Tuesday, July 28, 2015


Is it really Tuesday again?

Yes, I have been M.I.A. for the past two Tuesdays. I was on a week-long vacation in the Dominican Republic and it was the best vacation I’ve ever been on in my life. Sorry, not sorry. Haha

So that’s why I haven’t posted in a few weeks, for those of you who needed their Toolbag Tuesday fix and got NOTHING since early July.

(I normally wouldn’t bother to make a note about my absence at all, but it just so happens that a blogger I used to follow just quit posting one day without an explanation—her last nondescript weekly post was just her last...dangling there—and I felt really sad about it, like a friend who just all of a sudden stopped meeting me for a weekly drink or something.)

And I don’t want you to feel like that. So...SORRY (not sorry.)

I’m back!! I'm back in the contiguous United States!!!! And it feels nice to know that tap water is a drinking option again.




We all know that dating is awkward, but no one ever talks about how awkward the opening line is.

The pick-up line.

Maybe we never talk about how awkward the opening line is it is because we’ve made it a big JOKE and we’re too busy laughing at how heaven must be so lonely because me, angel, isn’t in there, or something about my clothes looking good on your bedroom floor or eggs in the morning or Chuck Norris.

(FYI: Chuck Norris doesn't use pickup lines, he simply says, "Now.”)


But with online dating, the pick-up line is making a grand comeback. 

Because you HAVE to have a pickup line. (Well, I guess, technically online you can “wink” at someone but eventually, you’ll have to type actual words.)

Could it be the super committal, “hey how’s your weekend” (Groan... “Going great, stranger! Thanks for asking!”)

Or is it a more thoughtful opening line, referencing someone’s online profile: “You love to cook Italian food? I love to eat Italian food!” (Better.)

No matter what, though, it’s awkward. All of it.

People say to make online dating conversations as close to real life interaction as possible.

Such as: you woudn’t very well ask a woman at a bar if you could eat her...P-WORD “cat” later...now would you? (not if you value your face)

But aside from perv FREAKS, a very important lesson with a pickup line is being OK when you’ve struck out.

Because it will happen more often than not, in real life and online. 

You “wink” at someone or swipe right and then they don’t swipe right or wink back.

Or when you message someone and see that they SAW your profile but didn’t message back.

Sure. Ouch. Rejection happens.

But don’t make it more awkward by turning crazy.

Back to comparing it to real life: If in real life you gave someone HAAAAAY eyes at a bar and they didn’t respond, would you run up to them and yell in their face HELLO HELLO HELLO HELLO HELLO?


I mean...I hope not.

So imagine my surprise when my friend Natalie told me about this guy who kept messaging her on Match.com over and over and over.

Natalie said she had been scrolling one night and saw a photo of a guy who she thought was cute and “liked” it, or whatever.

The next day, he sent her a message.

“Thanks for the wink. How about we chat and get to know each other?” he wrote.

That was a perfectly fine opening line but then Natalie looked at his profile for the first time and saw that he was 25 years old. She was 33.

She didn’t notice he was that young when she "liked" the photo. 

And her profile specifically stated she was looking for someone in his mid to late 30s. 

This guy was way too young for her. She didn’t respond.

Then, two days later, she got another message from him: “Or not. Don’t wink if you’re not interested.”


Natalie rolled her eyes and didn’t respond.

Then, two days after THAT this HUGE BABY (literally and figuratively) messages her YET AGAIN:

“You could have easily said your not interested, obviously you are incapable of typing something so simple”




Imagine if this was in real life.

Natalie felt bad (aww bless her heart) so she wrote back something simple: “Hey, sorry, yes I did like your photo but didn’t realize how young you were. I’m looking for someone a bit older. Good luck!”

But instead of understanding, he wrote: “Next time, don't wink at people your not willing to talk to.”



This is why 25-year-olds are not cool. Deal with rejection.

Natalie, still trying to be nice said, “I don’t think you should take things so seriously. This is supposed to be fun.”

Then he wrote: “No, plenty of fish (another online site, mom) and tinder is for people who want to have fun. Match is made for people that are mature and serious.”



He obviously wasn't looking into a mirror.


"I think you should deactivate your account and stop waisting people's time"



How hilarious that this guy looking for someone “mature and serious” acts immature and crazytown after hearing a perfectly good reason why it wasn’t going to work out. 

How desperate.

Natalie ignored him, HAHAHAHA

And then he wrote her AGAIN:

“Stop messaging me or I'll report your account


That one made me laugh the hardest.

Did he mean to send that message to himself???! 

Because she had messaged him twice 1.) saying that he was too young and 2.) that he shouldn't take things so seriously. 

He's the one that had messaged HER like six times.

Natalie again ignored the message and soon got a message from Match.com administrator saying that he had “blocked” her.



"Is this real life?" Natalie texted me. "FML."


What the hell is wrong with people???

Chill the F out, dude.

....like right “NOW” –Chuck Norris.


Friday, July 10, 2015

All in the family

I just got back from a trip to Los Angeles for the July 4th weekend—61 hours to be exact—and 60 of those hours were spent with my entire family: mom, dad, older brother Franklin and twin sister, Joy.

It was very much a family vacation in that we spent every single minute together, all in each other’s business with no closed doors or privacy, but that’s how we always are. 

And it’s just a few times a year we all get together with my brother living on the West Coast, Joy and I living on the East Coast and our parents in the middle in New Orleans.

“Are we like the family from that movie, While you were Sleeping?”  Joy asked.

She was currently getting yelled at for taking a shower too late and now didn’t have enough time to blow dry her hair before we had to leave for a baseball game. 

“NOBODY CARES IF YOUR HAIR IS BLOWN OUT!” my dad said, and Joy yelled at everyone but herself for why she was running late and I was laughing acting like I was ready to go, but then forgot my glasses on the nightstand as everyone was out the door.

(Our brother was thinking more along the lines of “Meet the Fockers”)

I would consider us a “communal family,” constantly talking about everything and nothing all at the same time, refilling wine and beer glasses, louder than most, a testament to our New Orleans roots.

For three days, we rolled five deep, plus Franklin’s girlfriend, Allison, and John, our longtime family friend who also lives in Los Angeles, accomplices to our While you were Sleeping cast. 

We all went to a Los Angeles Dodgers baseball game, just like last year.

And even though they lost horribly we all watched mesmerized at the 90-mile-per-hour pitches, the bright blue and white clothing and HOW CAN THE OUTFIELDERS CATCH THOSE POP-UPS IT’S SO HIGH I’M GETTING DIZZY LOOKING AT THE TOP OF THE STANDS.

“Look at his batting average—it’s .22,” my dad reported to me. “That means that for every ten times at bat, he only hits two balls. Can you imagine if at work you had 10 things to do and you messed up eight times, and you still got paid a million dollars?”


“Who’s on first?” my mom chimed in. 

Then: “How come they don’t broadcast the whole game on the jumbotron?”


The next day was spent together again, squished into the backseat, as we drove to the “most Los Angeles” restaurant our brother could find, as per Joy’s request.

It was a ridiculously delicious, ridiculously fresh and healthy menu that had the word MACROBIOTIC repeated over and over, which from my understanding means they only serve soy and almond milk options.

We then all squished into the backseat again to go to a photography exhibit and drove down Wilshire Blvd through BEVERLY HILLS to get there.

Joy and I squealed at the fancy clothing stores and kept our eyes peeled for movie stars.

“Movie stars leave town for the fourth of July,” Franklin said, ruining all our fun. “You’re not going to see anyone this weekend.”

“I DON’T MIND A D-LISTED CELEBRITY!” I said, craning my neck out the window.

“Where can we get yogurt where you add your own toppings?” Joy piped in from the back seat.

Frankling sighed loudly.


The photography exhibit was free, and was SO awesome and we saw the work of photographers from all over the world (many younger than Joy and me, my dad pointed out repeatedly, DAD WHAT IS YOUR POINT), photographers who take pictures of war-torn nations, crab fishermen in Alaska, portraits of black fathers in the Bronx.

I didn’t realize before what a wide variety of photography there is—I mean, I DID know, but now that it was all on display in front of me, it was crazy the variations of the same skill: citizen journalism, posed shots, warped images that put a red neon lightning bolt over the Nevada desert, glamour shots of ice cream for ad campaigns.

(Fun fact: Many of the photographers became really popular thanks to Instagram, and right there at the museum I started following a few of them.)

“What is an Instagram?” my mom asked.

We then went back to my parents' Air BnB and got ready to go see Smoky Robinson at the Hollywood Bowl.

Do you know about the Hollywood Bowl? It’s a large outdoor amphitheater with circular wooden seating all facing a stage and it looks like it’s from a movie set, which is fitting.

They let people bring in their own wine and food and there were mountains in the distance and I still couldn’t get over how gorgeous it all was.

The Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra  opened for Smoky Robinson and they played all songs American—the Star-Spangled Banner, America the Beautiful, the Star Wars theme song.

Then they played a compilation of each song from branches of the military (“they have songs???” Joy and I asked) and the conductor asked people who served in the respective branches to stand up when their song was played and Joy and I got embarrassingly teary-eyed seeing them stand up and wave to the crowd of 5,000 who were clapping for them.

“How come there’s no song for the Peace Corps?” my dad asked loudly. “I was in the Peace Corps. That was service.”

(Haha dad)

Then Smoky Robinson came on, in a green leather suit and he KILLED IT!!! He danced and sang for almost two straight hours with the philharmonic behind him. 

He’s 75 years old, an inspiration to my dad who is 73. My parents got all of Smoky’s references to old records and 45s and A-tracks.

There was another fantastic fireworks show, but this one had NO bangs, just swooooshing sound as lights and stars lit up the sky, and they emblazoned a Statue of Liberty that was built on top of the amphitheater in fireworks.

We then walked to dinner at California Pizza Kitchen and our server had to tend to our seven-person rowdy table in which Franklin kept repeating the “I’M STARVING” line from SNL at me because I was crabby and hungry.

Perhaps that was because I said aloud (instead of in my head) that I was ordering an entire pizza to myself and not sharing with anyone.

“I’M STARVING!!!!!!!” Franklin said, looking at me, which didn’t make me any less crabby or hungry.

“WELL, I AM STARVING,” I said, and Joy laughed and sipped on her sangria which was as big as her head.

(Our mom gave her disapproving eyes when it arrived at the table. “Ummm excuse me...”)


We gathered together the next day at the Air BnB (seven deep) and watched the U.S. Women’s Soccer team dominate Japan although Joy, my mom and I hated to see Japan’s goalie crying at the end.

“Why do they keep showing that???” we asked. “Now I want to cry!!”

Franklin sighed loudly.

We then took a walk around Echo Park Lake, took another identical photo as last year, and us siblings had some sibling time at Franklin's apartment while our dad cooked dinner.

Joy and I were taking the red eye flight out of Los Angeles at 12:54 a.m. that Sunday night (3:54 a.m. East Coast time...yikes) and had some time to kill.

So we played UNO as a family.

“I can’t tell which ones are green and which ones are blue!” our dad kept saying, as we tried to find brighter lights.



And then we all laughed and I laughed the hardest because I won, and then suddenly it was time to pack and head to the airport, and our krewe of seven turned back into a krewe of just two.

“Miss you already,” my mom texted four minutes after we left (seriously).


And then life went back to normal. As quickly as vacation started, before we knew it, we were back on the East Coast, back in the humidity, back in the non-mountainous Lowcountry.

Just like that, normal life returned on the cross-country overnight flight.

While I was sleeping.


Tuesday, July 7, 2015


The moment you know  you've made the right decision by dumping a guy:


Brings new meaning to the phrase "breakfast of champions."



Wednesday, July 1, 2015


Hang back up the Dave Matthews Band and Josh Hartnett posters!!!

A college flashback is approaching.

John, this guy my friend Christina dated for a few months, not only broke the news to her that he had another girl, but he provided a horrible college flashback at the same time.

Remember this? : “Yea...my ‘hometown’ girlfriend is visiting this week. Well, we didn’t agree to ‘break up’ completely when I went away to college, so we’re sort of still together and I know I’ve never mentioned her before but....”

This is the hispter 2015 equivalent of that.

Only it wasn’t a clueless boy who just turned 18, it was a dude in his 30s.

John and Christina met through mutual friends and had a great courtship with dancing, dinners, sleepovers, camping and all kinds of other fun adventures.

Christina hadn’t been with anyone cool in a long time and thought John was something special. He actually told her that she was something special.

But then one day, he began acting funny, not returning Christina’s calls or texts.

“What’s going on?” she asked him after a particularly awkward home-cooked meal. “Why are you acting so weird all of a sudden?”

Then John broke the news.

“Well, because there’s this girl...sort of my girlfriend...,” he started.


“Well, we sort-of ‘broke up’ when she went to study clay-making in India (or some shit) for a few months...”


“And we left things on weird terms...like we weren’t dating but we weren’t ‘broken up’ and, well, she’s coming back in two weeks...”



He just left the sentence hanging there. Like Christina was supposed to finish it for him.


“So...your GIRLFRIEND who you never told me about is coming back from India and ya’ll are going to get back together?” she asked. “That’s what you’re telling me?”

“She’s not technically my girlfriend!” John said. “We agreed we can see other people!”


(John, you are late for philosophy 101 class).


“Not your girlfriend...but she’d be mad that we slept together, right?” Christina asked.


“It’s just...really complicated,” John said. 

He said he and this India girl just had so much history, so many memories, you know, HIGH SCHOOL PROM.

Christina was already packing her backpack.

“You know, it would have been nice to mention her when we first met,” she said.

John stood there looking hurt.


I mean, really, though, what did he expect? Was Christina really supposed to hang around for 2 weeks pretending that everything was OK?

Put red slashes on her wall calendar leading up to the return of the girlfriend?

And if he really cared about Christina, why didn’t he tell his "ex"-girlfriend that he met someone new and tell her to just stay halfway across the world?

PLUS...who gets another girlfriend six seconds after their other one skips town?


Relationships are so hard when you’re 18 30 years old.

Now if you will excuse me, I have to bring Christina to a raging keg party to forget about all of this.


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