Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Pork Chops in New Orleans

Behold, our first home-cooked meal in the French Quarter in New Orleans.

Here's a little how-to:

Pour a little olive oil on the pork chops.  Rub both sides with coarse sea salt and crushed black pepper.  You'll need fresh sliced or pressed garlic and tons of fresh Italian Parsley.  (Very Important: has to be Italian Parsley.)  Don't put the parsley or garlic on until you've grilled one side of the pork chop.  When you've grilled the first side, flip, then smother with garlic and parsley.  I say this because you don't want that parsley falling into the grill, but you also want the parsley to sort of cook.

Try, if possible, to grill the pork chops on a New Orleans balcony overlooking hopefully Decatur Street or similar.  And if you can, get a single clarinet player to serenade you with some soft, distant jazz.

We served with beets, which I sliced and sautéed for about ten minutes in olive oil, butter, coarse sea salt and crushed black pepper, and a salad of greens, tomato, avocado, cucumber and dressed with a vinaigrette made with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

Please serve with a wonderful White Zinfandel, but you might want to make sure you have enough wine glasses for all you can see, Summer and I have to rock-paper-scissors every night for the one wine glass.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Summer-isms, Vol. 12

"I think I made an underwear mistake today."

"People were smoking on us."

"I can't believe you walked home barefoot.  Because, you're not.  Me."

"$3.60???  That's unacceptable!"  --reacting to the price of a triple shot of espresso over ice with one pump of mocha at Starbucks.

"I feel like I don't deserve to wear these clean clothes -- that's how gross I feel."

Taken just after her Marilyn Monroe-ment when the breeze came up and so did her skirt.

Want some "Kady-isms?"  Check Summer's blog here.

Monday, August 29, 2011

The Downside

I am in love with this city.  In LOVE.  Here's a couple reasons:

  • Paul Rudd works at Starbucks.  Or his taller, more attractive doppelgänger
  • I get to say, "yes ma'am", and "yes sir" whenever somebody finishes a sentence.
  • I get to call ladies by "miss-and-then-their-name", like "Miss Annie" or "Miss Ruthie".
  • I have a free apartment in an amazing neighborhood with a free car parked outside and free food in the fridge.
  • A man on a bicycle will deliver mac & cheese, shrimp po'boys and crab cakes right to your door.
  • You can buy alcoholic beverages in drive-up windows.
  • I have a grill on my balcony.  You know, the New Orleans balcony, with the lonely jazz music playing in the soft distance?
  • The man on the bicycle will deliver beer too, if you ask him to.
  • The architecture is amazing.
  • Impromptu parades.
  • Muffalettas:
Oh. My. God.


Summer and I saw three rats yesterday (way too close to our apartment), and I've been yelled at by no less than six homeless people.

We see a lot of Katrina devastation.  Tons of stoops in the lower 9th ward, with no house on top:

Most houses still have the markings from spray-paint identification.  To read a great article about these markings, and see more photos, click here.

These ones always get to Summer:

And of course there are still abandoned homes everywhere with vegetation growing throughout:

Just being here has been an emotional experience.  I have gotten used to hearing a lot of tragic stories out in the field every day at work, since everyone has a Katrina story, and they share them with you.  Some stories are both horrifying and inspirational.  But nothing prepared me for what I heard today.

Miss Annie and I were stopping at our last device-repair with a man in the lower 9th who told us that his son was murdered two years ago.  He pointed behind us to two bullet holes in the wall and explained that his son fell right where we were standing.  Somebody just came to the door and shot him.  "Youngsters these days, they'll kill you for nothin'.  Nothin'".  I didn't know what to say.  And it gets worse.  Just one year after the murder, this man's wife died in the hospital and five months after that, his other son was mugged while driving a delivery truck and shot, for his empty wallet and gold necklace.  

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Summer-isms, Vol. 11

"I don't know.  But I can tell you all my jokes today bombed."

"I loved that elementary school.  I was the queen.  And Justin was the king."

"My fingernails are always disgusting."

"And when I say one hundred...I mean forty."

"I think between you and me we can figure out what to put bacon in."

Slow Yo' Roll

Ran across this one during work the other day.  Couldn't help but stop and take a photo.  Well now it has become a great new catch-phrase for when I'm eating (have you seen me eat?'s fast), because today at breakfast Ashley looked at me, disgusted, and said, "Kady!  Slow yo' roll."

Friday, August 26, 2011

A Cryptic Message

Summer arrived in New Orleans just two days before me.  I got a text from her that said, "btw I have a piece of info about some of our neighbors.  I'm worried you might die."  I was like, "what?" and she said, "It's too good.  I wanna see your face."

When I arrived, Ashley and Summer took me into our bathroom and had me look out the window.  "Over there is the convent.  There are real nuns living there."  etc.  "And, see that pink house?  With the green shutters?  OK.  See that little grey one to the left of it?  With the black shutters?..."

She wasn't getting to the point fast enough and so I was like, "who lives there?"

Summer looked into my soul and asked, "who would make you die?"


I am living less than one block away from the Jolie-Pitts.

I don't even know what to do with this information.

I think Summer was pleased with my reaction, as I hyperventilated and collected myself and then hyperventilated some more.  Here is a photo out of our bathroom window.  Their house is the little gray one in the center.  With the two dormer windows.

I swear I saw Brad watching me go pee last night.  What a creep!  (Just kidding.  They're not home.)

Here's a picture of the front of their house, which I walk by every morning and every night when I go to and from my car.  I stole it from another website, since I will not be caught dead photographing their place (in the open).  I only keep my face straight ahead while my eyes stare the whole way by, looking for signs of life.

Photo stolen from

If you know me, you know that I think of Brad and Angelina as personal friends and frequently have daydreams of running into their family by Lake Nokomis in Minneapolis, asking them "what are you doing in town?" and then inviting them over for dinner.  Of course they come.  In my imagination, we laugh and talk.  The kids get a kick out of my made-up-on-the-spot poop songs, such as Fishing in the Toilet for Poop and Pee.


Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Minister

In a nutshell, my job is to provide technician services for New Orleans energy customers who have opted into a grant-sponsored pilot program which provides a device that monitors energy usage (kWh).  That usage is displayed on the device and translated into a dollar amount that can be tracked realtime and projected for the end of the month bill.  The goal is to educate homeowners to reduce their bills and hopefully save the environment in the process.  I have been hired to enter the homes of people whose devices aren't working properly and fix them.

I love the program.  I have actually heard people say, "So you mean, if I turn off the TVs in the bedrooms when I'm not watching them I can save money?"  Hey, you don't know what you don't know.  I'm happy to be a part of it and I can't wait until the devices are implemented nationwide and I can have one in MY house.

My absolute favorite part of this job is overhearing the conversations between the energy company rep and the homeowner while I'm doing my job on the device.

Today's overheard conversation was with a minister who admitted to siring 25 children and, no, he wasn't making it up.  I know this because I asked him to name them and he did.  Here are some of my favorite quotes (and please use your best 'Southern Baptist Minister' accent when reading):

"I got a bill for four hundred dawlahs.  I almost had a baby with a bonnet on."

"I got 25 kids.  Be fruitful and become many.  But man, sometimes it's an uphill struggle with a downhill pool."

"I don't want nothing that ain't gonna put nothing on the table.  I don't even want a goldfish."

"My son come here.  Take a bath.  Look in my cupboards.  Don't you have no bath at your place?  You got a brand new baby.  I know you got a bathtub."

"A dog is a pimp.  What yo' dog do for you?  Keep you in debt.  He pimpin' you.  You feed him, then he pass it.  Then you gotta clean that up.  Vet bills?  Yah, he pimpin' you."

"My youngest girl, I call her 'my little hemorrhoid'.  Cuz she gotta talk to me every morning and every night.  She tell me, 'don't you say goodbye to me.'"


We were at this minister's house for three hours.  He smoked several cigarettes during that time so when he left the house, it didn't seem strange.  But when he got in his car and drove away, I couldn't believe it.  "What the?"  The mystery was solved ten minutes later when he returned with a round of Cokes for us.

Later, when I overheard him tell the energy reps that he was going to start taking cold showers to save on energy, I couldn't help myself.  I said, "You shoulda thoughta that 25 kids ago."

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

New Orleans, Day One

  • I arrived in New Orleans last night at 10:30pm.  
  • Rented fabulous new company car.
  • Got lost in a sketch neighborhood.
  • Locked doors at an awkward moment between me and a dude yelling at another dude.
  • Found new apartment.
  • Struggled with luggage.
  • Told a bum I didn't have any cash and please don't help me with my luggage.
  • Met Summer and Ashley and Edie, watched some Project Runway.

  • Slept on uncomfortable too-short couch, since landlady inexplicably still lives in what is supposed to be my bedroom.
  • Showed up for work.
  • Learned that we do not say "B" at work.  We say "Bravo".  We do not say "F". We say "Foxtrot".
  • Had first (and definitely not last) fried shrimp po'boy for lunch.


  • Got a badge card.  (Check out my company car)  :

  • Accidentally made fun of boss' accent.  By repeating his exact phrase about Walmart in a mocking tone.
  • Finally the landlady moved out.  Our apartment couldn't be more adorable.

  • Balcony!!

Summer is purposely making a weird face here, if you were wondering.


Porch living room!

  • Fell in love with the neighborhood.  (It looks just like it's supposed to.  From my imagination.)

  • Had rabbit and shrimp jumbalaya, deep fried oysters and crab claws, a beer and went to bed.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Radio Silence?

If you don't hear from me in a few days, it's because I MOVED TO NEW ORLEANS WITH MY BEST FRIEND SUMMER.

I'm pretty excited...let me share with you a transcript of Summer's voicemail to me when she arrived, two days before me:

"Oh my God...this is not a real place. This is not a real place!  It's amaayzing.  I' not...real you...I just pulled up, met Donna, she's adorable, and I'm walking Edie just to find some grass and I feel like we're in another country, gonna be love you bye."

*(Photo of French Quarter stolen from

Goodbye, Hal and Dianne.  Love you!

Sayonara, Suckers!

Monday, August 22, 2011

More Awesome Restaurant Worker Tricks

In honor of my last night at the restaurant, I bring you just some of the hilarious hi jinx I pulled at the restaurant this summer.:

A gentleman asked me for some Heinz 57, just as I was pulling it out of my apron for the table.  Before he saw it in my hand, I quickly did the "pull a quarter from behind the kid's ear" trick, only it was a Heinz 57 bottle and a man's ear.
*I perfected this one last night with a lady.  First I said, "I'm sorry, there's something behind your ear." and then produced the bottle.

I dropped a drink behind the bar.  Luckily the glass didn't break, but there was a mess of ice and liquid all over the floor.  Bend over and wipe it up?  Not me.  Instead, I threw two towels on the floor and skated around, finishing off with a nice Michael Jackson Moonwalk.

My neighbors and my mom and dad came out last night.  My dad put his cowboy hat on his seat for storage.  After I took everybody's food orders, I bent down, lifted the hat slightly and asked, "and for you sir?"

A man was bellied up to the bar and asked if we had personal sized pizzas because he was starving but didn't want a whole pizza.  We didn't, so he decided on a whole pizza.  He asked how long it would take.  I told him ten minutes, ran back and threw one in the pizza oven, which, I didn't realize, shuts off automatically at 11pm.  When I went back to check on it, I ended up having to move the pizza to a toaster oven.  I came back out and told him 5 more minutes.  He was like "WHA?", cuz he was starving.  But he was a good sport and we were laughing about it.  When I gave him the 2 minute mark he said, "you know what? just bring it out. As is."  So I did.  And luckily it was perfectly cooked.  But just to make sure the mood stayed light, I delivered it with a bite taken out of one of the pieces.

If you accidentally give somebody a Bud Light instead of their requested Budweiser, ask them if they *wink* are know...and look at their gut.  (This only works on skinny people.  Do not, I repeat, do not try this on a non-skinny person.)

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Overheard at Work

"I'm living proof of how stupid I get."

"We got a beautiful weekend...why are we wastin' it in here?"

"Now listen, you been tellin' me to shut up all night.  It's my turn to tell YOU to SHUT UP."

...A couple weeks ago I was bartending and a large group came in just as I was about to call it a night and lock the doors.  Dang.  Anyway there were a couple different groups, actually, and Group A was celebrating the birthday of one of its members.  Groups B, C, and D thought that was pretty awesome and there were rounds purchased and congratulations offered.  And then somebody thought it would be a great idea to bust out the Happy Birthday song.  When this very loud group got to the <insert name here> part, you know..."Happy Birthdaaay, deaaar ........" they just kinda did the hmmm hmmm because of course, nobody knew the guy's name.  I saw it coming...I couldn't help myself...I screamed out "WHATS-YOUR-NAME" during the awkward silent pause.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Hal-isms, Vol. 16

"When's the last time you been picked up by the seat of your pants and the scruff of your neck and been suitcased out the door?"

"I had cancer.  And I didn't see any Splenda on that thing when they took it out."

Friday, August 19, 2011

Hal-isms, Vol. 15

On me finishing the ice cream:

On me blogging:
"Quit your gloggin'!!"

On travel in Norway:
"Why would anybody want to pay thousands of dollars to look at a bunch of old farts in wooden shoes?"

More on me blogging:
"Why not just go, start up your cloggin'."

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Summer, I Hope You're Ready to Take Care of Me in the Manner to Which I Have Become Accustomed

Seriously, I don't know why the H~ I'm moving.  My parents take SUCH good care of me.  I don't pay rent, and here's what I get for my money:  My dad goes to the store and gets beer for me, vacuums out my car and fixes all things broken.  My mom does all my laundry and folds it and places it on the ladder leading up to my adorable loft bedroom.  She cooks all my meals, makes coffee, and even has drinks waiting when I get home from a long night at work.  The other night I nodded off without finishing my beer and when I woke up she asked if I was ready for it again.  Here she had corked it and put it in the fridge for me!

Here's a day in my life.  Normally I work at 4pm, so the following meals took place between me waking up at 11am and leaving for work at 3:45pm:




Afternoon Snack.


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Hey New Orleans, Get Ready for the Hexum-Grimeses

I leave Northern Minnesota on Tuesday. Summer and I took a job that will have us in New Orleans through September and then somewhere near Daytona Beach, Florida from October through December.

When I told my dad I was moving, he started getting mad. I told him, "dad, I'm 34. I'm supposed to move out."

...and I avoid winter for at least four more months.

We are literally moving into an Anthropologie catalog. Check out our apartment in New Orleans, blocks from Bourbon Street:

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Kelly and the Tampons

Yesterday at work, I went to the co-ed employee bathroom.  Whilst in there, I noticed a tampon applicator in the garbage.  The paper here, the applicator there...with no effort whatsoever to cover them up.  No toilet tissue wrapping, no shoving it down in the garbage, no nothing.

It wasn't mine.  But somebody might see me leave the bathroom...and think it was mine.  So here I was, shoving paper towel on top of it and smooshing it down into the bin.  And I didn't even do it! 

Part of being a woman around a bunch of guys is accepting the fact that the assumption will be...the tampon is yours.

Consider the following story.  When Kelly bought her first house, she right away (within the first month) had an issue with the septic and invited a bunch of guys over to dig it up and fix it.  She was playing hostess, and went out to serve lemonade on a tray to all the workers.  All of the men were standing over the hole in the ground, staring.  As she approached, they looked at her, disgusted, like she was the most grossest, stupidest person in the world.  She didn't get it until she saw what they saw in the hole:

Hundreds and thousands and millions and trillions of tampons.  Completely filling the hole in the ground.  She was horrified.  But it wasn't her!  Logically, you can't produce that many in just one month!  Try explaining that to a bunch of dudes.  She just shrugged her shoulders and went back in the house, branded forever the girl who flushes tons of tampons.

The Most Wonderful Place on Earth

Cascade Bay Water Park, Eagan MN.

$9 entrance fee (cheap!).  Tons of water slides, plenty of sun and a lazy river.  You can spend the whole day just afloatin' down the lazy river.  I remember when Murphy was a little baby boy and we'd float and float and sleep and sleep for hours.  And now he's nine years old.  Gosh.


This is the water slide you can go down right on your tube.  When Miles was a little baby boy and we were stuck in a long line at the top of this slide, he had to go pee SO bad and we kept saying wait wait wait we'll go to the bathroom, wait dude, just another minute, but he couldn't and just peed right at the top poor thing.  So yah, there's probably a high pee content at this place.

Pete, geared up for the hot hot hot weather in jeans and cowboy boots:

I love Miles' face in this one:

The only thing I might change is how they don't let you float and float and float while drinking beer.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Overheard at Work

Well-meaning, but possibly drunk woman to younger, single man:

"When you start looking for a wife, here's what you look for.  Trust me.  I know this, I have kids.  First, no illigitimate babies.  Second, no student loan debt.  You marry somebody with student loan debt, guess what? you're gonna be stuck paying it off.  Third, no credit card debt.  You marry somebody with credit card debt, guess what? you're gonna be stuck paying it off.  Fourth, no midgets in the family.  What?!  You think I'm kidding?  You don't want midget babies.  Trust me."

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Not One...But TWO White Russian Stories

Whenever I think of White Russians, I always think of the time my sister Kasey and I were playing cards with some friends.  One of the friends and Kasey butted heads all night long.  Well if you know Kasey, alcohol is not the cause of her loud and boisterous behavior.  That's just how she is naturally.  And in fact, she was probably nursing her brand new baby, so she probably was slowly sipping one drink.  So when the friend said, "Have another White Russian, KASEY!", it was like...crickets...AWKWARD...

Now it has become the catch phrase in life for when somebody is totally not drunk, but you accuse them of it anyway to be funny.  You can use it too.  It's my gift to you.

"Have another White Russian, KASEY!"

So lately the White Russian has become my favorite drink.  I am hooked!  I love them.  You just do equal parts Vodka and Kahlua and a splash of cream.  Delish.  The other night I used up the last of the Kahlua and so today when my mom and I were at the liquor store, I asked her if she wanted me to replace the bottle.  "No!", she said, "We never use it.  I bought that in Cancun."

(We went to Cancun in the year 2000.)

"MOM!!!  You could have told me before I drank it!!"

"Well, you're not dead are you?"

Steam Show!

My Mom and Dad and I went to the Roosevelt Steam and Gas show on Saturday and got to see a bunch of cool old tractors and steam engines.  They had a parade and a demonstration and kids games and my favorite meal, the Taco in a Bag.  Highway robbery at $4.00, but I digress.

At the end of the parade, we learned a lot about steam engine tooting.  It was more an ear-blast of a demonstration of several different signals, like the short-long-two shorts, and the one long and the five shorts etc etc etc.  The only problem was they blew the horn each time and it was way too loud and kids were crying.  "Yah, we got it.  Jeez."

This, I didn't get, an old, unworking water pump, with a basin filled with dirty water that we were instructed not to drink.  How about just not putting water in it?

We even got to see old steam engine equipment removing the chaff from wheat.  But first I was crowned "Miss Wheat Steam and Especially Gas".

"Thank you for the flooowers.  Thank you for the flooowers."

So you know the old saying, 'give a man a fish and he eats for a day, teach him to fish and he eats for a lifetime'?  Well, I'm about to teach you to fish, so listen up.  And this trick is so fun I'm giving this whole post the 'Currently Obsessed With...' label, because I'm currently obsessed with it!

First, you need a wheat field with an inattentive farmer-owner.  When he's not looking, glean a little and pluck the top off.  Like so:

Then, you roll it around and around in your hands until you feel the chaff breaking off, like so:

Then you end up with the seeds and a buncha extra loose chaff, like so:

Blow away the old chaff, like so:

And you got yourself a not-so-tasty treat.  Warning: not for "Gluten-Intolerants".

Those lying fakers will just have to stick it in their mouths to look cool, like so:

See ya next year, boys!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...