Friday, December 16, 2016

Neglected blog needs action

Look at this poor little blog.

Nobody writes on it anymore.

A few people still read it.

Some are Russian bots, according to my analytics. Some are women who are trying to come to terms with infertility and are just beginning to turn their thoughts to adoption.Some are moms whose daughters have just been diagnosed with scoliosis.

Some are folks thinking about heading down to New Orleans for the Mardi Gras.

Some just googled "big tits."

Yeah. Sad isn't it?

I just haven't had much time to write for "fun." That's because, for the last year, I've had this full time job. And I do mean full time. Today was my ONE day of vacation. For the year. 

One year ago last month, I became the sports editor at this little paper called L'Observateur"  in LaPlace, Louisiana, which is a suburb of New Orleans.

"L'Observateur" is French for "the observer." No one can pronounce it, though. Most people call it "the L'ObservaTOR." Or just "The Lobster." That's easier to say and to spell. If they would make it our email name that would be soooo much easier.

I joined a staff of eight -- an editor, a receptionist, a graphics person, a news reporter who was greener than grass, a circulation person and two ad reps.

A few months in, the news reporter left us. And, suddenly, I became a news staff of one.

Well, that's not completely true. The editor does most of the crime and government stuff. I just do the sports. And the features. And anything else that comes up.

I've covered football, basketball, baseball, golf, track and soccer, grand openings, closings and a sausage eating contest.

I've covered great athletes, old athletes and some that will be someday. I've seen teams win championships and just fall short. I even got to cover a game coached by my own kid.

I learned how to paginate, write headlines and take pictures. Maybe someday I'll learn how to take an action shot. For now, all my athletes have to stand still. Somebody tell that to the basketball players. And could you ask the referees to stay out of my frame. I have more photos of their butts.

I'm lucky that there have been no shortages of stories in my area. In the past year I have written about a former NBA great and Louisiana Sports Hall of Famer who now is coaching girls basketball, a volleyball coach who went on a mission and entered a body building bikini contest, a rock and roll band that just missed getting a Grammy nomination, a young lady who earned a college scholarship for riding a horse and this newish fad called vaping.

I've also covered the aftermath of a tornado, a deadly car crash that took the life of a local fire chief and the various fundraisers our community has organized to help them.

I've been to schools, the Veterans Home and inside people's houses.

I've written about special kids and kids with special needs.

I interviewed a 3-year-old. Well, I tried.

And remember my friend who lost her sheriff's deputy husband? I got to write about her and her new husband -- yes, another cop.

I write a lot, about a lot of different subjects. On week I wrote 10 stories for two editions. My phone contact list includes the local Sheriff, the DA about 60 different coaches and a dozen or so players.

At least I'm never bored. But I am pretty tired.

So I'm sorry that I don't have much time to write about The Teen, who is now a sophomore in high school and excelling at school. She is fully recovered from her scoliosis surgery with little effects except she can't bend over. That means she can't pick up her socks, much to the delight of the little dog who likes to drag them into the living room. She tried golf at school, but that didn't go too well. You know how they say "address the ball"? She had to propose to it on one knee.

The Coach is still a coach, just without a team. He's actively looking for another team to coach and has applied for a few positions. It has to be right, though. In his free time, he drives an Uber in New Orleans and he really loves it. Keeps him busy too.

He is still teaching Special Education at the local school. The emotionally disturbed kids. That's why I rarely complain about my job.

And Mama is still Mama, calling every other day for help with her phone or her iPad. She's no longer reading cards in the French Quarter, I'm sad to say. But she had a little procedure on her heart about a year ago, which has kept her going and out of the Hospital on the Hill. (Knock wood)

And I still have this little blog. I wish I had more time. I wish had more stories.

Monday, March 7, 2016

When I'm 54


As much as I love birthdays, sometimes they do make us want to turn back the clock.

I mean, I can put up with the lines and the wrinkles, but I really hate the little dots that start showing up all over the place. The aches in the feet. The pains in the hips. The bad eyes and the finicky digestive system.

And what I wouldn't give for hair that stays one color or for eyebrows that just stay (what the hell is up with that?)

And when you start thinking about themes for a birthday party, it's fun to turn back the clock. My niece had an 80s party for her 16th birthday. My sister-in-law Lou had a 50s party when she turned 60. And last year I gave Lora a 60s/Beatles themed party when she turned 14.

So, what do you do when you turn 54? You have a 70s party of course!

Actually, it was a Studio 54 Party.

I just kind of threw it out there to the Coach on the way to dinner a few weeks ago, as we were mulling over the idea of a backyard barbeque or a fancy dinner out to mark the occasion.

"We could have a Studio 54 party!"I said.

He smiled. Then he smiled wider. He was down with it.

In case you're too young to remember, Studio 54 was a very famous disco in New York City during the 1970s. It was THE hot spot for movie stars, rock stars, groupies and famous nobodies (like the Kardashians). You just had to be one of the "beautiful people" to get past the velvet rope.

Well, that wasn't necessarily the case at our Studio 54. We let everybody in because they were all my beautiful friends and family members, some of whom spent the day at Goodwill searching for an appropriately tacky 1970s outfit to wear.

Lora and I went to our local thrift shop over the weekend. She found a lovely black velvet dress that could have been in fashion in the 70s but was just as cool today. She bought it for $3.

I lucked out and found an all-in-one pantsuit that I think had been there since the 70s. It had a halter top and wide flare legs and gold studs all around the draped neck. It was perfect and it was on the $5 rack. Of course I had to pay extra -- $7 -- because it was all-in-one, the clerk said. Yes, I got ripped off at the Goodwill Store.

I eschewed the platform shoes, however. Having actually worn them in the 70s, the 80s and most of the 90s, I can no longer feel my little toes and have some spurs growing in some joints. I elected to wear big, clunky sandals instead which is good considering I walked about three miles on this day doing party prep. I did search for roller skates. Those might have helped.

My friend Kristal found a nice silky, polyester shirt which she paired with her favorite flare leg Yoga pants and a pair of big, clunky animal print shoes. She could barely walk the next day.

Ouch.


Lisa found herself a sexy dress and some sexy black boots. "I wanted white ones but beggars can't be choosy," she said. "If I had time I would have tried to spray paint them."

My friend Daniell went but got discouraged when she couldn't find anything. I told her just to buy a mullet dress -- you know, one of those dresses that is short in the front, long in the back. Those were a staple of the 1970s. I wore one to my prom in 1978. And in 1979.

Sadly, they made a comeback just a few years ago. Daniell had one in her closet.

I really tried to get The Coach to come as a 1970s Coach with the Bike coach shorts, the white tube socks and a trucker hat. He opted for the lounge lizard pants and sweater vest instead.

A few just showed up in tie-dye.

Of course we all wore blue eye shadow with glitter and kohl eyeliner and lots of mascara and tied things around our heads. I moved my usual part from the side to the middle and gave myself some "wings." Everyone says I should leave it like that. Hmmm.

Then there was my nephew-in-law who pasted on bushy black sideburns and chest hair.

We drank Boone's Farm wine and sang like the Bee Gees and boogied to the beat. But none of us could remember exactly how to do The Hustle.

Hey. We're lucky we could remember the 70s at all.

We actually remember the 70s!
                                      

And my husband bought me a disco ball.


That's French for "Disco Ball."




What more could a 54 year old woman ask for?




Groovy girls!











Saturday, January 30, 2016

Fifteen


I remember my 15th birthday.

My grandmother pulled out her best white tablecloth and the fancy milkglass pedestal punch bowl. My mom got me a fancy cake from Caro's in Houma that was decorated to look like a pair of blue jeans (but was really just a horseshoe). And my cousins Gloria and Laura and Aunt Rosita, my sister Jo Lee and her kids, and a couple of good friends came over to watch me blow out my candles.

And I think the very next day, my mom took me to the Driver's License Office.

Yes, back then the legal driving age was 15, and we didn't even have to go to Driver's Ed class to get it. It was an elective at the high school. Just like HomeEc.

It was 1977.

On Tuesday of this week, the Coach and I were joined by my stepdaughter Courtney, my stepson Daniel and his wife Cori and their two kids, Robi and Laken, at the local Sicily's Italian Buffet in LaPlace, where we watched Lora Leigh blow out two candles -- a "1" and a "5" --  on a Mardi Gras colored cake from the local grocery store.

 I guess by the age of 15, we're just too cool for themed parties with balloons and coordinating paper plates. By 15, it's just about family and friends.


On the Saturday before she turned 15, Lora had a couple of friends over to "celebrate." By celebrate I mean, they sat around my dining room table playing on their phones, took selfies, SnapChatted with each other, ordered an obscene amount of pizza, listened to some crazy-ass music on Spotify and, before the night was over, watched an "Office" marathon on Netflix

Welcome to 2016.

Welcome to my world.

We've moved on from the pink parties, from the princess parties, from the mermaid party, from the Kim Possible party, from the Hannah Montana parties, from the Harry Potter party, from the Doctor Who party, from the Beatles party.

I didn't know what to do with myself. I had no dishes to cook, no dips to make. No themed goody bags to put together. At least she agreed to use the left over tye dyed plates and napkins from last year.

Yes, I now have a full-fledged teenager. I think. It's hard to remember when she hardly ever comes out of her room. When she does, it's for pizza rolls, Dr. Pepper or chicken pot pies. Or to take a shower. Or another one. Or to ask if her friend Devin can come over. Or if she can dye her hair blue.

I swear, sometimes she comes stalking into the living room and I jump in surprise because I'm almost forgotten that she lives here. She doesn't think that's funny.

I don't either, really.

The Coach and I have now reversed our roles a bit. Where I used to be the one who got her up, got her dressed, got her on the bus and talked to her about endless things, now he's the one. She is a freshman and he is a teacher at her high school. Now, he gets her up, makes sure she's dressed appropriately and has her school ID. There's no more bus, though. They ride together.

Now, he knows her routine, her dramas, her friends, her frenemies.

There's not much to know, really. She's an outstanding Honor Roll student. She sings in the choir. She's in the art class. She's on the girls golf team (because her dad is coaching it). She has nice friends both male and female. She doesn't bully. Doesn't get bullied. In fact, she's the one who will tell the bully to knock it off. All her teachers rave about her.

And she has a straight spine that only occasionally bothers her, like when she stands for a long time or when she just wants to get out of doing something.

Maybe I should be waiting for a shoe to drop.

Well, there is Driver's Ed in the very near future.