I hope everyone had a very happy Halloween. For me, I think my plan from the beginning of October to chill the hell out about everything helped me to relax and really sit back and enjoy the holiday. For my decorations around the house I just painted some little pumpkins and made some Harry Potter-style "potions" out of old wine bottles. For a special drink I heated up some spicy apple cider and added a healthy splash of bourbon, and for halloween food, I did nothing. I had some leftover tortilla soup. Martha would be so disappointed in me.


And the costume? I was a "Día de los Meurtos" chica.


This is me and my friend Michelle at the Mid City Yacht Club on Saturday for the Buckeye/Wisconsin homecoming game. The place was filled with costumed Midwesterners – tons of Buckeye fans and a few Wisconsin people as well. There were brats (because, hello, Wisconsin), barbecue  and the best football game I've seen in a long time.

I also had some friends in town who went to Voodoo Fest and, while showing them around on Sunday night, I realized how accustomed I've gotten to certain things that are very "New Orleans." But on the other side, there are still some customs that I will never abandon, no matter how long I live here. For instance, visitors are usually amazed that you can walk down the street with a beer in your hand and that at every bar around here, you can just get a "go cup" if you want to move on. I've grown pretty accustomed to this practice, considering that in my neighborhood walking is the preferred mode of transportation. But on the flipside, I will never get used to drive-through daiquiri stands.

And then there is language, which is something we hear a lot about around these parts as I work with a lot of editors and writers. There are some things people say down here that is very "New Orleans" that I've picked up and say without thinking. And then there are other things that will probably never leave me. Such as:

• You guys/y'all

I have picked up on saying "y'all" because I think it's a lot of fun, but I definitely still say "you guys" for the most part.

• Pop/Drink/Coke


I'll definitely always say "pop." People laugh at me sometimes when I say it, but it's seared into my brain. I've gotten my southern fiancé to start saying it too, but I think it's more that he's making fun of me than anything else. He'll say, "So do we need to get more POP from the store? I think we definitely need some more POP."

• Dude


I'm not really sure if this is something we say a lot in Ohio or if people say it everywhere or even why anyone says it at all, but I'm addicted to "dude." I call everyone "dude." One of my close friends Jenny, who I work with, is also from Ohio and after hanging out with both of us for the first time my fiancé told me, "y'all sure do say 'dude' a lot." I will probably always say it. Even when I'm 80, I'll be calling my grandchildren "dudes." Maybe I watched Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead and the Bill & Ted movies too much as a kid, I don't know.

• Cart/Buggy/Basket

It will always be a grocery cart to me. No buggies. No baskets.

• outSIDE/OUTside

People in New Orleans put an emphasis on the first syllable on words like "outside" or "inside" ("I want to go outside"). People back home put the emphasis on the second syllable ("I want to go outside"). I think I'm too conscious of this sometimes because I'll think about it too much and trip myself up and end up saying  "I want to go OUTSIDE." And then people will be like … okay, geez … go outside then.

• Be there at 8/Be there for 8

When making plans in New Orleans, most people will say something like, "I'll be there for 8 o'clock." I've definitely caught myself doing this several times because I live with a native and it's how he says this kind of stuff. Though when I'm around Ohio people, I'll go right back to saying, "See you at 8!"

• Come here/Come see

I'm used to saying "come here," but I think I actually like "come see" a little better. It just sounds less demanding for some reason.

Making groceries

I've only heard this a few times around here, and only when someone is talking about "New Orleans" phrases, so I'm beginning to think it's more of an urban legend. Do people really say "making groceries" for when they go to the store? This is probably just me, but I always thought it sounded a little dirty. But that might be because deep down I'm still about 12 years old.

• Oil/Foil/Boil

People will say this stuff with an "erl" for some reason. We're having a crawfish berl! What a crazy erl spill that was! It kind of reminds me of how my grandma would say "warsh" instead of "wash."

So am I missing anything? What are some differences that you might have noticed?