The Truth Behind Mardi Gras

So you have heard of this thing called Mardi Gras, huh? The wild parties, the drunken tourists, and the parades. Well, I hate to disappoint you, but that is not Mardi Gras, that is Bourbon Street in the french quarter any night of the week year round. Ok, well sometimes this is mardi gras, but most parades throughout Louisiana are actually quite different.

This is Mardi Gras:

Real Parades start with old men, you didn't know that?

Real Parades start with old men, you didn’t know that?

It all begins with a couple of old guys walking down the streets with flags. Proudly following the cops on horses and hopefully not stepping in horse crap. If you are lucky they will blow you a kiss.

What could be better than a group of kilted musicians?

What could be better than a group of kilted musicians?

Then, the parade gets really wild. Bagpipes baby. It’s getting hot in here, so lets all wear awesome kilts.

Ghostbusters! That's who. Yes, our parades have the actually ghostbusters.

Ghostbusters! That’s who. Yes, our parades have the actually ghostbusters.

Yes, we have  a group of men that go around town pretended they are the actual ghostbusters. This is something that is really happening. How do I become friends with them?

hello float full of brides..

hello float full of brides..

What could be more southern than parading a group of women who need to be married on a float? You are too old to find a man on your own, well then we will parade you through town and see if we get any takers.

Wait for it, a second group of kilted bagpipers!

Wait for it, a second group of kilted bagpipers!

Oh yeah, it is about to get wild, a second group of bagpipers. Who knew there were so many families that bagpiped together? The family that wears skirts together stays together, right?

Even spider man comes to our parades.

Even spider man comes to our parades.

Throw me somethin’ Mister! No, not white goo that shoots out of your hand, this is a family parade. Throw me some beads and a plastic cup. God knows I need another mardi gras cup. What else would I drink my sweet tea out of? What you thought I was going to say whiskey didn’t you? Tisk Tisk, I save the whiskey for family holidays and I keep it in a flask, naturally.

Do you need to spice up your life?

One of the best things about South Louisiana is by in large the food. While I do not enjoy the spicy food, I have actually built up my tolerance from cannot handle ground black pepper to I can handle the spiciest thing you got. This is a big deal for me. Food is spicy here in ways that the rest of the country wishes it were spicy. Most people who are born and raised here are so used to the spice that when they travel they pack spices in their bags to put on the food on their vacations. But, I am now off topic because this post is supposed to be about dessert. Focus NC, focus.

This past week I have been to two of my favorite places in south LA for some amazing treats.

The first is the Frostop.

Don't you just feel yourself going back in time?
Don’t you just feel yourself going back in time?

What makes this place special, aside from the fact that it has a giant root beer float as a sign? I am glad you asked. I dislike root beer and creme soda, yet here I am downing a giant root beer float in minutes. That is hogwarts level magic folks. They make their root beer from scratch. Words cannot describe the simple yet distinct taste of the melted icecream swirling into the heavenly soda. When someone can take a food I do not enjoy and make it something I crave, that my friend is an amazing drink. Hands down best root beer float ever created.

Oh my God, look at it in all its sexy glory.

Oh my God, look at it in all its sexy glory.

The next stop on my dessert train is of course beignets. One cannot live in or visit south LA without eating good beignets on a regular basis. I have heard rumors that in other places people have these things called “donuts” and try and tell themselves that they are good. But, they are lying to themselves. Quite sad really. Going to get beignets is more than the powdered sugar floating in the air and falling softly all over your clothes. It is more than the cafe au lait that goes down so smooth you think you have entered a deal with the coffee devil. It is about the feeling that comes from each and every bite. As if it were your first bite. Every time. Even if you go every sunday and eat a whole plate yourself. Each bite is like the first time. And no donut can compete with those moves. I promise you that.

The calm before the two year old devours half the plate.

The calm before the two year old devours half the plate.

Satisfaction- oh look it is the wife's hand.

Satisfaction- oh look it is the wife’s hand.

Meanwhile in Louisiana…

Each night I walk to my dad’s house. What can I say, I am a little attached. Mind you we do not live in the country, but apparently we now have neighbors whose chickens roam the neighborhood. I haven’t seen the pitbulls lately, so perhaps the chickens took care of them? The mean chicken police of Louisiana. Watch out they will cut a bitch.

I’m pretty sure this one is the Sheriff.

Clearly living on the edge here. I dare you to cross this street, punk.

I’m going to need to see your papers.

Festival Season

It is the start of festival season in Louisiana. A wonderful time of year. Well, we have two different festival seasons, one in the spring and one in the fall. Ok really we festival all year round.

The fall season begins with the Hot Air Balloon festival. The best time to go to this festival is at night, they light up the balloons so that they glow. It is truly amazing.

You are probably thinking that we have a few festivals. No, we have an epic amount of festivals. I often wonder what people would do around here if it weren’t for festivals. Oh yeah, drink and go to church and then drink some more. Oh and then we mardi gras the shit out of life. Throw me something mister.

Here is a complete list of our Festivals

Arts and Crafts Festivals:

  • Angola Prison Rodeo & Arts and Crafts Festival — Angola
  • Antique Festival — Denham Springs
  • Cultural Crossroads — Minden
  • Dirty Linen Night — New Orleans
  • Fall Festival in Antique Village — Denham Springs
  • Hot air balloon festival Championship — Baton Rouge
  • Louisiana Book Festival — Baton Rouge
  • Louisiana Tournoi — Ville Platte
  • Melrose Arts & Crafts Festival — Natchitoches
  • NCLAC Holiday Arts Tour — Ruston
  • Nicholls State University Jubilee — Thibodaux
  • Red River Revel — Shreveport
  • Shakespeare Festival — New Orleans
  • Sippin’ in Seer Sucker — New Orleans
  • Spring Arts Festival — Minden
  • Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival — New Orleans
  • Three Rivers Art Festival — Covington
  • White Linen Night — New Orleans
  • Gumbo Gala: Food, Art & Music — Shreveport, Louisiana

Community Festivals- no I don’t know what that means either.

  • Baker Buffalo Festival — Baker, Louisiana
  • Baton Rouge Fest For All Festival — Baton Rouge
  • ChristFest Community Festival — Deville, Louisiana

Food and Wine Festivals-

  • Alligator Festival — Luling, Louisiana
  • Andouille Festival — Laplace
  • Bayou Lacombe Crab Festival — Lacombe
  • Blues and BBQ Challenge Festival — Hammond
  • Boudin Cook-Off — Lafayette[1]
  • Bucktown Seafood Festival — Bucktown, Louisiana [2]
  • Cajun Hot Sauce Festival — New Iberia
  • Catfish Festival — Des Allemands, Louisiana
  • Catfish Festival
  • Cattle Festival (Abbeville)
  • Chef Soiree — Covington[3]
  • Cochon de Lait Festival — Mansura
  • Cracklin Festival — Port Barre
  • Crawfish Festival — Breaux Bridge
  • Crawfish Étouffée Cook-off Festival — Eunice
  • Teacher Festival — Gueydan
  • Etouffee Festival — Arnaudville [4]
  • Farm Festival – Moreauville, Louisiana
  • Franklin Parish Catfish Festival — Winnsboro
  • French Food Festival — Larose, Louisiana
  • Frog Festival — Rayne
  • Fur and Wildlife Festival — Cameron
  • Great Gator Race — New Iberia LA
  • International Rice Festival — Crowley, Louisiana
  • Jambalaya Festival — Gonzales
  • Lecompte Pie Festival — Lecompte
  • Louisiana Cattle Festival — Abbeville
  • Louisiana Cotton Festival — Ville Platte
  • Louisiana Gumbo Festival — Thibodaux
  • The Louisiana Swamp Stomp Festival — Thibodaux, Nicholls State University, Louisiana
  • Louisiana Pecan Festival — Colfax
  • Louisiana PeppernFestival — St. Martinville
  • Louisiana Watermelon Festival — Farmerville
  • Mirliton Festival — New Orleans
  • Mudbug Madness Festival — Shreveport
  • Natchitoches Meat Pie Festival — Natchitoches
  • New Orleans Food & Wine Experience — New Orleans
  • New Orleans Seafood Festival — New Orleans[5]
  • Giant Omelette Celebration — Abbeville
  • Amite Oyster Festival — Amite, Louisiana
  • Ponchatoula Strawberry Festibal — Ponchatoula[6]
  • Plaquemines Parish Fair & Orange Festival — Buras
  • Rabbit Festival — Iowa
  • Ruston Peach Festival — Ruston
  • Seafood Festival — Mandeville
  • Shrimp Festival — Delcambre
  • Shrimp and Petroleum Festival — Morgan City
  • Sorrento Boucherie Festival — Sorrento[7]
  • Strawberry Festival — Ponchatoula
  • Sugarcane Festival — New Iberia
  • Swine Festival — Basile
  • Tales of the Cocktail — New Orleans
  • Tamale Fiesta — Zwolle
  • Tomato Festival — Chalmette, Louisiana
  • Viande Boucannee (Smoked Meat Festival) — Ville Platte
  • Yambilee Festival — Opelousas
  • The Taste of Louisiana Festival — Lake Charles , Louisiana

Earth and Nature Festivals 

  • Bayou Teche Bear Festival — Franklin
  • Earth Fest at Audubon Zoo — New Orleans
  • Earth Day Festival — Baton Rouge
  • Forest Festival — Winnfield
  • Louisiana Nursery Festival — Forest Hill

Film Festivals 

  • Contraband Film Festival — Lake Charles
  • New Orleans Media Experience Festival — New Orleans
  • Outhouse Film Festival — Baton Rouge
  • Ozone Film Festival — Covington
  • Red Stick International Animation Festival — Baton Rouge

Heritage Festivals 

  • Annual Germantown Festival — Minden
  • Black Heritage Festival — Lake Charles
  • Balfa Cajun/Creole Heritage Week — Ville Platte
  • Buggy Festival — Church Point
  • Baton Rouge Cajun Day Festival — Port Allen
  • Celtic Nations Heritage Festival — Lake Charles
  • Festivals Acadiens — Lafayette
  • French Settlement Creole Festival — Baton Rouge
  • Greek Festival — New Orleans
  • International Acadian Festival — Plaquemine
  • International Heritage Celebration Festival — Baton Rouge
  • Independence Italian Festival — Independence, Louisiana
  • Italian Festival — Baton Rouge, Louisiana
  • Los Islenos Festival — St. Bernard
  • Louisiana Folklife Festival — Monroe
  • Louisiana Renaissance Festival — Hammond
  • Mensaje Spanish Festival — New Orleans
  • Northwestern State University Folk Festival — Natchitoches
  • Oktoberfest Festival — Gonzales
  • Wooden Boat Festival — Madisonville

Holiday Festivals 

  • Baton Rouge Bonfire — BatheheNEW ORLEANS
  • Baton Rouge Festival of Lights — Baton Rouge
  • Christmas Under the Oaks — Sulphur
  • Courir de Mardi Gras — Acadiana
  • Festival of the Bonfires on the Mississippi River — Gramercy, Lutcher and Paulina
  • Go 4th On The River — New Orleans BATON ROUGE
  • Holiday Trail of Lights — North Louisiana
  • La Grande Boucherie des Cajuns — St. Martinville
  • Natchitoches Christmas Festival — Natchitoches
  • NCLAC Holiday Arts Tour — Ruston
  • New Orleans Mardi Gras — New Orleans
  • Port Allen Bonfires on the Mississippi River — Port Allen
  • Pow Wow and Trade Days Festival

Music Festivals 

  • Ark-La-Tex Jazz & Gumbo Music Festival — Shreveport
  • Bluegrass on the Bayou Festival — Baton Rouge
  • Blues Week Festival — Baton Rouge
  • Cajun French Music Association Festival — Lake Charles
  • Cajun Music Festival — Mamou
  • Cane River Zydeco Festival and Poker Run — Natchitoches
  • Creole Zydeco Festival — St. Martinville
  • DeltaFest — Monroe, Louisiana
  • Essence Music Festival — New Orleans
  • Festival International — Lafayette
  • French Quarter Festival — New Orleans
  • Highland Jazz & Blues Festival — Shreveport new orleans
  • Gas, Food and Lodging Music Festival — Baton Rouge
  • Lagniappe Dulcimer Fete Festival — Port Allen
  • Le Cajun Festival Music Awards — Lafayette
  • New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival — New Orleans
  • Satchmo Fest — New Orleans
  • South Louisiana Blackpot Festival and Cookoff — Lafayette
  • Strawberry Jam’n Toast To The Arts Festival — Ponchatoula
  • Swamp Pop Festival — Gonzales
  • Tomato Festival — Chalmette, Louisiana
  • Voice of the Wetlands Festival — Houma, Louisiana
  • Voodoo Experience — New Orleans
  • Zydeco Festival — Opelousas

Why yes the frog festival does fall under the food category. How great of you to notice.

I just met you and this is crazy, but tell me about yourself maybe

Oh hello saturday, how are you doing?

I am sure you are thinking that I have the most exciting weekends imaginable, and you would be right. This saturday did not dissapoint.

I started by going to meet my Thesis advisor at our local beignet place. If you have never been down to good ol’ Louisiana we eat the most delicious breakfast and coffee ever, Beignets and Cafe au lait. And on a saturday morning everyone is clad in their game day gold and purple.

I totally forgot to take a pic. So, I borrowed this one from

I like to get there early as the line is long and I want to have my beignets for our meeting. As soon as I got in line and elderly gentlemen got in line directly behind me. And that is when shit got real. He saw my notebook and asked if I was stuyding. I said yes I was. He the proceeded to tell me how he had spent many a years mentoring students at this coffee place. All of his daughters had gone through grad school and so had his wife. His wife graduated when she was 20, then she took a job teaching english to seniors in high school and after one year thought that was enough. She then worked for the welfare office until we started having kids. We had three kids in a five year time span. After that she went back to school for elementary education and taught kindergarten for many years. When, her friends told her the counselor was retiring and she had two years to get a masters in counseling so she could take the job. So, she went back to school and has been a counselor ever since. One of my daughters is also a counselor. See I’m in line to get her beignets to go. She called asked where I was and I said Coffee Call of course. She was excited and asked me to bring some to her. So, thats what I’m doing. Then, I have to go to walmart to get her some boxes for her office. They are remodeling their house over in (fancy neighborhood). They are adding 1000 square feet and doubling the size of the kitchen. I have done lots of remodeling so I know what it is like to live off a microwave in the bathroom. I wouldn’t normally be bringing her beignets, but she just got an embryo implanted yesterday and has to lay down all day. At this point I am like is he serious? He just continues on. It has been so difficult for them, and so hard to watch. And these treatments are so expensive. She is lucky she is married to a lawyer, but they have family money from both sides too. I opened a trust for her when she was so little, and her husband’s grandfather died recently and I think that is where they got the money for the renovations. Of course I don’t really know…..

He continues and finally ends with well I am here every saturday I will probably see you here again.

I finally make it to my seat and my advisor shows up. He thinks the line is too long so he is going to wait before getting coffee, which means he is going to show me pictures of his cat he took this morning. The cat named patea. He got patea two years ago from a cat adoption agency and they named her claudia, but then it turned into catea which morphed into patea, but patea is a nice name.

At this point I think I have stepped into an alternate universe where people start telling you all about their lives. Did I miss the memo? Am I supposed to be doing this now?

The bigger questions is, when I am old will I do this to random strangers? I shudder at the thought of discussing my most personal moments with random strangers who with then be so shocked they run home to write about it and I will be famous. On second thought, maybe I should start doing this now so I can become famous faster.

It’s closing time and you don’t have to go home, but you can’t stay here.

I am in search of a new city.

image from


I have the following requirements:

1. Good public schools: I currently live in a start with one  of the worst public school system in the country. To make matters worse I am a teacher, so I have higher expectations than most for a school because I know what bad things actually happen at supposed good schools.

2. Blue state/ Blue city: Being gay and not having over 1100 legal rights is expensive and difficult. The time has come to live where I can have some legal standing.

3. Four seasons: Not the hotel. But, four actual real seasons, and gasp perhaps snow.

That is all I want. Problem is can I find it within my price range?


So bloggers what city should I be living in?

Late Afternoon Thunderstorms

The long lazy southern summer is upon us. Every where you turn there is another sign. Late afternoon thunderstorms. Cicadas mating sounds echoing off the trees.  The thickening of the air with every breath you take.

I firmly believe it is the summers that truly turn someone southern. Something about the thick air, the front porch swinging with a paper fan and glass of sweet tea, that just changes your soul. The long conversations with friends as you suck the head of the spicy crawfish. Your bare feet on the cold summer grass as the kids run outside to play kick the can before the street lights turn on.

Just thinking of my summer evenings makes me weak at the knees. The warm caress of the summer evening wraps itself around me as I walk down my quiet neighborhood road breathing in the quiet whispers of the night.

I have a torrid love affair with the south as you all know. It is one of those passionate relationships that is either ecstasy or turmoil. Almost an addiction. No matter how bad the south treats me, I just cannot seem to walk away. I yearn for her even more. I want those wide open spaces, and beds of wild bluebonnets the dixie chicks always sing of. Just not the cowboy that comes with it.


Violence vs. Peace

The polls have closed. The numbers have been crunched. There is a winner and it is not me. I live in the least peaceful state in the Country.

image from wikipedia

Not only did we lose, but we have been last place for 11 years in a row. How did they calculate peace? Well, the absence of violence. Seeing as New Orleans is the 21st most violent city in the world, this ranking does not surprise.

Top Ten Peaceful Places:

1. Maine- It is too cold to be violent.

2. Vermont- Ben and Jerry’s Factory within driving distance. Who wouldn’t be happy?

3. New Hampshire- I love this state:)

4. Minnesota- The biggest mall in the states. Hello, fabulous!

5. Utah- The mormon’s live here. They don’t believe in violence only procreation. Wish we all could be too busy having sex to be violent.

6. North Dakota- Everyone here is frozen solid.

7. Washington- Hippies that made it rich are always peaceful.

8. Hawaii- Beaches and oceans and love.

9. Rhode Island- I know nothing about Rhode Island. Sorry.

10. Iowa- Wide open spaces lots of room to miss hitting someone with your bullet.



Eight of the lowest ten states are all in the south.



Is 50 to old to be a slut?

Enter if you dare....

I live in a fifty year old house. My house has been around almost twice as long as I have. Most of my house has been updated, but you just can’t update the bones of a house. The windows rattle in the wind on a stormy night. The walls are paper thin; allowing me to hear the neighborhood drama. But, the worst sounds come from the front door. All day long it sounds as if someone is falling on it. Perhaps one of the ninja cats from next door ran up and hit the door, or a stick flew through the air and landed at my doorstep. When I open the door, nothing. It has left me perplexed.

The only logical conclusion is ghosts, naturally. Everywhere you step in Louisiana there is another ghost. I wrote a theory on that here. It is possible I have my very own ghost. Someone was kidnapped and killed in my house 30 ish years ago,  the gruesome details about that are here. Maybe the ghost kid is trying to get out of the house every day because at night the door does not make any noise. But what if, my door is actually enticing to all the ghosts in the neighborhood. Each time one of them enters the house the doors shifts.  I did put out a welcome mat and paint the door a sexy red. I knew I should have painted my door a less slutty color.

I'm sexy and I know it