Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Thank You to the Academy...

So apparently following other more awesome bloggers is inspiring me to be a better blogger myself. Nah, actually, I am totally just kidding! I mean, what would my probably nonexistent fans do if I started putting out way more posts per week/month? I think you might actually just drop dead of shock. To be honest, I might drop dead of shock and then...well, your daily entertaining blogger (I'm being optimistic here, don't laugh) wouldn't be around to amuse/irritate/other emotion inserted here anymore so that would be...counterproductive. In the meantime, in the battle between myself and law school, law school is, as I so colourfully told my sister-from-another-mother (also known as my god/facebook sister, totally legit and maybe legal?), is beating me down and then blending me into a healthy smoothie made of my tears and dreams and eating me. I am definitely not winning that death match. I did, however, get a wonderful 1.5 weeks with Heath over spring break which was exactly what I needed. Upon return to Law School City, though, I have no inclination to really do anything. At all. Mostly, all I want to do is go home to Heath and phone in law school. And, also, possibly, open my own bakery called FOOLS Bakery (acronym for Failed Out of Law School) and sell all types of wonderful baked goods. Because we all know that I would be a way better baker than I would be a lawyer. I also signed myself up for way too much (once again) by going in to Moot Court. I have told my partner that we are going to do 100% mediocre so that I am not forced to present an argument for a case that I a) really don't care about; and 2) will edge into my long easter weekend with Heath. Uh-uh. No way.

What really inspired me to write was that I was nominated by my super lovely god/facebook sister over at http://www.wideeyesquickfeet.com/ for a Liebster Award. Because this post was definitely supposed to be dedicated to the upcoming RockStar Mayhem Festival. I believe, however, that an award trumps that in importance. Plus, if I don't respond to it now, I will forget all about it and then, in, like, a year, I'll realise that was one of those things I should have responded to/addressed.

If you're like me, you have no idea what a Liebster Award is. About five minutes, a reading of "I Liebe You," and a quick Google search later, I finally understand. Huzzah. It's given to cool, funky bloggers- I may be adding a couple of spontaneous adjectives there, but artistic license is freaky awesome- who have less than 200 dedicated followers. I am a cool, funky blogger. I have less than 200 followers. My syllogism dictates that, provided I have a wonderful, lovely sister (You're awesome, Leen, super shout out to you!) who nominates me, I am deserving of a Liebster nomination. Sorry, I just learned how to make syllogisms, thank you, Marbury v. Madison, and plus, syllogism is such a fun word. I mean, seriously, say it and it just makes you laugh. Or is that just me? Oh, well...

But the requirements of the Liebster are that:
      1. I tell you 11 random facts about myself.
      2. I answer the questions that have been laid out for me.
      3. I nominate other super cool bloggers. I've heard 11 and 20 tossed around as magic numbers,  
          however, I shall nominate the number of blogs that I actually know. Which is not many.

So...11 random things about me, preferably things you don't already know.

1. Criminal Minds is my favourite tv show. I feel like it's actually working because it's in my academic field,
area of interest, and future work. So, generally, I can make up any and every excuse to watch it/buy the DVDs for obscene prices (or beg Heath into buying them) from Best Buy. Or Wal-Mart. Or Ebay. Or really anywhere for that matter. Also, my father knows somebody who knows somebody who knows Joe Mantegna so I have a signed Criminal Minds photo.

2. My very favourite animals are polar bears and leopards. I don't know why. But they are like the bestest, cutest things ever. And I want one. (Un)fortunately, saner minds, i.e. Heath, prevail and we are not in possession of either. Heath does, however, pick me up leopard and polar bear paraphernalia whenever he sees something he knows I would love.

3. I am engaged to the love of my life, Heath, who puts up with my ridiculousness, eccentricities, and makes me laugh even when all I want to do is swear violently, punch things, or cry.

4. When I was little, my ballet teacher kicked me out of her ballet class, telling my mother that she couldn't do anything with me because I had all the grace of a baby elephant. I have now developed the grace of a rhinoceros with an equilibrium problem. I feel that this is an improvement.

5. My dream car is a red Mini Cooper with black roof + moon/sun roof. Originally, I wanted the classic, rally looking Mini. Then I saw the Mini Coupe and the Paceman and decided that I might want one of those two. Mostly because they're super cute. It appears, however, that once Wolfie the Rabbit ten toes ups it, I will be getting a Mini Cooper Countryman with its four doors and stocky, long body because it's practical. And no, I'm not the one who used that word...it's definitely at the top of my least favourite words of all time list.

6. I have the memory of a very absent-minded goldfish. Be it keys, a blog, directions, groceries, I will forget it. I also have an issue with placing down books in random places around houses. Fortunately, most people find this habit endearing, rather than annoying.

7. I hate snow when I have to drive in it. Like, hate it with a fiery burning passion deep down inside my soul. Also, the ice. Basically, if it's precipitation that comes from the sky in any other form than rain, it is on my dislike list. I do, however, love snow days.

8. My top five favourite bands are Evanescence, Korn, Nightwish, Rammstein, Slipknot. All of these bands are on my "to see before I die" concert list. As of this moment, I have seen all but Slipknot...Guess I need to start seeing them again!

9. A few of my fave writers are Lauren Willig (she of the Pink Carnation series wonderfulness),Lewis Carroll, the before-her-time Jane Austen, J.K. Rowling, Dan Brown, Maddy Hunter, J.R. Ward and Kresley Cole.

10. I have a very inappropriate love for Robert Carlyle (in anything at any age. At all.), Top Gear's Richard "Hamster" Hammond, Heath Ledger (who actually looks a wee bit like my Heath), and Stuart Townsend. I want to meet all of them, but embarrassing fangirl-ing would ensue.

11. My idea of a perfect vacation would be going with Heath to Paris, Venice, Dublin, and New Orleans and getting to spend like a month in each place...maybe someday when we're billionaires?

Now that I've given you all my super lengthy facts about myself, I shall answer the questions that I've been given.

1. What's your favourite movie of all time?
    Well, this one is just super unfair. I have, like, ten favourite movies. I shall, however, contrive to limit myself to...five. Five seems fair. Tim Burton's Nightmare Before Christmas, The Phantom of the Opera (with Gerard Butler, Emmy Rossum, and Patrick Wilson, not the 1920's one), House of 1000 Corpses, Braveheart. Moulin Rouge and Across the Universe are tied for fifth place.

2. What do you do as soon as you walk in the door from work?
    I usually open my laptop and log into Skype.

3. Do you put your toothbrush in a drawer or toothbrush holder?
    A toothbrush holder designed to look like a Parisian home.

4. Which veggies do you love/hate?
     Love: brocolli, cauliflower, asparagus (with way too much butter), celery, carrot.
     Hate: tomatoes (allergic to them), any sort of allium-based vegetables (also allergic to them), mushrooms, spinach, and green beans.

5. What is your favourite go-to outfit for a Saturday?
     Comfy stuff. If I'm staying in, usually I'm in yoga pants or sweat pants and a tank top. If I'm going out, typically jeans, a cute shirt if one happens to be available, and sandals.

6. What's your favourite workout?
    Ha! That's really cute, you think I work out? I do zumba on, like, an every other month basis so...zumba, I guess?

7. What does your Tupperware cabinet look like?
     I have Tupperware?

8. If you had to choose one thing you couldn't live without, what would it be?
    As far as things, caffeine. But my books run a really, really close second.

9. What's your favourite thing to order when eating out?
     Typically, cheese pizza with light to no sauce- you know, the whole evil allergy thing. I also love orange chicken, General Tsao's and teriyaki beef.

10. What's the temperature outside when you're happiest?
       If I'm staying in with Heath, my favourite weather is snow and like 32 degrees. If I'm going out, a day with less sun and about 50.

11. If you could pick anywhere in the world to be right now, where would you be?
      So long as I was with Heath, I really absolutely would not care.

Wow, that is...a lot of information about myself. If you actually read all of that and you're not Heath, family, or one of my friends, then thanks. You made typing all of this madness up worth it.

Now, for my nominees. If I nominate somebody who's rocking their blogosphere and doesn't really need help, sorry! But here's some Liebester-love (redundant, but not I'm just being finnicky) for y'all! And since I'm kind of new to the blogging scene, I only know of a few of you, but those that I do know are totally worthy of a Liebster.

Now, after all of that, I finally say au revoir. We will be back to our regularly scheduled programming...eventually. Y'know, when I decide I need to actually blog again. Which could be tomorrow, next week, or two months from now. You never know. Either way, Harley Quinn, over and out!

Friday, March 15, 2013

La Belle Nouvelle Orleans

Well, hello, all! Alas, my inability to actually remember to blog came and bit me again...it has been two months since I last blogged for all of my (probably nonexistent) lovelies. I would like to say that this stems from a very good reason like I was working or I was actually devoting my time to law school or something along those lines. That would, however, be a...lie (insert dramatic music here).

My absence is mostly a result of my extreme absentmindedness and complete inability to remember stuff. You know, little things like I have a blog. When one has guinea pigs, one should not buy rabbit food instead. If you leave food in the fridge for longer than a certain period of time, it will be doing creepy, crazy, potentially toxic things. Little things like that just slip my mind pretty regularly. Oh and also where keys are. I don't know what crazy voodoo happens each day, but my keys just vanish with the regularity of Dane Cook dropping the f-bomb in his stand up routine.

My realisation that I am a truly atrocious blogger steams from my sister-from-another-mother's starting of her own blog (and here I put in a plug for her blog- read it...it's funny and she loves fennec foxes- http://wideeyesquickfeet.blogspot.com/). She started it yesterday and already has two posts. In two days. Hell, it took me two months to get two posts. See, terrible blogger. But when I do blog, it's like reading Jane Austin and Dracula and all of the greats just smushed into one. PS- I know that is an untruth, but just let me have it.

So I was trying to figure out what to blog on for this post and am having difficulty coming up with stuff. I super baked for the people I bribed to witness for mock trial, but that was two weeks ago and, terrible blogger/foodie that I am, I did not take photos. I have the recipes but that seems less interesting than giving you beautiful photographs of White Russian Cupcakes with Kahlua and Vodka Buttercream, and Reese's Brownies, and Cookies and Cream Brownies...the next time I bake, I shall take photos of every beautiful moment of the baking process I swear. And while I did create two Chocolate Pudding Pies last night (for Heath and his father), the process to create one of those super-chocolate-y bad boys is way too easy to merit the attention of an entire blog post.

So what this is actually going to turn into is a travel blog post. Mostly because I have been on a super-binge of all things New Orleans and so, until Heath and I can visit (ps- his parents are going for four days in April and I am super jealous), I live vicariously through photos on the internet and descriptions of food.

One of my dreams has been to stay in the French Quarter. Yes, I know that it's tourist-y and loud and full of people, people, everywhere, but it's le Vieux Carré. The old square. How can you pass up something like that? Rhetorical question because the answer to that is...you can't ever.

There are three things that I desperately want to do while in New Orleans. The first is, you guessed it, the French Market. One of my favourite things while I was living in Rome and France were the open air markets. They're just some of the coolest things around because you never know what you might find. It's not like with a mall where you know exactly which stores you're going to get and, with some room for error, exactly what that store might sell. At open air markets, it's anybody's guess. You might know exactly who the next vendor might be but their product will always be new and spunky and different. It's like a Renaissance Faire that's been time-warped to modern industry.

The French Market has been in operation since 1791 (I'm not so great at the maths, but that's more than two centuries, and how awesome is that?). It's open seven days a week, from essentially nine to six every day. It's a combination farmers market, retail sellers, flea market, and dining car. There're candy factories (anybody else hoping they're not manned by little people called oompa-loompas who have a hankering for some cacao beans and like to remove naughty children from their candy shoppe?), art exhibits of New Orleans based artists, home accessories, and apparel of every sort. And that's just the retail side of things. You'll also find delicious food, from beignets and coffee at the Café du Monde to gumbo and étouffée at World's Famous N'Awlins Cafe and Spice Emporium, the oldest spice emporium in the French Market (which segues quite nicely into the second thing that I want to do in New Orleans).

The next thing that I desperately want to experience in New Orleans is the food. The mind-boggling, super tasty food that seems to leave everyone who wants to try it wanting more. Although I am what some might call (indeed, have called, if I'm being entirely honest here) allergic to onions and garlic, tomatoes, oranges, and other citric acid-heavy food, it would be amazing to experience the food of New Orleans. The place that stands out most to me and I've want to try for the majority of my natural life is Café du Monde. Growing up, beignets always had a special place in my heart. I don't know if it was because 'beignet' sounds far more elegant than 'donut,' because they were a family tradition, or because they're just so likeable (it is impossible to eat a piece of fried dough smothered in powdered sugar without laughing because you have managed to make your entirely black outfit a work of white art). I remember eating these in Paris and trying to remain calm and dignified as powdered sugar flaked off onto my carefully chose outfit. I failed. Miserably. And pairing beignets with coffee or hot cocoa with whipped cream is one of the most delicious experiences that you will ever have. It's just breathtaking how amazing they are. Once you go beignet, you never go back? Wait, that's not right... Although for those of you who aren't able to 
get away to NOLA immediately for some delicious 
beignets and café au lait (read: Heath and myself), they do have Café du Monde products at World Market. They do require work and, unfortunately, do not come with a chef to make them for you and a waiter to serve them to you, but they are delicious and work well to tide you over until you can make the trek to New Orleans. Then, for all of you foodies out there, there is Emeril's NOLA restaurant in the French Quarter or the New Orleans restaurant in the Warehouse District. What most sucks me in on both menus is the crème brulée trio and the vanilla bean crème brulée, respectively. Sounds super delicious. Then, for those of you who actually want a full meal and can't exist solely on dessert, there is Jacques Imo's. Yes, it's a wee bit expensive, but, from what I've read, it's a brilliant, tasty treat with great ambiance. Just looking at the menu, you'll see foods that are at once foreign and intriguing. Such is the shrimp and alligator cheesecake. There are also Cajun/Creole classics, such as shrimp creole, shrimp étouffée, the Cajun bouillabaisse, the crabmeat stuffed shrimp, amonst delicious others, all of which look like they would make your mouth and stomach very happy.

We have finally reached the third, and final, of my "desperately hope to see" destinations of New Orleans. And this is the purported tomb of Marie Laveau. Also known as the Voodoo Queen. I know, I know. It's a tourist trap, may not even be her tomb. But still. This is something that I've also wanted to see since I was young and wrote a report on Marie Laveau. I still have the primary biography that I used somewhere around here. Basically, Marie Laveau was a strong independent woman who just happened to, y'know, be a voodoo priestess. One of her daughters (of the same name) would hold elaborate public voodoo rituals, although many believe that, of the two, Mommy Laveau was the more powerful. Because it would probably be boring (for you) if I gave all of you my geeky rendition of Marie Laveau's life, I refer you to A New Orleans Voudou Priestess: The Legend and Reality of Marie Laveau by Carolyn Morrow Long (http://www.amazon.com/New-Orleans-Voudou-Priestess-Reality/dp/0813032148/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1363370093&sr=8-1&keywords=marie+laveau) or The Mysterious Voodoo Queen, Marie Laveau (http://www.amazon.com/Mysterious-Voodoo-Queen-Laveau-ebook/dp/B009Z41RIG/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1363370463&sr=1-1), which, I swear to you, when I read it was a real book. Her alleged mausoleum (a few naysayers have claimed it's not actually hers) is located in St. Louis Cemetery, #1. Visitors go to see it and sometimes request the Voodoo Queen's good wishes and blessings by writing on it. I don't want her good wishes and blessings; mostly, I just want to accomplish a long seated geek dream of mine by being able to see it.

And now, after much ado, many pictures, my top three "wants to see" in Nola, and much pining for the chance to see la belle Nouvelle Orleans with Heath, I feel it would only be humane to finally be quiet. Harley Quinn, saying bonne journée et bonne chance!