Woman’s Words Wednesday – Hilarious, Honest, Happily Single, Holly

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“If there’s one thing that’s sadder than being single, it’s settling. And I refuse to do it.”

I first met Holly Ann Phillips when I was working at Abercrombie & Fitch and the abercrombie kids store in the Mall of Louisiana.

This had to be circa 2006/7. “Post Katrina”, as the time after August 2005 has been dubbed by NOLA peeps, I took a managerial job with the “model-y” clothing store in Shreveport. I had never really been a collar-popping, layer-centric type who wore the brand, but I was stuck in North LA because my City was flooded, I needed a J.O.B. STAT, and you had to have a college Degree to be a manager at A&F.

Yes I did it for the salary (teeny, tiny salary) and health insurance, but I also knew, if I was going to have a job on my resume that said “Manager” and was my first after graduating, I was going to make the most of it and excel, no matter the industry or location.

I became very good at managing, training, and styling the store which involved all the correct folding, placement and presentation of the merchandise, and dressing of the forms (mannequins without limbs), so much so that when there was a fire in the back of the Baton Rouge location, I was sent to help re-do the store. Impressed by the job I did the first go round, I was sent again one holiday season to help failing standards and quitting managers. That’s when I met one of my all-time favorite gingers!

Holly worked in the kids’ store and was as fiery and energetic as her hair would suggest. She was easy to talk to, spunky, good at her job and pleasant to be around. Holly and I would talk a lot about relationships and it surprises me in no way that she has become a professional writer and blogs about her relationship life.

At that time in my life I had made friends with a guy who was studying to be a brain surgeon. We had met and hung out in Shreveport, so when he went back to his hometown in B.R., and I found myself working a few weeks stint at the Abercrombie locations, we decided to hangout again. Mc-Very-Attractive would visit the mall on occasion and bring me treats like cookies. Holly and I would talk about him being the kind of guy who would make a good catch: handsome, great job, did nice things.

The good Doctor and I did not end up together, though we remain caring friends, and he is now married with children…

I tell this story to introduce my single sister Holly, but also to give a glimpse of just one of the many wonderful men who have come, and gone, in my life as I remain single. And over 30. And completely OK WITH IT!

I give this Wednesday’s Woman Words to the lovely Ms. Holly Ann Phillips because her blog today said a million things I have BEEN thinking and saying to people for a WHILE now. I love the life I have lead, the adventures I have had, the men I have loved, and hated, and wished for, and screamed about, and remain dedicated to a friendship with, and I wouldn’t trade it for a second of being settled because I settled.

Here’s  Holly to more pointedly and wittily explain:

 “I don’t think that’s a question I can answer,” I told her. “What if I don’t find someone?”

I’m single, stop asking why.

on The Bitter Lemon by Holly Ann Phillips

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The pictures were from the trip to Cancun I just returned from…I felt inspired by Holly’s post. How did Holly’s post make you feel readers? I’m highly interested. I’m sure she is too so comment here and leave her some feedback.

To my single readers, in the face of negativity or confusion from the coupled-crowd, brush it off and keep doing YOU! Celebrate your

Sexy Single Self

Flashback Friday – Belated Birthday Buddies

Happy Birthday February 18th!  

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My birthday was Wednesday and I wanted to share a birthday-buddies shout-out then, however with the craziness of Mardi Gras happening the day before (that’s right for those who figured it out, I had an Ash Wednesday birthday this year)  and the love of my friends and parents taking me for birthday dinners I decided to make this one a #fbf, if even a short one 😉

I’ve heard that one’s date of birth is no accident and that your self is molded by that date, so I dug deeper into my birth date and found a few fun facts and similarities:

  • A fact I was aware of, I share a birthday with Mary I Queen of England [1516]. Though not the most popular monarch (she was known as Bloody Mary) she was legitimate royalty born of Henry VIII and Queen Catherine of Aragon. Mary, like me, was a Catholic and briefly brought Catholicism back to England. Her sister Elizabeth (you’ve probably seen the movie) brought the Protestant church back when she reigned.
  • After the Southern states succeeded the Union with the election of Abraham Lincoln as President, the Confederate States of  America met on February 18, 1861 and decided Jefferson Davis would remain their President and officially be elected to his 6th term in November. I’m a proud American but certainly have a soft spot for all things Southern.
  • I like comedy & musical theatre, and so did two other birthday buddies, George Kennedy [1925] who starred in the comedy movie series Airplane and Naked Gun & my first childhood crush John Travolta [1954] star of the classic movie-musical Grease! Perhaps this is why I would play leads in comedic roles in college, be a part of an improvisational comic troupe, continue to be involved in musical theatre with children and love to make my friends laugh daily!
  • I also love reading and a favorite from childhood, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn was published in the United States on my bday in 1885. “I’ll be your Huckleberry” 
  • Another female royal, Princess Maria Christina of the Netherlands is a birthday buddy [1947] and has two things in common with me; she has crowns and an awesome Godfather.  Now while my “Paran” isn’t as famous as hers was (Winston Churchill!) and my crowns are pageant crowns, I still say, wining!
  • And perhaps my FAVE Queen and OFFICIAL birthday mate (both in 1982) is Courtney Act! This beautiful Aussie and fellow blonde, became a favorite contestant of mine when competing on Drag Race and tweeted me back this morning to confirm we were, in fact, born on the same day! I think I got FABULOCITY just by sharing the day with her!

Clearly February 18 was a special day in history, and if any of my readers also share this magical birthday with me and all these people & events, then a Very Happy (Belated) Birthday to You!

And if we don’t share a Birthday, I hope you let your research

Be Bolstered By your Birthday!


Inspired my birthday I shared a bit for my Poesy page:

The Third Three

32 years around the sun, today the start of another one. Count the heart-burst highs & scarring lows, impossible. Renewing progress of growth, unstoppable.

Fresh roads to be traveled. Mark their path in the lines near my eyes. Deepen them with smiles, wash them with sorrow.

32 years around the sun, today the start of another one. Count the desires of change, impossible. Renewing strength of forgiveness, unstoppable.

Friendships, some gorilla-gluing even tighter. Use this sun-trip to touch the ones held loosely by thousands of miles of heartstrings.

32 years around the sun, today the start of another one. Count the hours of conversing, impossible. Renewing support of empathy, unstoppable.

For love to manifest, there is a demand for hope. Scrape it from the deepest, pure places of my heart, collect it in silence on my knees.

32 years around the sun, today the start of another one. Count the lessons learned, impossible. Renewing breath of the moment, unstoppable.

Foto Friday – Clicks of Carnival

Oh well it’s Carnival Time & Everybody’s Feelin’ Fine

While the rest of the nation is sending out Valentines, shopping for chocolate and roses, or possibly caring that it’s President’s Day on Monday, many residents around Louisiana, especially here in The Big Easy of NOLA, are simply concerned about securing their spot for the next parade (Neutral Ground or Sidewalk Side? IT MATTERS), making sure they have a wristband for a restroom, getting their dresses or tuxes dry cleaned between Krewe Balls, and stocking up on booze and snacks for the route.

The Carnival season stretches from the Epiphany or Kings Day through Mardi Gras

The “big weekend” starts tonight and will run through Lundi Gras on Monday and Mardi Gras Tuesday, with the Super-Krewes rolling through the streets over the next few days. Here’s a look at my Mardi Gras happenings so far this season:

The Coronation Ball for Endymion

Endymion Coronation

Black Tie is a requirement at the balls

Endymion Coronation Float

The floats line the Convention Center for viewing

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Mardi Gras Traditions 

Traffic Selfie

The “waiting in traffic” selfie floods social media

Collectible & Bead

Porcelain collectible of a permanent float from Super-Krewe Bacchus & a vintage bead like the ones originally thrown in parades.

King Cake

King Cake is EVERYWHERE! Work, home, parades…

The Parades 

French Quarter

Decorated balconies & flags bring Carnival Spirit to the French Quarter

King Dewy

My sister and I with King “Dewy” Andoullie, King Barkus 2015. We marched in the parade as part of his escort!

Muses shoes

Catching the coveted shoes at the Krewe of Muses with my friend Lauren

“Throw me Somethin Mista!”

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This is just a small sampling from my Mardi Gras fun so far. Over the next few days I’ll be snapping many more in between hikes to different friends on the parade routes, shouting for the best blinky-throws, stuffing my face with king cake, and just generally enjoying one of the biggest parties in the world!

Laissez les bon temps rouler!

Merry Mardi Gras Mah Mates!!!

Thirsty Thursday: Pumpkin (spice) Perk Poser

Pumpkin Spice Latte…poster child for coffee posers?

Starbucks Latte

Recently I partook in an act I would consider innocuous to my “rep.” I ordered, and enjoyed I should point out, a Starbucks PSL.

Since its inception in 2003, the Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte has been fodder for both adoration and abhor-ation. Many, MANY blogs and articles have been written about it, some notable ones being:

My intentions with this post are not to add  much to the debate over whether enjoying a PSL (skinny, hold the whip) is good or bad, cool or uncool, “in” or “so passe’.” Truthfully, I’m more interested in the cult hysteria and discussion surrounding one, java-based drink and how it has come to represent a line-in-the-sand between acceptance or rejection of the mainstream. It’s an quirky occurrence to recall several scraps of information just from a beverage order…

It seems this flavored brew has come to represent all that is right and wrong with, not PSLjust Starbucks, but large coffee conglomerates, or, for that matter, conglomerate society. I’m sure the coffee realists had quite a field day with comparisons and explanations of the negatives in mainstream American society when one could (finally? sadly? obviously?)  get their franchise coffee (Starbucks) inside and while shopping in a big box store (Target). Again, I’m not here to debate right or wrong, but I will admit I was jazzed to be able to pick up a chai along with my E.L.F. Cosmetics and Market Pantry items.

As a New Orleanian I was raised on coffee milk (a blend of chicory coffee and lots of milk) at my grandfather’s table and remember the distinguished feeling of finally being allowed to enjoy a cafe-au-lait with the adults after dinner at a fine restaurant.

I respect true coffee experts’ pallets and discernment between various brands, brews and beverage preparations…I’m just not that sophisticated in my coffee drinking. I tend to go more with the “drink what you like” mentality.

I support the ideas of “Shop Local” and financially contributing to mom-n-pop establishments over large corporations. There is certainly something to be said for the feeling one can only get from a steamy, neighborhood coffee joint, most likely filled with notable and interesting characters (especially the ones in the Uptown area of New Orleans). To me, there is also something to be said for the exhilaration of receiving stars, points and perks with my perk! The loyalty/reward system usually only being offered by franchised coffee locations, however.

Lest we forget the big, franchised brands started as Original Starbucksjust another neighborhood shop down the street. I’ve been to the original Starbucks in Seattle, and I enjoyed checking it off my “touristy to-do” bucket list. I didn’t feel that I was visiting coffee mecca nor did I feel I was visiting the hell where “real” coffee goes to die. I imagine lobbyists on each side of the java debate would feel one of those ways.

The price argument is an interesting one as well.

Coffee pricing can be compared to wine pricing. There is a societal equivocation with the price and quality of wine, understood that, as the price of a bottle of wine goes up, so too should the quality and taste of the wine. The counter to that is the movement that says wine should be accessible and a $10 bottle could taste as complex and palatable as a $1000 bottle. Similar school’s of thought can be correlated to coffee pricing. Upwards of $8 for a beverage is justifiable for the quality of the ingredients, time spent crafting it, taste output, etc.. But why spend that much on a beverage we make so readily at home for considerably cheaper? -or- If you’re going to spend that much, spend it at a neighborhood establishment.

So the argument goes, and goes, and goes…

For me, I will continue to get my PSL and other frothy beverages from Starbucks and continue to justify my purchases based on my points system. Points from credit card purchases get turned into a Starbucks gift card which earns me points with each now “free” beverage which, in turn, leads to more free beverages. (Nice huh?)PSL Latte I will also feel comfortable knowing that, when my purchases don’t come from a mom-n-pop owned coffee shop, I’m still supporting the job of the barista behind the bar at the Starbucks I frequent, or at the one in the airport I just found. I will enjoy their service because, frankly, they are always so nice! Seriously, 90(+)% of the time they are infectiously nice. Perhaps it’s because that’s part of the hiring process and a standard for the Starbucks brand. Another positive hashmark on the side of  the big-box-brewer.

So it looks like, for now, I will remain a

Pumpkin Spice Perk Poser

…Proudly? well let’s just say Purposefully 😉 

 

What side of the coffee line do YOU sit on, dear readers? Would you proudly, or indifferently for that matter, walk around with a PSL on your green and white cup? Do you prefer your local java spot because the barista knows your order, or how to make latte foam leaves? I would LOVE to know your thoughts.

 

& for the record, while I like a PSL, my prefered Fall hot bev is:

Hot Chai

  • no water
  • skim milk
  • add Pumpkin Spice
  • hold the whip

It’s a bit sweet, but good & punchy. Try it if you like spice, you’ll thank me!

Women’s Words Wednesday – Battling the Breast Bomb

10176194_10203967596003305_5942656178842187111_nIt’s October 1st which means it’s time to Think Pink, Go Pink, Touch our Ta-Tas, Save Second Base…

Kenner Ribbon

Employees of Kenner City Hall Photo: Barry Sprague

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We started a month long fundraising campaign today at my work; making a giant pink ribbon out of employees, donning our pink shirts and raising almost $2,000 for Making Strides Against Breast Cancer in only one day! It was…well it was inspiring.

 

More inspiring still…the women who were there that were quietly cancer survivors, or relatives of cancer survivors, or friends of cancer survivors. My grandparents and relatives have survived and died of cancers but that’s another time, another post. Today’s words belong to the women who have endured, who have fought and lived, who have believed at the end of hope’s road. This post is their testimony.

 

A few of the favorites I found:

 

When you’re told:

Sheryl Crow

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dr. Seuss

OK, technically a guy, but a worthwhile message.

When you’re in it: Melissa Ethridge

When wisdom comes from the funniest people and humor from the strangest places:

Christina Applegate Gilda Radner

Your triumphs: Robin Roberts
Olivia Newton John Giuliana Rancic

When it’s your loved ones:

Cynthia Nixon

The only women, and men who can understand the fight with breast cancer, or any cancer, are the ones who have gone through it and the ones who have loved someone who has. There are so many wonderful, inspirational quotes, memes, songs, or speeches that you may read or hear this month and a dozen or more ways to locally donate and volunteer. I suggest starting with finding a breast cancer survivor or supporter and hearing what they have to say. See where that conversation takes you.

And, please dear readers, start this month and

Brush up on Boobies!  

A helpful guide to self breast exams!

Bonus read: Sometimes it’s not a shared fight. Sometimes Breast Cancer creates silent suffering. Read Not Another Tall Blog ‘s poignant post about her mother’s decision to keep her cancer a secret.

Woman’s Words Wednesday – Audrey Hepburn

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Iconic. Enduring. Outspoken. Audrey!

For this second installment of WWW I am sharing the words of a woman who grew from an ingenue to a fashion icon to a humanitarian, Audrey Hepburn. Many of her most famous quotes are clever but thought provoking.

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The first quote to share, a personal favorite, is cheeky and wonderful all at the same time. I’m right there with Hepburn in her love for pink (pink nails are clicking the keys as I type), laughter as a legitimate fitness routine and smooching as a legitimate pastime! The playful quote goes on with words of empowerment and encouragement. It runs the full gambit, just like Hepburn.

 

 

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If Hepburn were alive today I think she would take a #NoMakeup selfie and use this quote on her Instagram feed. She may add the hastag #Eliza to reference one of her most famous roles (and her best in my eyes) in My Fair Lady. Hepburn’s  character  is seen as gorgeous after transforming her image and speech, but in the end it’s her spitfire spirit that wins over the hearts of those around her. It’s her true-self shinning through that makes her the most unforgettable.

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With today’s voyeuristic tendencies towards sharing images online and the difficulties of online and in-person bullying facing them, I believe many young women could benefit from Hepburn’s words.

 

In this quote, Hepburn again references real beauty coming not from the airs we put on, but the grace we put out.

 

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Hepburn did not just talk-the-talk, she also walked-the-walk and used her celebrity to encourage others to do so as well, becoming  a special ambassador to the United Nations UNICEF fund. Through her work, Hepburn aided children in  Latin America and Africa from 1988-1993.

 

As Hepburn’s words inspire us to, live a life full of love; love for yourself, love for others and love for the world beyond your own.

Wishing Women a Wonderful Wednesday!

 

 

 

The cosmopolitan humanitarian born Audrey Kathleen Ruston passed away on January 20, 1993 in Tolochnaz, Switzerland. (Her IMDb bio)

Woman’s Words Wednesday – Lauren Bacall

I had a completely different woman and words planned for this first WWW but with the passing of a lady I’ve heard described as “The greatest dame of the Hollywood Dames”, I felt it only fitting to share the words of the incomparable  Lauren Bacall.

At the young age of 19 she held her first leading role opposite her future first-husband, Humphrey Bogart in To Have and Have Not. They would go on to make several more film noir style movies together, for which her husky voice and stunning features were perfect.

Growing up a “theatre person” I have always been fascinated with the overly dramatized acting and impeccable lighting of  film noir style movies. Bacall’s features may have been captured in black-and-white but her jaw was sharp, her lips were full and her fiery spirit shone out of expertly lit eyes, zoomed in on and framed tightly by the adoring film directors of the 40’s.

 

 

 

This first quote of Bacall’s I fell in love with for its way of challenging us as women. We spend immeasurable amounts of time, money and attention on the appearances of our faces.  (Heck, it’s one of the main topics I will address in this blog.) Bacall’s quote touches on the importance of aging gracefully. The lines on our face are said to be the road map of where we’ve been and how we got to this point in our lives. I love that Bacall praises that and encourages us to as well.

 

 

 

 

 

And because she was such an iconic leading lady of the Golden Age of film, Bacall get two quotes on today’s post. This second quote, a call for us to remember that failure is not loosing, but rather not trying.

 

 

 

So love the face that reflects your journey and the fights you fought to get to this day!

Wishing Women a Wonderful Wednesday!

 

The beauty born Betty Joan Perske passed away yesterday, August 12, 2014 at age 89. (Her IMDb bio)