Buckle up, it's going to be a bumpy ride cheres!

Calla Lilies to Cala Cakes - Buckle Up, Chere - It's Gonna Be A Bumpy (but fun) Ride!

Friday, May 27, 2011

New Broadway Musical: Purge-y and Mess

Just over a week into Operation: Get It The Hell Out Of The Apartment.

Now, all but one of the bookcases are spoken for, as well as the storage unit that is currently my (way underused) bar. And the locker-looking storage unit is claimed. (granted the dining table/stools, the craft table, the t.v. stand and chair & ottoman frame are still available...)

The art supplies I culled have gone to their new home w/my friend who is an art teacher. The cake goodies I parted with have gone to one of my former cake club buddies.

Slowly, slowly...things are being culled/purged/redistributed to new owners, thrown out or packed and put in storage. :)

This is really happening! :) I'm looking forward to this so much. I have several job possibilities that I'll look into further when I'm there. The cats are (for now) loving hanging out in their carriers...which may well change on 'go day'... But for now...

Okay - time for dinner and back to purging and packing. Toodles!
(edited to add product left for sale - if interested, please let me know)

Saturday, May 21, 2011

The Big Store...

No, not the Marx Brothers' movie... I have secured a storage room for 12 months!
Was looking for a 5x10, but scored a 5x15 for the same price that lays out MUCH better. :)

Two boxes of books went in today. Lots more boxes to load up. Stuff to sell, books to essentially give to Half-Price. I'm taking a nice box load of cake stuff to one of my former cake club friends tomorrow. :) Then I'm hoping to meet up w/my friend Lauren some time this week and give her the 'mutha lode' of art supplies.

I bought two new cat carriers (kennels, not the cardboard ones) for the pending road trip. So far, GrisGris is smitten w/hers. I need to bring the second one in and assemble it for Amelie. I may see about loading them up next weekend and driving around (no, I won't be leaving them in the car unattended!). And repeat as much as I can before 'the trip'. Hoping they can learn to not be SOOOOO freaked out.

This week I'll be taking a couple of boxes (maybe more, wish there was a discount for multiples...LOL!) to ship to Sherman Oaks. Right now, little artworks/pictures. Next, kitchen goodies and art supplies and cake stuff. Maybe some very carefully wrapped appliances.

I created a list of the furniture I have to sell - and I hope to high whatever that it all sells for close to what I'm asking for them.

There's that painting I want to sell, too - one of my bosses might have some friends that want it. If I can get close to what the original price is...woot!

Sunday is "the Day" where I officially let my family know - I'm moving. Dan's mom is tickled, his brother is bummed (apparently thought Dan would be moving this way...).

My lil' Nola Rouge is going to be getting new tires soon. Which reminds me, I'll need to ask about if I can replace my fuel filter myself or if I'll have to have the guys at the shop do it...I don't want to pay someone else if I can do it just as well myself. I also need new wiper blades.

I wonder what it will be like living w/o thunderstorms (for the most part)? Granted the temperatures are lower and the humidity is much less in L.A.. :)
Anything is bearable if I can be hanging w/my Boo.

Okay...what, about 26 days? I have to get the stuff I want out, gone, the stuff I want to keep stored and the stuff I'm keeping and using packed.

Monday, May 16, 2011

I'll Know What It Means...

To miss New Orleans. I'll probably have a 5 month hiatus what with the move. But here's the "for now" Last Hurrah weekend summed up:

Pic Link first... :) (let me know if it doesn't work...)

I arrived on Friday, mid-day. Dropped off my stuff at my friends' house in the Irish Channel. Drove over and met my groovy friend Roberta at my hosts' restaurant "J'Anita's". My friends were sadly not on duty, so the guy cooking did something w/the lamb chops that rendered them looking like they were glazed in Dimetapp. The cheese grits were good, though. (the lamb wasn't bad, just nowhere in the realm of as dreamy when Craig makes them)

I then went back to the house, freshened up and walked up to the St. Charles streetcar. Once I hit the French Quarter, I went to my friend Peter's shop on Jackson Square. I walked up to the Riverwalk and looked at the decidedly swollen Mighty Mississip' and watched as the steamboat "Natchez" headed back upriver. Then I see the "Creole Queen" initially on "Natchez"'s heels...but then as she hits the eddies mid-river...apparently started sliding sideways!?! Once she got across them she started moving forward but w/great effort.

Just as I was about to head back down the steps towards Jackson Square again, I see the Algiers Ferry leave from the West Bank. It (I kid you not) SHOOTS downriver like it is jet propelled! But, no - it's just caught in the current. As it hits the bend, struggles across the eddies like the "Creole Queen" but the captain is steering for all he/she is worth, because the vessel makes a HARD left and then slowly pulsed upriver towards the New Orleans dock.

From there, I went on through the French Quarter, taking pictures. I stopped in at Molly's At The Market for a much needed "Frozen Irish Coffee" and sip it on my way over to Buffa's. Now, my main destination was to be at the Pitot House around 5 for the "Vino on the Bayou" event and I didn't have much time to hang out at Buffa's. So, I sipped a rum & Coke while watching the last 15 minutes of "Purple Rain" and said my farewells and wandered up Esplanade across Rampart to wait for the bus.

And "wait" I did...I thought the thing would never show. Finally, it lumbered into view and I boarded. I got out at Grand Route St. John and walked over to Bayou St. John and up to the Pitot House. That house is so amazing, despite the heat of late afternoon, the way the old house is designed, it caught the air and it cooled us w/o any electricity and definitely no HVAC. I didn't get pics, but I have some snagged some from one of my trips earlier this year. I sampled the wines on offer, fell into a funny conversation w/a lady named Ronda and we talked the evening away.

As it wound down, I drifted down the Bayou to my friend Roberta's house. As it faces the bayou, we attempted to sit on the porch, but the streetlight that was in front of the place was attracting every blankety-blank Formosan termite it could. We kept getting swarmed and bolted inside.

We talked about MUSES stuff, general stuff and my impending move to California. Then she was a sweetie and offered me a ride back to Kimmie & Craig's house. I happily accepted.

Saturday, I treated myself to a somewhat lavish breakfast at Gott Gourmet over on Magazine Street. I had the "Chicken & Biscuits" offering. Chicken breast on homemade biscuits w/a gravy made w/Portobello mushrooms, caramalized onions and Creole Country sausage - and topped w/2 fried eggs! It was far too much food for me, despite my appetite. It was very good. From there I hit a few shops for things I wanted to have from NOLA. Then I went to the streetcar again and went back to the French Quarter.

I splurged at the Louisiana Music Factory. Then I went to check on the river again. And as I was approaching, the calliope on the "Natchez" was going full-tilt. It was so neat and it made me teary-eyed w/the utter NOLA-ness of the moment. I listened awhile, took pics and then headed to the Square again. As I crossed Decatur, I hear St. Louis' carillon in a celebrational arrangement and I went into the park and saw a wedding group getting pics done - but not some fussy-type group - just some stylin' folks and the bride in a white funky dress and SHRIMP BOOTS! SO New Orleans! The bells weren't for her, though - there was a very large wedding that had just wrapped up and was exiting the cathedral. I'm a geek for church bells despite my not-big-on-organized-religion-self, so hearing them was really cool, I got all emo again. (What can I say, I'm SUCH a Cancerian)

I went in to the Presbytere that's to the right of the cathedral (as you face it) - they had an exhibit about the flooding and Hurricane Katrina. It was heart-rending and yet from an exhibit-design standpoint - it was beautifully and touchingly executed.

From there I be-bopped around and sadly realized my other friend's restaurant the Louisiana Bistro didn't open until dinner service...at which time I already had plans to be w/my friends at the Geek Dinner. So, I walked over to ACME Oyster House for some chargrilled oysters and some "Boo Fries" and an Abita.

I grabbed the very crowded streetcar back to Third Street and freshened up again and went and picked up my friend Julie to head to the Geek Dinner. Now, the "Geek Dinner" is an event my friends started a few years back that was for the various New Orleans bloggers to get together in real life to have fun. This was my first one to attend, as usually they are on a weekend I'm not here.

My offering for the dinner was sugar cookies I made in the shape of a fleur de lis and decorated w/fondant and royal icing. All manner of really delicious food was brought. Lots of socializing and laughter going on. Some folks were meeting in person for the first time. And yet, it was like 'old home week'. :)

Having walked around all day and that I was driving I had one Abita Amber early and drank water the rest of the night. I ran Julie home and came here and crashed for the night.

Sunday morning, I finally got moving around 10 and drove around to Prytania Street and Seventh and parked my car. I walked about 7 blocks to a restaurant named "Coulis" and had some really upscale French toast. I walked back past my car and up to St. Charles and Jackson Street to wait for the "Divine Ladies" Social Aid & Pleasure Club's Second Line. I had never participated in a proper Sunday Second Line. A small-framed guy in baggy, sport-type clothing was snaking past me and politely whispered, "I have some good weed...?"! LOL! I politely declined.

The Second Line got started and the Hot 8 Brass Band was playing for the Ladies. They were attired in turquoise & white and there were gorgeous giant feathered fans in matching turquoise. The whole mass moved down St. Charles and we were all dancing to the beat. I tried to make sure my purse didn't go astray (finally went 'bandolero' w/it and didn't have to worry about it whacking anyone anymore) and I was trying to capture the Second Line feeling on my camera, but I was dancing, too. One of my friends, Darryl Young, actually teaches an exercise class that is derived from Second Line dancing - I'm so going to take that class in the future!

I had to break out of the happy and gyrating crowd about 6 or 7 blocks in in order to get to the Krewe of Muses theme/design meeting. I could have easily gone on w/the Second Line - it was so neat.

I arrived at Virginia's way cool home on Napoleon right on time. She's one of the founders of the Krewe. There were tea sandwiches and wine and daiquiris aplenty. After everyone arrived, she announced the theme and we broke into brainstorming groups. I am so tickled - lots of folks loved my ideas, and I think at least one of them will end up being a float! :) The theme is still a secret, so I can't divulge my ideas.

From there I went back to J'Anita's to have a late lunch/early dinner of the lamb chops & grits again - this time Craig was in the kitchen and they were divine.

Back at the house, we watched "Treme'" - another stellar episode!

Now, I'm about to go pack up and head back to Houston.

I'm really going to miss being w/in a 5 hour drive of New Orleans...but, I'll be able to see my Boo on a daily basis and I'll put some NOLA in the apartment, so until we can move to New Orleans in the net year, I will happily deal.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

I'll Admit It - Yeah, I'm Frakkin' Worried

I'm planning on driving to New Orleans this weekend. Kind of my 'last hurrah' for a while, what with the pending move to Los Angeles.
Well, the flooding upriver on the Mighty Mississip' is starting to cause me some worry.
Sure, I may be borrowing trouble, but then again - I come from a long line of "Worrier Queens".
From all the input I've received, this weekend should be fine even though the water seems to be but a spilled Hurricane's quantity away from washing over the Riverwalk. Here's hoping they've made all of the stretch of the Mississippi a 'no wake zone' for now. :(
I've been bad, being so torqued about what can easily happen if the levees failed again, I didn't bake the cookies. Not being a pessimist, I just don't want to put my fearful energies into the cookie dough. I'll do something for my wonderful hosts while I'm there and for the Geek Dinner, I'll track down some good cookies or whatnot somewhere.
It will be probably a week before the situation (if they don't open the Morganza Spillway soon) possibly deteriorates, so traveling to and from shouldn't be a problem.
I'll keep an eye on the news and what my in-NOLA Peeps are saying. Can't say that I trust the USACE further than I can spit on them (and that isn't far at all). Which is where my worry comes from.
I have to get the oil changed in Nola Rouge, and top off the tank tomorrow after work. Then pack the clothing for the trip. Who knows maybe I'll even run through the cookies afterall. Bake 'em off and then take the stuff and decorate them on-site?
I'm a spaz, but y'all knew that.
FWIW, I was also perusing my storage unit options here in HOU and making sure the stuff I want to keep but not take to LACA can fit until I free it to move to NOLA in the 8-10/12 months. So far, looks like it will work! :)

Okay, it's getting late. Y'all have a great night...stay safe.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Resume' away!

Sent my revised/tailored resume' off to a company based in LACA that I worked for looong ago. Thankfully, I enjoyed my time (save a certain district manager) working there. Learned a LOT about product knowledge, keeping a clean store, customer service. :)
Still looking for other places, and going to keep my job options open once I'm there. Going to finally get my website ironed out and send that link to some of the bakeries maybe even some of the wardrobe folks. Hey, it's L.A. - land of fantasy and movie magic. ;)
Here's hoping I hear something good soon...I want to give my notice here... Or maybe I should go ahead and tell the apt I'm out - and then the job and bolt at the beginning of June?
Hmmm...things to think about.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Alrighty...No Secrets per se on Mother's Day

But first - a very hearty and warm "Happy Mother's Day" to all of my friends who are, or fill in for Moms. May your day be full of love and extra appreciation!

Okay, here goes:

After the Mother's Day gifting was complete and we were at the yummy Italian restaurant having lunch and we were all (save my brother) tucked into our first glass of wine...I did it, I broached the idea to my family that I may be relocating to Los Angeles for a while.
Sure, maybe it was the coward's way out to bring it up mid-glass of red, but hey - I didn't get sprayed w/it nor did she down the remainder in one fell swoop! :)
She's concerned, understandably - given the mistake of 5 years ago, but then again, that guy was a card-carrying a-hole who was really only using my good rental history to get a better place to live w/his kids - he just hadn't told ME. Live and learn. I have scars, but other than not having looked my Boo up (not realizing what a STELLAR fella he is notwithstanding) years earlier - no regrets. Big lessons learned. But she seemed not freaked out by the idea.
She did mention one 'typical mother concern' over her daughter moving in w/a guy so far away...but I waved her off. That's between my Boo and myself to discuss, when we decide.
The Dude has his own place, and is wanting to share it w/me and our four cats (two apiece) for the remainder of his California stint.
I have only ever lived in Houston (as an adult). Going to L.A. for a not-indefinite time will be really neat. We have friends w/in reach a 7-8 hour train/bus trip that costs less round-trip than one way in gas - and would allow for a more "Thin Man" mode of travel...LOL. Which would put us damned close to San Francisco while visiting them. :)
Okay, it's time to waddle off to my good friend's house to catch up on "Treme'" and what the night will allow of "The Borgias" and "Game of Thrones"...those two may have to wait...but then, I am going to New Orleans this coming weekend...maybe just catch up on Treme' and one or the other tonight. This full tummeh is making me very sleepy. :)
Toodles, er, "Ciao!" or whatever they say in LA-LA Land. ;)