Monday, March 31, 2008

For My Fellow Friends of the Bottle

The first quarter of 2008 was full of binge drinking for me: New Years, LSU's National Championship Victory, Post Houston Marathon Party, Super Bowl, Mardi Gras, Sunday Funday's, kickball rainouts, PARIS, any event involving the video game Rockband, relationship drama and other forms of unnecessary stress.

So 2Q08 is off to a new start for me....I started yoga and I love it ( Joy is the owner and an ex-engineer who promotes fitness, wellbeing, and living stressfree..fantastic), I'm going to cutback on the binge drinking considerably (no worries Jazz Fest companions...I said considerably, not completely), and I'll start my marathon training in the next couple of months!

I did find this article for those of us who find ourselves sitting around the table on Saturday/Sunday afternoons saying one or more of the following:
  • "Gawd, my head is pounding"
  • "Bloody Mary please"
  • "I'm never drinking that much AGAIN...and I mean it this time"
  • "Should I get a burger, pizza, or fried chicken fingers to settle my stomach?"
  • "Ugh"
  • "How did I get that wine stain all over my shorts?"
  • "I can feel my pulse in my toes"
  • "Who's idea was it to buy those shots?"
  • "I can't believe I was dancing with that Rastaman! He was diiiiiiiirty!"

This article is for you friends:

My personal remedy for the hangovers-from-hell are a BC Headache powder, bloody mary, sleep, and lots of carbs and grease! Works like a charm...EVERY time. Things that don't work include water and driving from New Orleans to Houston.

Please feel free to share your personal remedies!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Jazz Fest Cubes Are Set!

Billy Joel and O.A.R. are at the same time on the first Saturday! How disappointing! Those were my top two for the weekend...c'mon Jazz Fest people.

Anyone else want to start a petition to switch Cowboy Mouth and OAR??

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Photoblog of Paris

I decided that it would be way too much to type about everything that happened in Paris and think that a photoblog would be much more entertaining. Enjoy!

Maggie standing outside of our fabulous hotel suite upon arrival!

Confections at "Lenotre", a ridiculously priced and delicious patisserie around the corner from our hotel. The cakes were upwards of 35 Euros! I'd pay it though.

Maggie and I couldn't believe that the upside down pyramid was so easy to find...silly Da Vinci Code. I had to go along with the Asian tourists and take goofy pictures.

Maggie posing with one of the sculptures outside of the Louvre. I will have you know that there were multiple people taking much less tasteful pictures with these statues.

So apparently my hair was 'tres grande' in Paris...the combination of their water and the weather made for perfect hair days. I think I'm being a little sassier than the statue...aaah oui!

My artsy pic of the Louvre. A place that I will most likely never go again...The Louvre was my least favorite of everything that we did. Too many crazy people and was like Disney World times five! We did meet this sweet little old Frenchman just after taking this. He didn't speak much English and surprisingly I could understand that he was telling us what we should see and that we should come back in the summer. After a 15 minute convo, I attempted to tell him that "We need to leave now"...instead I said "You go!" Whoops...thank goodness he understood though.

This is Cafe AND Restaurant Voltaire. Maggie and I stopped here based on a rec from a friend. We intended to go to CAFE Voltaire and instead stepped into RESTAURANT Voltaire. We saw white tablecloths and people who clearly had much more money than the two of us. After looking at the menu and seeing the cheapest app was 35Euro...we told the waiter there was a mistake. He said..."Oh you want a snack". Yes sir we did...and our 'snack' was quite yummy! We met a college kid from NJ and the waitress tried to play how cute!

Oh the was as strange and impressive as I had remembered from the pics in my high school French book. Lots of performance artists in the plaza reminded me of Jackson Square in New Olreans. The museum was very interesting as well...I think it would've been better if I weren't completely hungover at the time..ugh, roughest day in Paris.

Maggie and I seriously need one of these in the states! MONOP was a little shop across the plaza from the Pompidou with premade lunches, salads, sandwiches, desserts...along with the wines and all kinds of super cute things that we really wanted to spend our money on. But instead we got salads and a baguette and sat in the plaza trying to make our hangovers go away. Tom was approached by a crazy Frenchman, who asked him, "Do you like question marks?" (Note: Sounds much funnier with a French accent...try it) Tom's reply was something along the lines of, "Question Marks? Uh...yeah man, I like 'em. I use them in questions and they're a great form of punctuation!" Bizarre...

The view from the top floor of the Musee D'Orsay. I couldn't stop staring...Sacre Coeur is the highest point in Paris and is a spectacular church. It's in Montmartre, which was very unspactacular and it was the only time I feared for my life.

Sacre Coeur much closer! Maggie and I were brought to tears..but she thinks now that it was from climbing all of those stairs in the cold rain and finally reaching our dry destination. Either way, we were moved.

Thanksgiving was a sight for sore eyes!! The sign on the right says "Cuisine de Louisianne" and this was right around our hotel in The Marais. Of course we went inside, and the shop owner was delighted to meet some people from New Orleans. He said he loved the city and couldn't wait to go back again. The place was streaming Zydeco and the shelves were stocked with Zatarain's, Tony Chachere's, and Abita Beer!!! How cool?? All Louisianians who visit Paris, should stop by and tell this gentleman hello.

If anyone knows what this place is a cover-up for, please let me know! Nespresso is on the Champs-Elysees and was the creepiest place I've ever set foot in. There were people getting consultations on coffee, crazy little espresso accessories, candles.....just weird. We would've taken a picture of the inside, but were a little scared. There was even a "Gold Card Member" section with posh seats and desks to speak with was like being in a Porsche dealership. I'm still creeped out.

Gotta love modern art. Excited little Mickey Mouse was in the Palais de Tokyo. Don't really know what else to say...

I'm squishing you with my fingers! I have definitely left a lot the time I asked the lady for an umbrella and then realized that I asked her if she WAS an umbrella...or the time I fell at the Bastille, in the middle of the street...Tout va bien!

I can't WAIT to go back!!! A bientot Paris!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Run for The Hills

Thank God the season premier of The Hills starts today! I am in serious need of watching the lives of LC, Heidi, Spencer and the least it keeps me grounded to know that as crazy as my life is, they have much more drama to deal with.

3/28 UPDATE: This article is highly entertaining...check it out!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Music Report 3/19/2008

It's been way too long since I've posted a music report. I promise I do have a legitimate excuse. Uh...I spent a fabulous week in Paris. Not to worry, I have occaisionally had the opportunity to fill my addiction to good music.

New tunes to check out:

Hey Willpower! - Their cover of Architecture in Helsinki's "Heart It Races" is poppy and fun. How can you NOT love it??

Duffy - No not Hilary Duff, she's a clean and hot version of Amy Winehouse. Too bad the girl didn't get her start first, I love her! Maggie introduced me to the tunes in Paris....and there were advertisements for her everywhere. What is it with all of the British chicks singing Motown?

Deathcab's new single "I Will Possess Your Heart". I heard it for the first time on my commute home yesterday. I need to listen to it was super dark, which is odd for a first single. Even more bizarre is it's one of their songs that is instrumental for like 3 minutes and then Ben sings the same lines over and over again... I liked it, but another listen is necessary. "Transatlanticism" is one of my fav DCFC tracks, and it was very similar. New album Narrow Stairs drops in May. Yay!

The Avett Brothers - They're indie-country? Too many sub-genre's for me to keep up with. If you like good lyrics and the banjo, check 'em out.

Vampire Weekend - So I know that MTV has put us all on Vampire Weekend overload, but it doesn't change the fact that everyone needs a little reggae in their life. VW puts a great new spin on it.

Coconut Records - Jason Schwartzman's new band. They're fun! Thanks for the rec Jesse!

Others to check out are "How I Became the Bomb" (I love the name) and the track "Serpentine" by Chris Bathgate...thanks for the recs Ry!


3/31 - Tokyo Police Club @ the Meridian
4/8 - Say Anything & Manchester Orchestra @ Warehouse Live
4/13 - British Sea Power & Film School @ Numbers
4/22 - Cat Power @ Warehouse Live

Sunday, March 16, 2008

The week that Paris got GOT by Brandie, Maggie and Tom - Part Un

Finally...item numero un of my bucket list, done and done! I went to Paris! Who better to complete the top item of my life to-do list with than Maggie. Yaaay! Maggie's hilarious and fun brother Tom also made the journey across the pond with us. There are so many things to blog has to be done in segments.

We look so Euro chic!

Day 1: Parlez vous Francais?

After an exhausting 9 hour flight from Houston to Paris, we arrived to Paris feeling the affects of sleep aids and in serious need of showers and a change of clothes. Our amazing airport shuttle picked us up within minutes and drove us through the districts of Paris one by one on our way to the Marais. Our hotel was the Hotel Castex about a block from the Bastille...pretty much the perfect location for Paris first-timers. Tons of restaurants, boulangeries, patisseries, clubs, a nearby Metro station...fabulous!

We got the key to the room, walked in and saw a front room with two arm chairs, a roomy bathroom, and a bedroom with a king bed. Nice...but for three people, we were expecting the room we saw online with at least two beds. I wasn't exactly cool with sleeping in an armchair for a week. A little upset, I went to the front desk and tried to sort things out. The attendant told me that they upgraded us to the biggest room since we were there for so long and that it was for four people. Huh? Four midgets that want to share a bed maybe.... Then she explained how the arm chairs were actually "beds"..kinda like little futons. After Maggie and I took a while figuring it out (I'm blaming it on the Sudafed)....everything was tres bon.

Tom locked himself in the bathroom at one point...I think he was in there for ten minutes. We couldn't get the lock to budge, but finally I pulled my best McGuyver move, grabbed a penny and set him free. Then it was on to the week o' feasting!

Cafe Moderne was our first intro to French cuisine and my first chance to test out my high school French. Amazingly, I was able to get us a table and interpret the menu. Thanks Mademoiselle Guy (my HS French teacher)!! Maggie had her first of 10 salmon dishes and everyone else had a pretty delicious meal. Mmmm!

Then it was on to wondering the streets of the Marais and the Isle de Citi to see the Notre Dame Cathedral. It was breathtaking and much more elaborate than I had imagined. The island that it is located on should be named the dessert island. The only thing there are creperies, ice cream shops and gelato cafes. How the French are fit...I have no idea. It must be all the walking and smoking. We got some gelato at one of the places and Tom met a french ladyfriend. Go Tom!

That night we ate dinner at La Petit Chaise. It means, "The Little Chair" in French and the food there was superb! I got the soup l'oignion (aka French Onion Soup), duck with an apple chutney accompanied by some of the best mashed potatoes ever and a baked apple, then dessert was a mousse with a warm chocolate/hazelnut sauce. It was a party in my mouth. Tom's soup came out cold, he told the waiter so, and fifteen minutes later his soup returned piping hot and he had to wait like ten more minutes to eat it! Ha! Lesson one...don't complain about your food in'll pay.

After downing lots of wine, we walked off some of our grub and found the Eiffel Tower. Anyone who knows me, knows how OBSESSED I am with the tower. It's kind of ridiculous actually... When I saw it twinkling for the first time, I was in complete awe. I was speechless....drunk, but still speechless.

On the way home, we got lost and couldn't find the metro station (in what we later found out wasn't the safest area at night..whoops!). We eventually found a station, but the train stopped and let us out before we reached the Bastille. Kinda scary, but we managed to grab a cab. What a good day....