Tag Archives: New Orleans

This Explains a Lot

First, lemme say: Laissez Les Bon Temps Rouler! I am FOMOing like mad about not down in New Orleans, strolling from the Marigny to the Quarter in the Parade of St. Anne. So many friends down there! Bah.

Second, my biggest reason for not being down there: this bar! And yes, progress is being made. Though it is seriously trying my patience! I’m gonna go say farewell to one of my favorite bars today: Ninth Ward. It is a New Orleans-themed bar with cute little banquettes with curtains you can close and a real wood-burning fireplace. SUCH a shame they are closing. Ugh.

Also causing me some FOMO? So many friends in Barcelona! This past weekend was the Euro Regional Burning Man Summit (or whatever they call it) and this coming weekend is the big birthday bash for my Sign Shop cohort, Jedi. My big reason for not being there? Small Claims Court Monday. Double ugh.

So aside from freaking out about the glacial pace of this bar biz, I’m cursing Facebook as shots of my pals scroll by in other, more enticing places. With over a dozen windows open in my browser (How to Make Bitters! Custom Pint Glasses!) one more window that’s featured in my attempt at distracting myself is 16Personalities. For anyone who’s seen the alphabet soup on dating profiles and doesn’t know what they mean, the 16 personalities classifications are a combination of Jungian psychology and the Myers-Briggs test, with modern influences. Read their web site for a far more in-depth explanation.

And what is it that I fell “explains everything”? I tested out as “The Debater”:

The ENTP personality type is the ultimate devil’s advocate, thriving on the process of shredding arguments and beliefs and letting the ribbons drift in the wind for all to see. Unlike their more determined Judging (J) counterparts, ENTPs don’t do this because they are trying to achieve some deeper purpose or strategic goal, but for the simple reason that it’s fun. No one loves the process of mental sparring more than ENTPs, as it gives them a chance to exercise their effortlessly quick wit, broad accumulated knowledge base, and capacity for connecting disparate ideas to prove their points.

There are pages and pages describing each personality and all of mine seriously spoke to me. Since I can remember, my parents have said, “You’d argue with the Lord.” I probably should’ve been a lawyer. Here’s what it says about us ENTPs as “subordinates”:

This dynamic is clearest with ENTP subordinates, as they are comfortable challenging their managers’ ideas and have a strong (and well-expressed) dislike for restrictive rules and guidelines. ENTPs back this unorthodox behavior with their keen minds and curiosity, and are as capable of adopting new methods as they are of suggesting others do so. If something can be done better, it’s as simple as that, and ENTP personalities gladly take criticism, so long as it’s logical and performance-oriented.

I’m sure if you asked any of the managers at jobs where I was fired or “laid off,” they would agree. Their inflexibility translated to my being “unhappy in my job.” That could never have been further from the truth. I loved just about all my jobs. But loving my job and still believing there was room for improvement — in everything! — was interpreted by my managers as my misery. So weird. Thank heavens for Burning Man and DPW (and Tony!) for recognizing the true me!

Some readers might balk at the passage of my ability to “gladly take criticism.” I wish they could all be in the room when my friend Marianne calls me on my shit. She does it so succinctly that I can’t even respond. I just nod. Though the two of us have certainly engaged in plenty of (almost 30 years!) of critical banter.

Anyway, have fun today! Happy Mardi Gras!

 

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Happy Capitalism Gone Wild Day!

Black Friday. When Americans are not just encouraged but expected to go out and shop till they drop. Or till they trample their fellow Americans in pursuit of a cheaper flat screen TV.

“Black Friday. Because only in America, people trample others for sales exactly one day after being thankful for what they already have.”

“Black Friday combines every great American pastime into one: camping, shopping, standing in line, rioting and fist fighting.”

“Stop buying shit you don’t need.”

The new says 45 million people will shop on Black Friday. I love to shop, too, but not in regular retail stores. Where’s the challenge in seeing everything all brand new and perfect? I prefer thrift stores, consignment shops and flea markets, where finding something I love — or fit into — isn’t a given but a happy coincidence. Or a fuckin’ miracle, depending on the place.

So today, I decided to spotlight two friends who create the feeling of home and hearth — where there is no home or hearth — through the food they serve. I’m admitted non-cook. Almost an anti-cook. If I can’t heat it up in the microwave in three minutes or pour it out of a bag and toss some salad dressing on it, I ain’t makin’ it. But these women not only cook for themselves, their friends and family; they cook for complete strangers! Now that, in my book, is a real talent! Love expressed through food is a whole different ballgame.

Image.jpgRoseann Rostoker and I have been friends since she was a regular at Click + Drag. When Mother closed and I started promoting at True, “Madame Cole” was my partner in Gomorrah. We had four different teams who each took one Wednesday a month; Madame and I were a team. I’ve experienced some of the wildest nights of my life with this woman. And you know that is saying a whole lot! Seriously. Stuff I can’t even write about. I’ll let your imagination wander with that one! Anyway, as Roseann she would invite me to her home and one Thanksgiving I stuffed myself with so much amazing Italian food she’d prepared I thought I’d never eat again. Now “Roe” lives in New Orleans, where she runs a restaurant called Red Gravy. (Please read her little bio in the About section. If it doesn’t make you want to fly down there and dine with her, you’re a heartless fool!) Five years ago, she moved to a new city, started a new business and has become an active, valuable member of a whole new community. I’m not surprised. If you find yourself in the Big Easy, stop by and say hi!

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Sylkia and her crew, 2012 – Photo by Vertumus

Sylvia Sanchez feeds the motley Playa Restoration crew, the 150-or-so dusty, wind-battered folks who stay on till the bitter end of Burning Man, picking up the event’s final tiny remains. As she said in an interview with Ignite, “Very simply, I love to cook for my friends and family, and yes, after three months of living and working together, these people are part of your chosen family. Feeding people well and then having them tell you that they eat better out there than they do at home is the highest compliment a chef can get. Of course, I couldn’t do this without the amazing crew I have. I tip my hat at them for everything they do to help me make this happen.” I can attest that she makes me feel like family! Every year I weep with gratitude when we start eating back in the Saloon and Sylvia makes sure we have real coffee. Reeeeealllll cooofffeeeeeeee. Sylkia has served up delicious food in Austin, TX and is currently plating amazing grilled cheese in San Francisco.

Attitude Tourettes

I’ve never been one to keep my mouth shut…about anything, but lately it’s gotten far, far worse. In fact I feel like I’m suffering from some sort of attitude Tourette’s. And I’m alienating everyone around me. Also nothing new, but still.

Last night I went to a bar for a reunion of sorts. A friend visiting from LA wanted us all to meet up at her former local bar. In Hoboken. The bartender didn’t allow waving. As in patrons weren’t permitted to wave at him to get his attention. Calling his name never seemed to work and we were often left wanting. He would spend extended moments chatting up guys who weren’t even ordering drinks. We were feeling pretty neglected. At least I wasn’t able to give the bartender a piece of my mind…he was never in front of me long enough!

The DJ began playing 90s rap and hip-hop, then inexplicably segued into some of my favorite punk rock. Just as she hit her CB’s-like stride, she shifted gears and put on Pink Floyd. Huh? “It was a request,” she informed me. WHAT? Great DJs don’t take requests! This isn’t a bar mitzvah! Guess what she played next? I’ll give you a hint: it was another request. Okay, you’ll never get it: Paul Simon’s “Kodachrome.” Yup. Read it and cringe!

I simply could not stop myself from telling this woman how I felt.  “What the hell are you thinking?” I asked as Mick Jagger took us back to the 70s. “You were on a total roll!” I gushed, “And now we’re in any bar! Now we could be in Nebraska!”

After I’d given the DJ a ration of shit — in the nicest way possible, mind you — I turned my attentions to a guy who’d walked in earlier. He was wearing an Abbey Tavern t-shirt, the Abbey being a magnificent New Orleans dive bar. “I have that t-shirt!” I’d enthused to the guy, who, by the way, was about five feet tall (GNOME ALERT!) and bald. NOT anyone I would be hitting on even at my drunkest. It was merely a friendly attempt to, you know, relate to my fellow man in a social situation. The dude brushed me off like I was a dandruff crumb. So when I saw him speaking to my friend, the friend whose “local bar” this had been, I went over. “Do you know this guy?” I asked her. When she said yes, I turned to him and said, “You know, there was once a day when strangers would actually speak to each other in bars,” I started schooling him. “In fact, I have friends 20 years later who I met in a bar.” I went on to blather that it sure would’ve been nice if he’d acknowledged me, maybe stopped and introduced himself, took a moment to recognize a friendly gesture from a stranger. Yeah, whatever.

I had also attempted to befriend a woman who was sitting by herself in the corner of the bar, madly typing on her smart phone. When the DJ arrived she had to surrender her corner barstool and moved to the other side of our group. I waved to her, said, “Join us!” and introduced her to my crew. She looked at me like I was out of my fucking mind. WHAT is this world coming to? Are people so afraid of strangers? Why would you leave your apartment if you don’t want to meet anyone new?

The oddest part of the night was finding out from the DJ that a few of the “locals” in this little locals bar are actually neighbors of mine. Like they live within blocks of me in the East Village. So they travel all the way to fucking Hoboken to hang out in a locals bar. It’s the end of the world!

Scrambled

That’s how I’ve been feeling lately: scrambled. I’m not on any particular schedule. Sometimes I get up at 8:00am to work out with my cousin, who’s on her way home after dropping her son off at school. By 3:00 it feels like midnight! And sometimes I sleep half the day, cause, um, I don’t have anything to get up for, really.

I never know what day it is. I don’t need to, since I’m not working. There isn’t anything in particular that I do every week on the same day…so it doesn’t much matter. The closest thing I have to discipline is this damn blog. Unless, of course, you count watching The View every morning at 11:00…or Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune every night from 7:00 til 8:00. Talk about pathetic. I’m in the throes of transition but that means I’m sort of…nowhere. Or everywhere.

I got back from Burning Man on October 15. I went back to California for the holidays and returned on December 30. I’m leaving again on Friday, back again the following Thursday. Then on the 31st I’m going to Alaska (yes, Alaska), to hit Chena Hot Springs and, ideally, see The Northern Lights, back on February 5th. On the 14th I leave (again) for California, where my trip to Africa for a safari originates. I’ll be in Tanzania and Mozambique for 10 days, from the 17th of February til the 1st of March (I’m assuming there are days that I’ll spend in the air, accounting for those “lost” days in there). With just enough time to do a load of laundry at my parents’ and hopefully recover from my jet lag just a smidge, I fly out of SFO at midnight on the 3rd for New Orleans and Mardi Gras. I’ll be there a week, flying back to New York on the 10th. Just typing all this is making me tired.

I know, you’re probably saying, that’s a whole lotta jetsetting for someone who doesn’t even have a job! Well, I’m not paying for any of this travel. My budget could maybe get me to Coney Island. It’s all gonna provide me with plenty to blog about, that’s for sure!

In between all of this, I’ll be dog fostering, packing and unpacking, trying to see friends, producing another singles’ event (or two), trying to date (as hopeless as that’s been lately), orchestrating my sister buying my ex-husband out of my co-op, looking for work (though what’s the point? I’m never home!), working out and attempting to maintain the discipline of this blog. For all, like two dozen of you reading! (So tell you friends, eh?)

Stay tuned for news on ALL of this stuff and the up-to-date details on my sanity. Or lack thereof!