Hipster Olympics

Many of you know of my profound distaste for hipsters. I lived among them for a year in the Mission (apparently San Francisco’s version of Williamsburg), dodging them as they wheeled their bicycles languidly through crowded sidewalks, trying not to listen to their purposely loud accounts of how hard they partied the night before. Oh my GOD, I feel like shit today. I must have had, like, ten beers last night. Are my eyes still dilated? I can’t even take my sunglasses off inside; it hurts too much.

Hipsters perplex me. I just have so many questions. How do all the tools know to congregate in one particular area? Is there a hipster version of a bat signal? How can a person possibly wear that many accessories at once? How long does it really take them to achieve that “I just rolled out of bed and haven’t bathed in days” look? Does it hurt to be too cool for school? If I started to cut my own hair and wear skinny jeans and smoke a pack a day, would I become one of them, or would they sniff me out as an impostor?

One of my SF co-workers sent me this video today, and while I laughed heartily at the expense of my stylish, trust-funded peers, I also realized something disturbing. I kind of miss the hipsters. San Diego has surf bums and aging hippies and blonde Valley Girls with fake tans and faker boobs, but no hipsters spouting their pseudo-intellectual analysis of the latest indie band you’ve never heard of. Where am I supposed to direct all my snarky commentary if there’s no malnourished, velvet-blazer-wearing, PBR-drinking “artist” at my neighborhood coffee shop? The SoCal sorostitutes are far too easy (in every sense of the word). Must. Mock. Something. Help!


Games? I Like Games

The sweet, sassy vixen Lisa tagged me, and I’m not one to back down from a fight. A game…I mean, a game.

Accent – I’m from California. I don’t think I really have an accent. I do talk too fast and say “hella” and “sweet” and “hella sweet” too much. I did pick up some New Orleansisms when I was down there, and every now and then, people tell me I sound like a Southern belle and/or bootlegger.

I Don’t Drink – Jägermeister. Holy crap, that stuff is awful. The last time I had it was at a classy establishment called Tropical Isle on Bourbon Street (we were meeting friends from out of town around– Bourbon Street isn’t a normal hangout). For some reason, I kept insisting that I could scam drinks from strangers, and some friendly gentleman tourists obliged to prove my point. That night ended badly.

Chore I Hate – I don’t mind doing dishes or cleaning bathrooms, but I hate tidying and decluttering my apartment. I never have places to put things, and it drives me nuts.

Pets – I have a blind, 12-year-old goldfish named either Santa or Nova (I wasn’t sure which one died– they look the same!) that resides with my parents. Brian and I are working on keeping our little herb garden alive, and then we can talk pets.

Essential Electronic – My sweet, sweet Macbook. I don’t know how I ever lived without being in constant email and IM contact with my co-workers, friends and distant acquaintances.

Perfume/Cologne – I recently bought my first big kid perfume (in other words, one that costs more than ten bucks and doesn’t smell like cucumber-melon). It’s Lancome’s “Miracle,” which I insist on pronouncing in an exaggerated, pretentious French accent.

Gold or silver – Well, I’d go with white gold if I had the cash, but I’ll settle for silver. Gold just makes me feel like Mr. T.

Insomnia – I never have a problem sleeping unless I’m really upset about something or it’s obscenely hot in my room. The latter has been true the last week, so I’ve been a wee bit grumpy.

Job Title – Content Writer/Editor/Bitch-Slapper Extraordinaire.

Most Admired Trait – I make an excellent trophy wife. I didn’t get my MRS degree for nothing. I also have a mean football tackle.

Kids – Not for a very long time. No buns coming out of this oven. When I’m in my thirties, I think I’ll want a couple of them; no more, no less. With a few exceptions, only children are freaks, and more than two is just not happening. Brian wants three; I told him he can carry the last one for nine months and give up his figure, career and mental stability. Sometimes it’s like Katie Ide is speaking through me.

Religion – Catholic-ish. I grew up in the “love, forgiveness and tolerance” brand of Catholicism, which I’m realizing as I get older is rarely found outside Northern California. I’m not a huge fan of doctrines that hate on women, gays and those who live in sin with their significant others.

Siblings – One fabulous older sister, Melia. I’m not sure who’s the yin and who’s the yang, but together, we will simultaneously kick your ass at Taboo and make you the best peppermintini you’ve ever had.

Time I wake up – I used to hit my snooze button until almost 8 a.m. and have to run to get to work on time. Now that I work from home, I can get up at 7:30, exercise and still be at work by 9.

Unusual talent/skill – I can remember every piece of useless pop culture trivia that comes my way. What? You want to know what Tori Spelling’s character’s name was on “Saved by the Bell”? Why, Violet Bickerstaff, of course! What else would you like to know?

Vegetable I refuse to eat – Brussel sprouts. WTF is that smell?

Worst habit –Procrastination.

X-rays – Are pretty frickin’ sweet. I worked at a dental office in high school, and I got darn good at arranging them in order to create a creepy skeletal smile.

My favorite meal – I crave lots of New Orleans foods that I can’t get here–shrimp po-boys, crawfish étouffée, beignets. Or dim sum. Lots and lots of those little steamed pork buns.

Tag time, eh? Um, most of the bloggy friends I have (not many) are already playing this game. OK, Sara. And Melia when she finally starts her blog. GO!

Two Years Later

Chalmette, LA

I used to love telling people I lived in New Orleans. I’d come home for Christmas break or visit friends at other schools and watch people’s reactions when I’d say, “I go to school in New Orleans.”

“Oh man! Is it crazy?”
“How is Mardi Gras? I hear you can drink in the streets!”
“Is it really like ‘Girls Gone Wild’?”

I’ll be honest; I loved that people were jealous of me for living in such a cool city. I’m sure UC Davis has its subtle charms, but it probably can’t compete with Dunbar’s fried chicken or Ms. Mae’s one dollar well drinks. And in response to everyone’s questions:

“Yes, it is crazy. Strangers say ‘hello’ to you when you pass them in the street. They put the emphasis on weird syllables. UMbrella. TUlane. INsurance. They eat crawdads…I mean…crawfish.”
“Mardi Gras is kickass. It goes on for weeks, and the parades just get bigger as Mardi Gras Day gets closer. People will cut you for blinking beads or painted coconuts. Costumes are encouraged, if not mandatory. And of course you can drink in the streets; you can do that every day.”
“No, you fool. Only dumb, drunk frat boys from Ole Miss act like it’s ‘Girls Gone Wild.'”

Since Katrina, the reactions have obviously been a little different. Instead of envy, I get pity or concern or, my least favorite, morbid curiosity. I was patient with people’s questions in the months following the storm. I understood that, as a New Orleans evacuee, I could offer a perspective people might not get from watching the coverage on Fox News.

Two years later, I’m tired of talking about how quickly the storm came down on us and how I threw three days’ worth of clothes and my camera in a backpack and left the city that Saturday afternoon. I’m tired of recounting how we were all on the phone to our friends and families, making sure everyone was safe, then watching hours and hours of CNN footage (when we had power, that is). I’m tired of talking about the evacuation to well-intentioned people because, well, it doesn’t matter. I was lucky. I had the means to get out of the city early; I had friends kind enough to let me sleep on their floor for five days; I had a home somewhere else to go to.

Instead, let’s talk about the mind-numbing incompetence with which Katrina was handled. Let’s talk about why Louisiana has to fight tooth and nail for more relief assistance, while we’re throwing money into Iraq like it’s goin’ out of style. Let’s talk about why half of New Orleans’ population is still displaced and parts of the city look like the aftermath of the blitzkrieg.

I may be living 2,000 miles from New Orleans right now, but my thoughts are with y’all today. I’ll be the one rocking the fleur-de-lys necklace, drinking an Abita Amber on my balcony and pissing off my neighbors by singing the Jazz Vipers and Cowboy Mouth at the top of my lungs.

The Love Boat


Yesterday, I went on a boating excursion with my boyfriend, Brian, a few of his Navy friends and their significant others (I would say partners, but that gives it a “don’t ask, don’t tell” vibe that is, unfortunately, inaccurate). I should preface this by saying I am not into water sports. Actually, I am not into any sports that don’t involve a) tackling, b) heckling and/or c) beer. But anyway, I didn’t grow up water skiing around Lake Tahoe like some of the rich bastards I went to high school with, so this was a new thing for me.

We got to the lake, which is actually a reservoir, which is actually really gross because I know damn well people pee and puke in it, around nine. Josh and Terri were already there, doing whatever it is you do to get ready to go boating. Josh is a big guy who looks like he played college football; he doesn’t say much, but he’s low-key and personable. His wife, Terri, on the other hand, says a lot. She says a lot, and she says it loud. Brian had warned me about this, but as we were their guests, I wanted to give her a chance. They had gone to the Navy officers’ ball the night before, and Terri was trying to brush out the tangles from her hairsprayed mane. OK, I went to prom; I understand it can be frustrating and painful to undo the damage of an overzealous hairstylist. But is it really necessary to let everyone know, repeatedly, just how excruciating your suffering is?

T: OH MY GOD, baaaabe! My hair is such a mess! Come look at this! Baaabe! Did you see all the tangles in my hair?

J: (mumbles something indecipherable while busying himself under the boat)

T: Baaaaaabe!

At this point, I started getting a little apprehensive about the rest of the day. I mean, I’m a pretty strong swimmer, but would I be able to survive if I jumped overboard and tried to swim to shore from the middle of the lake? I remembered the numerous life jackets at the back of the boat and filed that piece of information away, just in case.

Steve and Sheridan were running a little late to meet up with us, so Brian called Steve’s cell.

B: Hey man, where y’at (note that this is a commonly-used New Orleans phrase and not simply poor grammar)?

T: Never end a sentence with a preposition!

Now I have a fondness for the English language. I could write (and probably will) volumes on how “mischievous” is not pronounced “mis-chee-vee-us,” nor does “sherbet” grow an extra “r” to become “sherbert.” Shit like that annoys me, but I try to let it go. I certainly don’t correct relative strangers on misusing prepositions. I wonder how often she says, “From where do you come?” instead of “Where are you from?”

The rest of the day was mostly very enjoyable. We drank beer, ate sandwiches and took turns being pulled by the boat on various apparatus at 25 miles an hour. I really could have done without the last thing, but I didn’t want to be the only wuss on the boat, so I opted for the only choice that didn’t involve standing up: tubing. My only experience with tubing was at a place called Wayne’s World somewhere in bumblefuck Louisiana, where a large group of us floated down the river, drinking a cooler of High Life and humming the “Deliverance” theme. This was different.

I shimmied on my stomach onto a small, triangular tube that was attached to the back of the boat with a long rope. Then I clung for dear life to the tube’s handles as the boat sped across the lake, leaving me to bounce in its wake like a bikini-clad Raggedy Ann doll with Tourette’s, until I was tossed, ungracefully yet gratefully, into the water. Well, that sure was fun. No, I had a fantastic time, but I think I’m just going to hang out here with my beer and give the rest of y’all a turn at the fun.

After my brief water adventure, all I had to do was sun myself at the front of the boat and occasionally wave an orange flag when one of our party fell into the water. This would have been a perfect, relaxing way to spend an afternoon had it not been for Terri’s frequent, crescendoing outbursts. A few highlights:

1. (Josh has just stood up on a wakeboard for the first time) T: OH MY GOD, baaaaabe! Woooooooooooo! Baaaaabe! Wooooooooo! I love you! Wooooooooo!

B: (who is, mind you, the youngest of five and often accused of not using his “indoor voice”) Holy crap. I think I just heard that echo. No, seriously. Did you hear that?

2. (We are floating slowly toward the large rocks on the lake shore, but they are still a good 100 yards away. Josh is in the water getting ready to wakeboard.) T: These FUCKING ROCKS are waaaayyyyy too close! Baaabe! Do you see how fucking close these rocks are? I can’t handle this! We’re gonna hit the rocks! Baaabe! These FUCKING ROCKS!

3. (Brian has shown an irritating aptitude for yet another sport and has just fallen off after a long run on the wakeboard) B: Wow, it’s really hard to turn and switch feet when you’re up. I did it that first time, but I totally wiped out this time.

T: (cackles loudly) You see! You thought you were such a rock star that first time you did it, but it’s really hard, isn’t it? Isn’t it? I can hardly do it, and I’ve been doing it longer than you have! Now you see how hard it is! See?

Me (under my breath): Sweet Jesus, where are those life jackets?

So seven hours, several sunburns and countless ear-shattering screeches later, we made it back to shore. I’m not sure if I’ll go on the next lake outing, but I do appreciate this one for making me look, by comparison, like the most sane, loving, patient woman in the world.

He’ll save children, but not the British children

Sweet Jesus, why is Brad Neely so brilliant? I’ve been watching this video for a month, and it still hasn’t gotten old. I don’t know if it’s the mediocre non-animation or the ridiculous lyrics (“ate opponents’ brains and invented cocaine”), but it makes me giggle like a little girl. I salute you, Mr. Brad Neely.

What’s in a name?

That Bitch

I’ve been thinking a lot about hurricanes lately, for obvious reasons. We’re deep in the bowels of hurricane season, and even though I now live two thousand miles away from the Danger Zone, I still follow the storms with stalkerish obsession. Dean. Erin. Flossie. I watch their behavior closely to see if I can predict who is going to screw me over this year.

It’s been almost two years since I evacuated from New Orleans for Katrina, and I still can’t hear that name without wanting to throttle, maim or give a strongly-worded lecture to whoever owns it (all you Katrinas out there, I suggest you go by Kat or Katie or even Trina).

Maybe that sounds silly to you, but let me explain. You know how you hate the name Mandy because of that bitch in junior high who watched “The Craft” too many times and spread the rumor that you were a witch and were trying to spike the basketball team’s Gatorade with a potion to fall in love with you? Yeah, since then, you’ve hated every Mandy you’ve met. Well, imagine she also flooded your city, destroyed your friends’ childhood homes and closed your favorite red beans and rice and fried chicken restaurant. Now who’s being silly?

It sucks because I used to kinda like the name Katrina. Except for that Katrina and the Waves “Walking on Sunshine” fiasco, it had never done anything to me. But now, it’s ruined for life, and I have to cross it off the list of my future children’s names.

To avoid this situation in the future, I propose we name all future storms after people we already hate (“we” meaning me, of course). I’ll start us off; if it were up to me to name the 2007 roster of storms, they would be:

1. Ann. She told a disabled Vietnam vet, “People like you caused us to lose that war.” She has no soul. She’d probably go off course and hit California just to destroy all the liberals.
2. Bill. Most of the time, he’s just so ridiculous, he’s kind of entertaining. Then he comes out with something really insane, like recommending that al Qaeda blow up San Francisco, and it gets personal.
3. Carmen. What exactly does she do, except hook up with formerly cool rock stars and take her clothes off? She’d probably wreak havoc just for the publicity.
4. Dick. I think the name says it all. I hold him responsible for the mess we’re in. And he shot a dude in the face.
5. Eminem. So much anger. Such a nasal voice. I don’t care if you’re the real Slim Shady, and I don’t care if you’re back.
6. Fergie. OK, I’ll admit it: I liked “London Bridge.” It’s catchy; don’t judge me. But “My Humps”? “You love my lady lumps?” That is unforgivable.
7. George. Oh, George, where do I begin? You know what you did. Let’s not make this uglier than it has to be.
8. Hannity. He’s Faux News’ other golden boy, after “Papa Bear” Bill O’Reilly, of course. He’d destroy every blue state in his path because we hate freedom and America.
9. Imus. It’s not his fault he looks like Skeletor, but it is his choice to chug that Haterade every day.
10. Jerry. Yes, I know he’s dead, and maybe this is in poor taste, but the man said AIDS is God’s punishment for homosexuality. He’s not exactly up for sainthood.
11. Karl/K-Fed. It’s a toss-up. The former is often referred to as “Bush’s Brain,” which is both frightening and oxymoronic. The latter subjected us to “PopoZao” and allowed Britney to procreate. You be the judge.

I’ll stop at “K” because I hope to God we don’t need more than that. Pray for November 30 to come quickly.

Blogging what?

I started this blog about a month ago because all the cool kids Chuck and Darren were doing it. Blame it on relentless, obnoxious peer pressure. I’m apparently the worst blogger ever because I haven’t touched it since. My logic was that I write enough useless crap that people don’t read for my job, so why spend my free time doing the same thing?

Then I remembered the fine Canadian gentlemen, John Rich and George Rare, for which this blog is named. They fought against all odds to produce a smooth, moderately-priced whiskey for us all to enjoy. Would they give up on this blogging thing without even giving it a fair shot? I think not. Would they want me to drink whiskey in the middle of the day to cope with the burden of everyday life? I think so. Cheers to you, John and George!