Tag Archives: New Orleans

My end of 2012 homework

In 2010, Jamey assigned me some homework, ordering me to reflect on everything that I accomplished that year. So, I did and I wrote a post about it. It was really helpful. So helpful that I did it again last year and I’ve been writing 2013’s homework in my head pretty much all year long.

The 12 Achievements of 2012:

1. I turned 30. I watched the Saints-Lions game at a neighborhood bar with a bunch of friends who decided the only way to make me feel 30 was to encourage me to drink like I was 21. The Saints won, I got to spend time with friends while celebrating the start of my thirties and everybody was happy. At least, we were all happy that night. Darker times were ahead for the Saints. But, thus far, my thirties are still going well.

2. I got my 5th tattoo and “finished” my birthday tattoo project, undertaken between the pivotal years of 25 and 30.

3. I attended a local premiere of 21 Jump Street with cast and crew, which was a really fun experience and the movie was hilarious. Then, I spent the first three-fourths of the year working on two more movies I’ve very proud to have been involved with (#1 and #2).

4. I went on a road trip with Mamma Mia!, after I evacuated for Hurricane Isaac and stayed with some friends. Since we visited both of my grandmothers in Columbus, Ohio and Chicago, I called it The Grandma Road Trip. Not only did we get to see a lot of family members we hadn’t seen in years since we’re all so spread out, but Mamma Mia! and I spent more time together than we had in probably a decade. And we both survived.

5. I wrote a skit for The NO Show, Helen Krieger‘s new-school old-fashioned radio show, then got to see it produced. Helen was looking for material, I said I might have have some and next thing I knew, we were writing a 5-minute version of my idea. Then, there was a table reading and a “punch-up” draft with the actors and other funny people. Then, one of our actors couldn’t make the re-scheduled recording and I had to step in and voice one of the characters! It was a rollercoaster ride, a fun one, and I hope it keeps going.

6. I freelanced for the last quarter of the year. It was really tough, but it was also one of the most important things I’ve ever done. I continued to write for 225 Magazine and also continued some editing work I’ve done for a while. I worked for a friend of my dad’s in the industry I grew up in (conventions and trade shows) and discovered I’d picked up a lot more as a kid than I’d realized. And I wrote. I freelanced on another movie and recently accepted some new work on a tv show, which I won’t be able to talk about for a long time.

My obsession with tango continued. There were a lot of firsts this year.

7. I bought my first pair of tango shoes. This coincided with me dancing as much as possible, at least once or twice a week, and sometimes more, so my dancing improved a lot.

8. I danced in new communities, in Atlanta (three times) and Chicago (once). I hope to go back and dance with them more in 2013, and also, I plan on checking out new places to dance as well.

9. I performed for the first time. I almost didn’t, then changed my mind at the last minute. It was a terrifying and utterly satisfying experience and I hope to do it more. I’m glad I made the decision to be bold and dance.

Photo by Shari Stauch

Photo by Shari Stauch.
Partner is Casey Mills.

10. I won NaNoWriMo. This year, it was easy. I was freelancing, so I had the time to commit. I had a great, fun story. I watched Saints games, tv shows, movies, went out with my friends. Even with voting, Thanksgiving, my shower exploding and getting sick, I still finished early.

11. I won my first major literary prize. My essay “Tango Face” won the essay category of the William Faulkner-William Wisdom Literary Competition. In my “end of 2011 homework” post, I said I was submitting my work diligently and promised I would brag on myself when the submitting paid off. So, as promised, when it paid off, I bragged on myself.

12. I achieved better balance. Literally, with my dancing, I achieved better balance, working on my core and maintaining my own axis. There’s still lots of room for improvement, but I’ve come a long way. Figuratively, I sought out and achieved better balance in my life, between work and play, between paying the bills and passion. I fought for and found better balance within myself. I talked about balance in both my 2010 and 2011 end-of-the-year homework assignments, each time with more clarity and cohesion. I mentioned balance by accident in 2010, unaware of it’s importance. I knew I needed balance in 2011 and I was looking for it. In 2012, I achieved it for glorious patches of time, which convinces me that it’s attainable. It’s still the goal.

2012 was a banner year, not only because of my 12 personal achievements, but also because the world didn’t end. And since it didn’t end, I’m looking forward to all the experiences and achievements 2013 has to offer.

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Filed under Atlanta, bragging on, coolness, family, freelance work, Friends, musing, NaNoWriMo, New Orleans, New Orleans Film Industry, random rant, tango, The Grandma Road Trip

The NO Show Wants You

Host Mindy Hawes with Eritria Pitts and Andrew Larimer.

Today, The NO Show is recording live at the Loews Hotel (300 Poydras), at 6 p.m.

What is The NO Show, you ask? Well, it is a new-style, old-fashioned variety radio show, hosted by Mindy Hawes, with music from Hazy Ray and produced by local filmmaker Helen Krieger of Flood Streets and Least Favorite Love Songs.

Featured in this session of The NO Show are Dan Woods and Cyrus Cooper, founders of Film Instant, Andrew Ward, a musician and poet, and Chris Champagne, political satirist.

The recording is free and open to the public.

Mindy Hawes with Michael Garrett and Jason Foster.

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October 3, 2012 · 11:49 am

The Grandma Road Trip – Leg Six

Leg Six: Acworth to New Orleans, 498.3 miles

Tuesday, September 11th: I left after Atlanta’s rush hour, managing to get a little sleep and after a tough goodbye with Mums. We’d gotten so used to traveling together, to sharing a small space together, it felt strange to make this last leg alone. I stopped for an early lunch with Aimee and then again, later, to make some calls for the movie, wrapping up some loose ends. Otherwise, the trip was uneventful, except for the end.

As soon as I arrived in Nola, I went straight to rehearsals for the NO Show. It turned out our leading lady was out of town and I would have to voice one of the lead parts during the live recording the next day, with Helen voicing the other. After rehearsal, I met Jamey for dinner. Normally, I would’ve just collapsed after a trip home from GA, but I still wasn’t done. I changed clothes in the bathroom, then went to tango! I didn’t dance very much, mostly just caught up with everyone since I hadn’t seen them for about two weeks.

It was midnight before I got home, which I’d last seen about 15 days previously, before Hurricane Isaac and before this insane road trip with my mom. I was so glad to be home in Nola, but I found myself missing Mums and everybody I’d gotten so used to seeing while on The Grandma Road Trip.

More than anything, I was just glad we had done it, glad to have spent the time with family and made the memories, glad to be safely home and to find my home safely waiting for me.

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Filed under family, Friends, musing, New Orleans, tango, The Grandma Road Trip, travel

The Grandma Road Trip – Leg One

Leg One: New Orleans to Baton Rouge, 80.1 miles

Sunday, August 26th: Becks and I met for dinner, catching up. During dinner, I got a call from my boss, confirming that the office would only be open for a few hours the next day so that we could prepare it for Hurricane Isaac. This was meant to be our last week and now the office would be closed for at least two days. Also, she said, I should fill up my gas tank, because gas stations were already running out. Becks and I finished dinner, grabbed some hurricane supplies and looked for gas. One station we passed had a line for several blocks and two others were sold out. As we separated, Becks said, “You might want to pack the car in case you have to leave straight from work.” So, I stayed up late Hurricane-“proofing” the house, packing for both the Grandma Road Trip and for evacuation. Have you ever had to pack as if you’ll be gone for just 14 days and also maybe indefinitely at the same time? It’s pretty hard.

Monday, August 27th: Monday should’ve started our last week in the office and instead, we had to get it ready to face the storm, as well as a bit of business as usual. As the hours passed, it became clear I was going to Baton Rouge. Several people were encouraging (begging, in some cases) me to leave. I was grouchy. This had happened a few years ago for Gustav and I ended up trapped in Baton Rouge for a week. But, I knew they were right, so I headed to Baton Rouge. I ran a few errands and stopped by to see my editors at the 225 offices. Then, I went to stay with friends who are like family to me. We hadn’t gotten to see much of each other lately, so between that and the BBQ dinner, it felt more like vacation than evacuation that first night.

Tuesday, August 28th – Thursday, August 30th: We had power the entire time I was with my friends, which made them call me their lucky charm. It was so comfortable to be there, but I was still restless. I knew everybody was safe back in Nola, that my house still had power (amazingly, it didn’t go out once), but I didn’t know when or if I would be able to go back to Nola. I knew I’d done the right thing by leaving when I-10 was flooded at LaPlace, making it extremely difficult to get back into the city. It would’ve been difficult to leave on our trip from Nola, had I stayed. As it was, the office had a bit of flooding and we wouldn’t be able to reopen to the following week, so after four days in Baton Rouge, I left a day early for the the Grandma Road Trip.

I texted Mums: On my way home tomorrow.

She texted me back: New Orleans home, or here?

That question of home was a better one than either of us realized, and would echo throughout the trip.

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Filed under Baton Rouge, family, musing, New Orleans, The Grandma Road Trip, travel

The Grandma Road Trip

As my latest movie was coming to an end, Mums and I found ourselves in a similar place: jobless and excited about the possibilities, while trying to reconcile ourselves to change. I live in a different state from my mother, as she does from hers. We have, all three generations of us and in our own ways, been trying to establish better relationships with each other despite this physical distance. So, Mums and I conceived of a trip, a massive road trip, to visit both of my grandmothers, who are 87 and 88 and who I haven’t seen in a few years. This trip would also enable us to see other family we hadn’t seen for a long time and spend more time with each other. Plus, and this isn’t the smallest factor, we each needed an adventure.

I will break down this trip in the next several posts, maybe over a few days, beginning with Leg One: Baton Rouge.

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Filed under family, musing, New Orleans, The Grandma Road Trip, travel

Do you know what it means

I left on Nola Monday after we closed the office, ahead of the worst of the evacuation traffic. I am very, very lucky to be having a wonderful, relatively relaxing extended stay with friends, who have made me very much at home. We haven’t lost power once and I’ve been able to stay in touch with friends back home to reassure myself that they are safe, that my home is safe. This is a cakewalk compared to how it could’ve gone, compared to what I prepared for.

And still.

I miss normal life. I miss my friends and my house and my neighborhood. I miss New Orleans.

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Filed under Friends, music, musing, New Orleans

Proud to be a NolaFemme

I’ve been meaning to post for a while, y’all. Sorry I’ve been MIA. While you’re waiting for the next bragging on post, please head over to NOLAFemmes and read Amy’s post about her daughter’s excitement for Muses, the awful experience they had during the parade and the wonderful community support they’ve received afterwards. This is an example of both the best and worst of Mardi Gras, and it’s such a sweet reminder to all of us about what Carnival is all about – family, neighbors, community.

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Filed under bragging on, coolness, family, Friends, New Orleans

48 Film Project August 12-14

Team Gefilte Fish Eye shoots 'Damned Love' in Tel Aviv in 2008.

A friend of mine recently told me about 48 Film Project, which is about to start its fifth year in New Orleans (and tenth year overall).

Teams register online and then spend 48 hours writing, producing, editing (and scoring) a 7-minute film. Later, the films are screened for audiences (always sold-out audiences in New Orleans) and the winning films will be screened at the New Orleans Film Festival. They’ll also compete with the winners of other competing cities for a screening at the Cannes International Film Festival.

There are a limited number of team openings in each city, so register now if you’re interested. You can also register as an individual interested in joining teams by providing your name and contact info, as well as skills and experience.

The kickoff event will be Friday the 12th at 6 p.m. at The Big Top/3 Ring Circus. The dropoff event will be at the same place on Sunday at 6 p.m. In between will be 48 hours of no sleep and lots of creative chaos for each of the teams. Don’t forget to register BEFORE the kickoff event as there is limited availability for teams. You can, however, sign up for a waitlist if they’ve already reached their maximum number of teams and you register to join an already-formed team. Check it all out at the website: http://www.48hourfilm.com/neworleans/

If any of our readers compete (or have competed), we’d love to know about your experience!

Photo taken by Rob Hatch at Cinequest 2006.

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Filed under Creativity, Film, movies, Women

New Orleans street art

For all of my posts about street art and all my photos of graffiti from around New Orleans, I’ve never actually dedicated a post just to New Orleans images. But I always take pictures, compulsively. Most people know by now that if you’re walking with me, I’m likely to stop and start taking pictures. Even Papa Bear knows that after a visit to Elizabeth’s (and the area near Dr. Bob’s) and a walk we took to Juan’s. He was very patient with me while I fell back and snapped pictures of all the amazing street art I saw.

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I loved reading about the Swoon exhibit through NOMA over at NOLAFemmes, which is going on through September. Good news for those of us who haven’t caught it yet.

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Loving Lissie locally

Last year, I wrote about a musician named Lissie who’s become one of my favorites and I ended the post by saying:

“Lissie, when are you coming to New Orleans? Seriously.”

On Tuesday, Lissie performed at the House of Blues Parish Room and to demonstrate what a big fan I am, I was one of the first 30 people to buy my ticket, more than two months ago. I know, I’m a dork. But, I’d be a supreme dork again and buy tickets waaay early if she ever comes back to New Orleans, because she’s an awesome live performer.

It’s easy to see that from her many YouTube videos, but it’s nothing to actually being in the audience. There is something absolutely electric about her when she performs. Because my own taste in music is so eclectic, I think one of things I love best about her is that she can sing bluegrass, then pop, then rock, and always sound like herself. Her covers of Kid Cudi’s “Pursuit of Happiness” and Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance” are genius, but her own songs are clever and infectious as well.

Moll went with me to the show, which was cool because she’d never heard of Lissie and left a fan. I’ve found a video of Lissie’s encore performance of “Pursuit of Happiness” at the show and I’ll include it here:

I probably shouldn’t be so proud of the fact that all the Frenchmen talk happened because I yelled “Frenchmen” in response to her “ready for Bourbon” comment, and that you can hear me screaming in the video. As Moll Tweeted me later:

@emofalltrades I’m pretty sure that I can hear you hollerin’.

While there were a ton of young girls there (singing very loudly to her songs and calling out “You’re so pretty!” between songs), the audience was surprisingly age-diverse. Her opening act, Dylan LeBlanc, was excellent as well, though the feel of his set was very different from Lissie’s performance, of course. He’s worth checking out and I’ve embedded a video here for you:

Moll and I were taking a picture of ourselves on my cell phone when a woman walked by and offered to take our picture, breathlessly telling us afterward that she’d flown from New York, where she’d just seen Lissie and that Lissie was about to blow up in popularity. The woman predicted that Lissie will be performing at the Arena next time she’s in New Orleans. While she took our picture, a strange guy we didn’t know wandered by and posed behind us a few times. So almost all of the pictures that the woman took of us include this guy and us laughing. I’ll include one below and leave you with my wishlist for Lissie’s next New Orleans appearance, whether it’s at the Arena or not:

1. Lissie, come back to New Orleans

2. Perform “Pursuit of Happiness” with Kid Cudi (they could tour together, why not?!)

3. Support a new awesome cd.

Yeah, we don't know that guy, but he did tell us to tag him on Facebook. 🙂

 

P.S. I’ve started writing for NOLAFemmes and my second post for them was a write up of the show.

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Filed under Friends, music, New Orleans, pop culture, review