Joie d’Eve

The Need for 'Pede

I’ve seen only eight of the movies in the American Film Institute’s Top 100 list. I have absolutely no excuse for this. As Tim McNally noted yesterday, everyone has his or her passions, and movies just aren’t one of mine.…

Frustration and Justification

I still remember that night late last year. It was mid-December, the night of New Orleans Magazine’s Best of Dining party at Muriel’s, and the Saints had just eked out a last-minute win against Atlanta, making them 13-0. My friend…

All Dressed in White

Because my mom worked at the Contemporary Arts Center when I was a kid, I'm sure I must have attended a lot of White Linen Nights when I was young, but it kind of blurs with a lot of other…

Where the Heart Is

I’ve already confessed to being a country fan, so it should come as no surprise that Miranda Lambert’s “The House That Built Me” has been stuck in my head a lot lately. The song is about a woman returning to…

A Mid-Year's Resolution

Generally, kids’ birthday parties are not my favorite way to spend a Saturday or Sunday afternoon. The venues are loud, the food is lousy, the cake is overfrosted, and the kids go home with goody bags of crap and about…

Heat Wave

I hate writing about the weather. It’s such a cop-out. But good Lord, it’s hot outside. I know there are things to say, big things. There’s the oil disaster and Mel Gibson and David Vitter and crime and corruption and…

Food for Thought

After my blog last week, I got an e-mail –– a very nice, respectful e-mail –– from a woman who felt hurt by my resistance to feed my daughter formula. I wrote her back, but I’d like to clarify here,…

True Confessions

In the interest of both sharing and hot-weather-holiday-weekend-induced laziness, I bring you a blog post of bullet points concerning some of my guilty little secrets.• I love modern country music. I don’t just love it; I turn it up, I…

The Greatest Show on Earth

In the fall and winter and spring, I was a much better mother. We went to the playground, we took long walks around the neighborhood identifying the blue-and-white letter tiles that spelled out street names, we played elaborate games of…

A Fitting Goodbye

In the days when my sister’s health was first starting to fail, we constantly urged her to move back to New Orleans from her home in Shalimar, Fla. “Think of the muffulettas,” we said, knowing her weakness for food. “Think…

Ashley, as Ashes

In searching for pictures for my sister’s memorial service tomorrow, I’ve come across a lot of old baby pictures of myself. Out of the pure vanity of biological parenthood, I can’t help but compare them to baby pictures of Ruby:…

And Now for Something Completely Different

After last week’s blog, a friend of mine with a particularly dark sense of humor wrote me and said, “Wow. You’re going to have to spend the next five blogs discussing bunnies and the cute bunny things they do to…

The Best I Can Do

“Say do you remember … dancing in September … never was a cloudy day … say do you remember … dancing in September … golden dreams were shiny days.”––Earth, Wind & FireI keep trying to write something about cute things…

It Runs in the Family

My darling daughter is making her debut this weekend –– dancing on the Kids’ Stage at the Bayou Boogaloo. As I told Ian McNulty when he submitted this week’s blog on the Boogaloo: “I have no real expectations for this.…

A Sucker for Seersucker

“Don’t call what you’re wearin’ an outfit; don’t ever say your car is broke. Don’t worry ‘bout losin’ your accent: A Southern man tells better jokes.”––Jason Isbell, “Outfit”

I’ve never been a clothes person. Fashion is like geometry to me: I…

The Convention Dimension

I had the chance yesterday to talk to the members of the Fraternity Communications Association, which was holding its annual conference here. I very much enjoyed meeting a bunch of fellow editors (i.e., grammar nerds) and talking to them about…

A Whole New World

My friend Jordan and I were college roommates and stood up in each other’s weddings. We used to send each other texts like, “OMG, I’m sooo hungover” and “Last night was crazy, LOL.” And then I got pregnant and had…

Rest After the Fest

I don’t even know where to start in describing Vera, except to say that she is the quintessential New Orleanian and that our friendship is quintessentially New Orleanian: We went to preschool together, met up again in high school and…

Treme-tized

I still can’t eat pound cake. Such an innocuous food, right? Who could object to pound cake? But one day at Sam’s Club, I mindlessly picked up a sample, a little pasty half-frozen morsel of Sara Lee Pound Cake on…

Photographs and Memories of Jazz Fests Past

My high school sweetheart’s mother loved –– and presumably still loves –– Christmas more than anyone I’ve ever known. Starting just after Halloween, she’d set out Santa candles and mangers and ceramic elves and hand towels emblazoned with holly wreaths.…

Free to Be ... You and Me

When you live in a wonderful city such as this, you have certain responsibilities, and the main one is hospitality. As such, friends across the country know that my door is more or less open to them at all times.…

Living My Dream

The Princess and the Frog came out on DVD on Tuesday, and I’ve seen it something like 8 million times since then. “I love Tiana,” my daughter declares repeatedly. “She lives in New Orleans like me.”I fought against Disney princesses…

Cooking Lessons

There are not many moments in my daily life that are sitcom-perfect, but last Sunday was one of them. The weather was finally, blessedly, gorgeous, and my husband and daughter were outside planting sweet olive and jasmine, making my backyard…

Tourist Trap

I didn’t travel all that extensively as a child. There was a trip to visit my grandfather in Milwaukee when I was 4, the only thing about which I now remember is that my step-grandmother made me a snack of…

Ashes to Ashes

As much as I love the frenzied energy and unbridled joy of “Mardi Gras Mambo” and “Carnival Time,” one of my favorite songs of the season is Anders Osborne’s “Ash Wednesday Blues.” The slow, sad, sleepy feeling of the song…

Take Me to the River

Beyond the fact that I’m a Virgo, I don’t know much about astrology, but I know enough to know that Virgo is an earth sign. If I knew more, maybe I’d know whether my intense attraction to water was a…

A Tale of Two Toasts

It was dawn on Oct. 5, 2005. My husband, Jamie, and our friend Nick and I had been driving since 6 p.m. the night before. Knowing that my ’88 Chevy Nova didn’t have a chance of making it from Columbia,…

I Love a Parade!

I’ve been a part of winning teams before. Although they were never my team in the same way the Saints are, the St. Louis Rams won the Super Bowl in 2000, and it was hard not to be excited, being…

For Who Dats Gone Too Soon

I know this is going to be shocking coming from someone with enough nerd cred to have gotten a semicolon tattoo (right hip, and if I haven’t shown you yet, it’s only a matter of time), but I really wasn’t…

A Happy Homecoming

Jan. 21, 2008, 6 a.m., my in-laws’ driveway, suburban St. Louis: I packed the last few boxes in the trunk of my Honda Civic, loaded the dog in the backseat and got behind the wheel. It was 7 degrees and…