of a TWELVE-top next to us.


Franklin saw my face fall.

“Yep...lots of substitutions too, I bet,” he joked, thinking I just had a measly hangover.

This will be the end of me, I thought. 

FINITO. MUERTO. (How do you say "booth" in Spanish?)

I somehow made it out of the restaurant and back to my bed and faceplanted and then I laid in bed (moaned) for the next THREE DAYS.


Alone in my bed, unable to read books, hear music or watch TV, as I was too dizzy to concentrate or focus on anything. 

Chills for ten minutes then sweating profusely for the next ten, tangled up in the sheets, kicking.

You’ll feel better in the morning, you’ll feel better in the morning, I told myself the night of the TACO incident, as if I hadn't already been in bed for 14 hours with no relief.

But I didn’t feel better the next morning. Or the next.

It was the same routine. Face planted in bed, unable to move, focus on anything, unable to eat, unable to do anything at all. In the dark alone. 

Couldn't even look at Facebook on my phone without getting dizzy.

(the horror!!!)

Was this really the result of a hangover? I tried to get out of bed. Nope. Dizzy. I could not be vertical for more than 2-and-a-half-minutes. It was absolute hell.

And aside from the 3 ounces of queso, I didn’t eat a THING for the entire three days. 

I drank a lot of water, and chewed on ice cubes, but that's all I could manage. My lack of nutrition made me weak.

(“At least you’ll lose weight,” noted my twin sister, Joy.)


Now, in all seriousness, let me tell you, after 42 hours (not an exaggeration) of laying in bed in the dark, alone, feeling like garbage, it gets really hard to, uh, stay positive.

My thoughts of “this, too, shall pass” was replaced with, “I bet this really IS just a terrible hangover, you big idiot, I bet you’ve used up all your hangovers for the rest of your life, haven’t you, BODY?? YOU’RE DONE! YOU’RE DEAD TO ME!!!!)

And then I started to lose my mind.

(Also, my mom's text, "Having fun with your brother?" was making me even more sick.)

I worked myself up about how I had something much more terrible than a hangover, like meningitis (spinal), Ebola (from the Mexican restaurant somehow) the chikungunya virus (Lindsay Lohan), or maybe, just maybe, a touch of stomach cancer.

“Maybe you’re pregnant!” said my roommate, which was scientifically impossible (mom), and absolutely did not help my mental state.

Despite laying in my dark bedroom alone for days, I was only sleeping for four hours at a time due to stomach pains, nausea and a splitting headache.

I had no medicine, no idea what medicine I even needed, and no physical ability to even get up to take anything. 

(Side note: This is why there was no Toolbag Tuesday this week, I was dying.)

After three days, on the evening of New Year’s Eve, I was finally able to get vertical long enough to have a little bit of food, (exactly five bites of lobster tail, prepared for the festive occasion). 

It was a miracle! But then two hours later I was clutching my stomach again in bed, burying my face into my pillow because now the house smelled like OLD BAY and it was making me more nauseous than ever.

Desperate, I opened the bedroom window to get the smell of food out, but it was exactly 12:01 a.m. HAHAHAHA HAPPY NEW YEAR and my open window meant endless rounds of fireworks and pops and booms.

I smashed pillows against each of my ears but it didn’t work and it took every ounce of energy to sit up, close the window again and lay back down.

...And THAT, friends, was my New Year’s Eve: a days-long hangover-flu without any of the benefits of actually drinking alcohol.

Happy New Year you say?? How about happy FLU year??? Or happy POO YEAR?? EWWWW YEAR??

On the bright side, I was finally able to see straight enough to go back to work today (surprised I remembered how to get there! ha) and I also went to the doctor, who diagnosed me as having a virus, which means he was unable to prescribe me anything good.

And now said virus has morphed into a thoughtful, hacking cough.

“Let’s just hope you’re on the up-and-up now,” the doctor said, which is hilarious because all I’ve been doing since Monday was lay down, down, down.

But now that I'm well enough to make jokes, I’ll tell you one thing, I'll tell you what I’m NOT going to do when my $298 fantasy football check arrives: Eat effing queso.

(Love you Franklin.) 


Happy 2015, ya'll.


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