Friday, November 23, 2018

Updates from just around the riverbend

Waaaaasssssssup, my betches!*

I guess you could say it's been a hot minute or two or three since I last checked in, but we're alive and well over here and things couldn't be peachier!

Yesterday was Thanksgiving (holla), which is definitely moving up my list of Holidays Thou Art Loves.  I mean, who can complain about a holiday centered around eating and getting together with family and friends.  I'm going to begin writing my petition tomorrow to President Trump (*shiver*) that Christmas Eve going forth (after the 2018 holiday season - - -don't want to give the retail industry a heart attack this year) shall be deemed the fourth Thursday in December.  That way, we can all just have a nice, four-day weekend every year to celebrate and buy each other tons of crap we don't end up needing after about a month.

It irks me to no end since I've ventured into the bizz-world (and left behind the school-year-calendar days of yore) that we have to tango with families year after year to see who's doing Christmas when and how flippin' weird when it falls on a Wednesday so you end up working Monday and Tuesday (lookin' at you gub-ment) and then get Wednesday off, but have to go back Thursday and Friday, and no one is really there who has a say in the matter and the ones who HAVE to be there because they don't have a say in the matter aren't getting work done anyway! *whew*

In summary, please sign my petition.
Source
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Nate the Great and I both had Thursday aka Needless Turkey Murder Day off this year, and we both took off Black Friday.  Here's looking at you 4-day weekend!  However, because of a little thing we like to call UNOh-no-when-will-Nathan-be-done-with-school, Nate's been hard at work starting/middling/completing projects and assignments before the end of the semester in about 2.53495 weeks.  So we said "See you in a few weeks Shreveport familia" and kicked it back real cool in The Big Easy with Sir Mix-a-Lot Sagan.

There we are, hard at work.
It's been quite nice.  We're on day 2 of 4 today, and while he's been hard at work doing schoolness, I've been making it a point to work out each morning and take care of things on my to-do list that I'm too lazy can't get to during the week.

We also had our first Completely Vegan Thanksgiving, and it was grand.  We both still over ate (and over drank....we haven't had booze in 11 days before last night...trying to get in ultimate shape in early 2019!), but it was quite tasty to put it lightly.  We had Corn Souffle (which I vegan-zed, and we couldn't tell a difference), these Heavenly Green Beans (which were top notch --we'll fo sho be having them again before next year) and homemade Drop Biscuits that I found in this gem.  Photo overload commencing in 3....2....1...

Corn Souffle bay-bay...made with vegan butter and vegan plain almond milk yogurt instead of sour cream.  SO GOOD!

Aptly named Heavenly Green Beans

A hottie testing a hot biscuit...yum-mie! ;)

Naturally, I had to test it, too!  And Jim subtly included his thumbs-up approval.

My first plate...but not my last.

(sorry for the crap-quality lighting, futureCourtney.  You prepared and ate this for dinner, so natural light was a no-go.)
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I've been trying to read some of my new book that I took a chance on, and so far it's not half bad.  I just blazed through Liane Moriarty's new release, Nine Perfect Strangers, because 1) I'm a fan-girl and 2) the good ole NOLA Public Library only loaned to me for 2 weeks (compared to the usual 3 weeks, not counting the 2 renewals allowed) because it's a new release and in high demand.
Source
I really wanted to love it since I loved a few of her previous ones, particularly this one and this one, buuuuuut it just didn't hit the spot exactly.  I will say that it was still an enjoyable read and the lady knows how to write, but this didn't top the list for me.  I did tell Nathan that I bet this one will be made into either a movie or a show...and this is coming from a non-bettin' woman. ;)

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I want to do a better job of blogging more (burnt record, volume 7), as well as somehow documenting recent reads because I figure that will be fun to read back through one day when I'm consistently up at ungodly hours trying to get a little one to eat, and then I can sob even louder as I remember the days when I actually had time to pick up a book...but we'll see what I can do.  P.S.  I'm not pregnant.

So...in no particular order:

Source
Troublemaker:  Surviving Hollywood and Scientology by Leah Remini
This was a really enlightening read about the world of Scientology.  Holy graham cracker is it a messed up world!  I learned a lot, and I'm curious to pick up another Scientology read in a few weeks by the lady who was married to the head honcho.

Source
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
Oh, John Green.  Boy, you know how to write!  I was a little skeptical about picking this one up since it because so popular and was made into a movie, buuuut there's a reason for that.  It's YA fiction (which is right up my alley..ain't no shame in the game), and it was an enjoyable read.  I watched the movie afterwards even though the book is ALWAYS better, and my theory held true.  There's just so much they leave out and details and nuance and look at me pretending I know how to critique movies with big, fancy, French words. ;)


Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell
I LOVED this!  I've previous read her book Attachments, and I really liked it, but this one soared high and above.  I can only hope that my teenage daughter comes to me one day asking for a book suggestion because she's hit a lull, and I will literally go buy this and throw it in her FACE and reread it with her.! P.S.  Again, not pregnant.

Source
Dumplin' by Julie Murphy
This was cute, and I really liked that I fully grasped all the southern references (like things in Texas and homecoming corsages), but after reading the last sentence and realizing it was the end, I audibly said (and I kid you not) "That's it!?!" Nathan was on the couch and replied "Did you not like it?"  I just didn't expect it to end how it did and because of the way the chapters were set up in my copy NOLA Public Library's copy, I had no idea another chapter wasn't ahead.  It was cute and fun, but I only just liked it.


Source
Girl, Wash Your Face: Stop Believing the Lies About Who You Are so You Can Become Who You Were Meant to Be by Rachel Hollis
I jumped on board this gravy train because it was a new release and already turning into a bestseller, and I'm glad I did. The format was a chapter for each of the 20 lies we (as women) tell ourselves, and I liked a lot of the points she made. Two quotes I really, really liked were:

"This is true of race, religion, political affiliation, sexual orientation, socioeconomic background, and any other category we can dream up. Doing life with people who don't look or think or vote like us is the whole point--it's our call to arms! Love thy neighbor wasn't a suggestion; it was a command, you guys. How in the world are you going to love your neighbor if you don't know your neighbor? I don't mean waving hello at the grocery store; I mean actually pushing ourselves outside of our comfort zone and doing life with different kinds of people . . . even if we wonder if they're getting it all wrong. Heck, especially if we think they're getting it all wrong. We need to be in a wider community not because we're attempting to sharper their clarity on a subject but because we're hoping to soften the edges of our own hearts."

"Every year you close a new chapter in your story. Please, please, please don't write the same one seventy-five times and call it a life."


...til next time!


*the one person on the interwebs who mistakenly stumbled across my blog at 3am and was like "WTF is this crap - - I need help studying for my law degree."

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

REAL fun

I took a half-day off from work today because I had a doctor's appointment, and I needed to visit the DMV...or as it so sassily refers to itself these days, the OMV.   It should really be called the OMG-I'm-going-to-kill-myself-the-next-time-I-have-to-visit-this-dreadful-place.  But I'm getting a little ahead of myself. 

The only reason I made the silly doctor's appointment in the first place was because I needed to get a prescription filled.  However, on the flip side, I figured it's a good idea to get a yearly check-up, and I always liked getting the emailed results from my previous doctor.  (i.e.  "Wow, I nailed my cholesterol test!" "Blood pressure is looking good again, chica - keep at that running!")  My previous doctor also used this online portal system thing from the future, so I could compare my weight, height, blood sugar, blood pressure, blood-y mary intake, etc. from 2011 to 2017.  It's reaffirming when you have a tough day to realize that you're bettering yourself every year physically, since my mind just goes to pot.

ALL THAT TO SAY....when I found this lady within my network and saw that she had raving yelp reviews, I figured I'd leave with a smile on my face, a prescription in my hand, and maybe even a pep in my step.  Are you sensing that didn't happen?  Smart cookie.

What I left with was a sore arm from an apparently past-due tetanus shot (based on the fact that she said you should have one every 10 years and making me feel like I should definitely get one today), a $30 co-pay from my ever-empty wallet, and NO FREAKING PRESCRIPTION.

"Just call us when you're ready to schedule that appointment, and we'll get you taken care of."

Umm...I did that...LAST TUESDAY. 

Sorry, dear reader, for all the yelling, but I explicitly said that I needed to make an appointment to get my prescription filled when I called and set this appointment.  But of course, being the non-confrontational Courtney that I am and always will be, I left disgruntled and tetanus-ified and vowed I would not be back. Ev-er.

As if that wan't enough fun, I journeyed to the ever-spirit-lifting OMV of New Orleans.  "You down with OMV, yeah you know me...."  sing on, my peeps.

I, again, begrudgingly made this visit versus taking care of business online because my license expires in 4 days (happy birthday to me!), I need to update my address (apparently you're supposed to do this within 10 days of moving to a new place (we're going on 346 days...not exaggerating)), and most importantly, because the fine state of Louisiana is moving to REAL ID's (I'm not yelling this time...this is what the website calls them) by 2020 where you have to have this special REAL ID gold star on your license in order to board a plane.

Naturally, seeing that I'm going to be jet-setting like a fool in 2020, I figured I'd go ahead and do myself a favor and not put it off like everyone else will until December 2019.  Apparently, 2020 is the year of travel for myself and others.

When I arrived, they gave me a printed number that said I had checked in at 2:15pm.

I was finally called at 4:11pm.

I was walking to my car with the REAL ID at 4:17pm.

It's too heartbreaking glamorous to describe in detail how it was sitting in the largest DMV OMV this side of the Mississippi with 58 million other miserable people and a loud speaker constantly going off with phrases like "NOW SERVING B119 AT WINDOW NUMBER 8.  NOW SERVING J024 AT WINDOW NUMBER 2.  NOW SERVING B119 AT WINDOW NUMBER 8. NOW SERVING B119 AT WINDOW NUMBER 8."

Not exaggerating (this time), some of those window clerks were trigger happy and called for their number no less than 4 times. 

Also, it should be noted that there were 25 windows, and a whopping 8 were open. 
Welcome to Wal-Mart.

To sum things up, I'll say that I'm glad I got a tetanus shot before my trip to the OMV.

*REAL ID members represent! peace out!*

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Sexy Laundry Talk


We share a washer and dryer with our upstairs neighbor and our side neighbor.  That second part only makes sense if you know how people sublet houses in New Orleans, but just trust me on this one.  In an effort to be a courteous, don't-hog-the-machines neighbor, we set a timer whenever we put in a load of laundry, first the washer then the dryer. Naturally.  I guess you could chose to do it the other way around if you'd like, but you're also probably one of those barbarians who pours the milk in the bowl and THEN adds the cereal.  I don't understand you or your heathen ways.

Anyway, we've painstakingly and scientifically narrowed down the fact that a load in each device takes approxmately 58 minutes.  I know you're thinking, "C'mon, you could just say 1 hour."  BUT as mentioned above - I strive with everything in me to be neighbor of the year.  Or really just to not piss someone off who I am guaranteed to encounter weekly, and I already do that awkward "hey" "hey!" "how are you?" "good! how are you?" (dear lord, it's NEVER taken my key this long to unlock the door...hurry....hurry you retarded piece of metal!)

Also sometimes you hate doing laundry on a weeknight or any night, so those extra 4 minutes really help you keep your wits about you when the laundry's keeping you from shuteye or just being a lazy blob on the couch.

Alllllllll that preface-ness to say, Nathan tossed some pants in the machine this afternoon and then proceeded to set the timer for 30 minutes.

Annnnnnnd action:

*Alarm goes off for laundry.*

C:  Wait, it's only been thirty minutes.  It's not done.

N:  I know, but I did a little load, so I put it on a shorter setting.
      I selected 'lightly soiled.'

C:  HAHAHA! So you're saying you only sharted in your pants instead of having full-blown diarrhea?

N:  (laughs, shakes head, rolls eyes, thinks "How did I marry this 14 year old boy?", leaves to go check and see if the pants are ready to be moved to the dryer)
 
N:  (walks back in 20 seconds later)

C:  What was the verdict?

N:  I realized I had to pee.  I haven't checked them yet.

C: HAHAHAHA!

Two peas in a pod.

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Updates at The Doge

What's new, pussycat?  We'll let's see....

This week wasn't too bad.  I feared a really hectic, really long week even though it was only four days, but it surprised me by only feeling like the four score and seven years ago one that it was!  We call that a win-win-win.


I feared the really hectic part because a lady at work who I had trained with for all of about seven minutes decided to up and jump ship.  She apparently notified the higher ups a few months ago that she was planning on retiring later this year, but no sooner than late August at the earliest.  I trained with her for a few minutes last week over a few days (but honestly it probably totaled no more than an hour) and she mentioned on a few occasions "I know it seems like a lot, but honestly, you'll get used to it as we train together over the next few months."

Surprise on Wednesday for all parties involved when she called me to see if I could come train with her for a few minutes because "I just submitted my resignation...effective immediately, so today's my last day."  My first reaction was "Who the $%^& pissed SueEllen* off?" 

Needless to say, we didn't even get to enjoy a farewell piece of cake.

Source
It's not a new job position for me, just quite a few more responsibilities to add to my current full list of responsibilities. ;)  But you know what they say, dress for the job you want, not the job you have you work your butt off for the job you want and hope that you don't remain forever in the job you have.

It's all good in the hood though.  Baby, we're in The Big Easy.  If something stresses you out, grab a mimosa at breakfast, followed by a Bloody Mary at lunch, and top it off with a few margaritas before bed.


In other news on the work front, I'm actually a nerd and am counting down to a work trip I'm taking next week.  So five work days this week, followed by three days of training in beautiful South Carolina, followed by just a measly two workdays before another weekend.  Ay bay bay!

I've never had to travel for work, so I'm a wee bit excited even though the days will hold morning to evening training all the day long.  I'm put up in a nice hotel (so I hear) and I'll get per diem (which is a concept I never truly understood until running multiple copies of truck driver's check stubs while working at The Firm...and I loathed it), so some good's gotta come out of this, right?? Another co-worker did warn me to prepare for flight delays and whatnot because nothing ever runs smoothly when The Doge is in control of your travel, but we'll just keep our fingers and toes and eyes crossed.

Time to put down the ole lappity toppity too to dive back into Mrs. Moriarty's latest gem, which will complete my list of sauntering through all of her fun-reads.  Let's hope she's hard at work, typing away on her lappity toppity too as we speak.

*name changed to protect the retired.

Monday, May 28, 2018

Weekend Wrap-Up: Memorial Day

(sorry for the length.  but then again not sorry because I'm detailed for future Courtney's sake.  This blog is my Allie Hamilton's notebook.)

This was a really good weekend.  Really good.  Like why do I go to work 8-5 every day of the week?  Why don't I weekend all the time?  Oh, because we need the money from said 8-5 in order to party live.

It should be noted that my weekend was nicely bookend-ed by a little thing I like to call Memorial Day on Monday, as well as a little thing I like to call annual leave on Friday.  Annual leave is synonymous with I don't have to wear a bra all day vacation day or much needed paid. time. off.

Friday:
I'm drawing a blank.  It's like when someone asks you what you had for dinner last night and you're like..."I know I ate..."  I'm pretty sure Friday encompassed a few episodes of What Not to Wear because the only season available on Amazon Prime is what consumes my life these days.  I know I didn't really sleep in (maybe 20 minutes past my normal wake-up time) because my body and mind and CAT are crazy like that, but the good thing about lackadaisical days is that you're like "Whatevs...I'll catch a nap whenever I want, betches!"  Speaking of which, this is an actual picture of the calendar on our fridge

Clearly, Sunday was not spent putting a slash through Saturday on the calendar.
I'm pretty sure we also went on two walks around City Park because we live a block away, it's huge and shady (in a good way), and we like to walk and talk.  Sexy, I know.

I'm pretty sure Friday was also filled with me fielding a lot of NOLA Alerts trying to work me up regarding sudden flash flood watches and warnings and thunderstorms and flooding from our good friend Tropical Storm Alberto, but it thundered and lightning-ed and rained for about 1 hour and that was that.  Dodged another home-wrecking whore flood living in Louisiana's Fish Bowl!  A to the men.
I won't reveal which area we're in, for privacy's sake, but let's just say it starts with a mid and ends
with a city. Comforting, right? Source
Saturday:
Nate and I ran that morning, and we came back looking like we'd been swimming in a fish bowl, so we cleaned ourselves up, proceeded to watch another episode of WNTW, and went about our normal Saturday duties (aka grocery list making, grocery shopping, grocery list eating, etc.), but with a nice "I still have two more days off, betches!" attitude.  Are you noticing a theme for this weekend?

Sunday:
Bright and early off to church (this is the one we're currently experimenting with.)  Y'all, we have been to like 5 or 6 churches so far - some warranting a second or third visit - since we moved here, and things can get a little cray in The Big Easy.  We'll go into that another time.  Or maybe me won't.  Anyway, we went to the early service and were out by 10:22, which was sa-weeeeet.  So we came home and ate lunch and napped and read.  I'm currently re-reading this because it was a fun read when I took Library Science at ole Luscious, but I had to get through 45 books in 10 weeks, so I wanted to revisit this Newberry Award Winner (<--- that's my library science-ness coming through).  Also, Nathan is reading it with me because he remembered it from his childhood, and we've never read through the same book at the same time together.  Except for the Bible, of course.  Of course.  And a Dave Barry book we took turns reading out loud, so I guess I should take back everything I just said.

The librarian was just a tad confused when he checked out two copies of the same book...hah!  Source
One of us finished the book today (no names, but it was me), and one of us is a fifth of the way in (no names...  ;).  He's been reading more programming books and computer science textbooks, but let's get real for a minute - - what's going to benefit us longer in the end?  Understanding material for a college class or a 5th-grade reading level mystery novel?

A little backstory for my next point - the BEST point - of Sunday.  Blue Bell released two ice cream flavors around the time we moved here in August/September called Bride's Cake and Groom's Cake.  Apparently everyone in the Greater New Orleans area went batshitcrazy over Bride's Cake and you couldn't find it anywhere, and when stores would get it, people would by beaucoups of gallons and it was MADNESS!  We got around to trying it at one point, and we're like "Yeah, that's alright."  But the Groom's Cake - HOLY MOLY!


This is the description:  Chocolate ice cream with chocolate cake pieces, chocolate-coated strawberry hearts, swirls of strawberry sauce, and chocolate icing.

Basically my dream come true.  Double whammy:  Nate loves it, too!

So we had quite a few scoops gallons back in September/October, and then it disappeared!  But guess what - the supermarket ninjas kept Bride's Cake around! Are you freaking kidding me????  Every time we would go to the grocery store, or any grocery store for that matter, we'd anxiously and hopefully check, but no dice.  We figured we'd have to wait forever (since stupid Bride's Cake appeared again a month ago with no Groom's Cake) or until September/October again.

Until....

We flippantly checked on Sunday, and lo and behold, there was our creamy, strawberry, chocolately goodness!  The grocery store came very close to having to clean up some adult poo on the ice cream aisle.

So Sunday night was spent in pure, utter bliss.  We also whipped up some other yummy treats in honor of our fallen heroes, and then we played a lot of Roller Coaster Tycoon and laughed a lot.  Oh and we watched Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom because we have a movie list going that we're trying to chisel away at.  We also watched Breach on Friday or Saturday.

And now to today...Monday, Memorial Day 2018:

No grills or frills, but a whole kitandkaboodle of fun nonetheless.  We went down to the French Quarter and walked around and took some ridiculous pictures.  We figured it was time to sight-see a bit, since we've only been living here...oh you know, NINE months!  That's not a baby hint, btw.  Unless it's a Groom's Cake baby, and then it's definitely a baby hint.

The aforementioned ridiculousness
So yeah...who knew I could type 5,000 words on an essay entitled "My Memorial Day Weekend: 2018" that included reading, WNTW, park walks and talks, and ice cream.  I aim to please, folks.

Sunday, May 27, 2018

The beat goes on

I used to avoid playing Taylor Swift in front of Nate, but since turning the dirty thirty 303 days ago, I've got this new-found attitude where I'm like "Man, fudge that snickerdoodle!  He needs to love me for me! (And my horrible taste in music!!)"

You can also insert the Spice Girls, 98 Degrees, Backstreet Boys, NSYNC, BBMak, LFO, (any 90's boy band), Britney, Christina (pre-Diiiirty era), etc. into the Don't-Play-In-Front-of-Nate-or-Quickly-Make-Up-An-Excuse-About-How-You-Need-To-Clean-Up-Your-Music-Library-When-It-Comes-On-Shuffle-On-a-Road-Trip list.

I know it's dumb, but it is what it is.  Anyway, I recently realized that I've been living under a rock and Tay's newest album isn't as hardcore as her heavy-eyeliner and snakes get-up, so I've given it a whirl via her official YouTube channel cause 1) music ain't cheap and we ain't exactly big-ballin' right now, and 2) I want to give credit where credit is due by listening on her station so her bank account grows by the pennies from Mr.Youtube as opposed to just a fan who ripped the song.  *end needless copyright/trademark/all rights reserved rant.*

I've realized this far in that this post is really pointless, but I guess I'm just documenting songs I've come across lately and loved and music I'm listening to right now so that I can look back in 5 years never and go "oh yeah!  So that's when I played that song into the ground."

For fun, I'm also including a very small note with each so that you know what's appropriate to play around your kids, your wife, and your husband, and everybody out here.

Or to not play around your husband because you're like 25-year old Courtney.

I Miss Those Days - by Bleachers - - - I stumbled across this because it randomly came on after I was playing some song on Youtube, and the video made me laugh, and then I fell in love.

Don't Take the Money - by Bleachers - - - (start it at 1:04 to start the song) Because when you find a good cardigan, you buy it in another color.

Anna Sun - Walk the Moon - - - They played that song "Shut Up and Dance" (I guess they probably wrote it, too...haha) and this came up on Pandora one morning and I freaking LOVE it right now!  Especially on the elliptical at the gym. Sorry for that visual.

IDGAF - by Dua Lipa - - - No idea how you say her name, also contains explicit language, as hinted by the title (but if you don't really use this language, you may not have picked up on that...but now you know).  This came on via Spotify shuffle while I was cleaning the bathroom, and I liked the flippant attitude it gave me towards the soapscum I was conquering.

Spirits - by Strumbellas - - accidental Youtube find via their recommendation (are you noticing a trend?), but I love it!  And Nathan plays it acoustically and I howl and try to mimic the lead vocalist.

Lumineers - too many to link, but I really like a lot of the titles with female names (Ophelia, Angela, Cleopatra) and Stubborn Love.  And Sleep on the Floor.  And Flapper Girl.  Okay, you get the picture.

Everything's Okay - by Lenka - - - Thanks to pandora being on at work....very quietly...and apparently needing a positive note that day.

Last but not least - Reputation (THE WHOLE ALBUM!!!!) by my bestie Tay.  I really like "Getaway Car," "So It Goes," and "This is Why We Can't Have Nice Things" right now.  But that's because I've played a few of the others into the ground and haven't made my way through these yet. 

Okay, listen. love. angel. music. baby  Dumb. haha

Saturday, May 26, 2018

A love that lasts

The other night....

Courtney:  Man, I'm hungry.

Nathan:  Let's eat something.

C:  I already brushed my teeth.

N:  So, let's get something anyway.

C:  ...no, cause I'm fat.  *pokes thigh to make it shake*

N:  That's okay, we're about to get thin. (implied in tone:  whether we like it or not because college is expensive and we're dwindling down our savings.)

C:  You're supposed to say "You're not fat."

Laughter ensued, but you'd better believe I'm storing this in my back pocket to bust out in a future argument.

Not really.    maybe. 

Happy Memorial Day weekend, folks!