Monday, December 10, 2012

My Gift to You: The All-Purpose Holiday Card

Pumped to see people are still reading this (even if it's only to read what I have to say about bar skanks)-- in gratitude, I've made a holiday card for y'all to use. 

Being in the middle of Hanukkah and on the heels of Festivus/Christmas/Kwanzaa/Boxing Day/etc, I'm in the giving mood. In the name of inclusivity, I've made the card so that you can personalize it for your holiday needs.

(Card Front)

(Card Interior)
I did my best to express whatever sentiments you may be feeling this holiday season. Sending a card to your Jewish schoolteacher? Print this card and check off the "Happy" and the "Hanukkah". Stewing over your terrible break-up? Write in "Horrifying" and check "Apocalypse" and you're set. Need something for that co-worker who you don't know very well? Wish them "Festive" "Holidays." That's how truly versatile this card is.

Think of all the money you're saving, printing just one card instead of buying a variety of them. (If you want to go fancy with this, you can print custom 5"x7" cards at Vistaprint at 20 for $14.99. Yes, of course I checked.)

You're welcome.

(*Like this card? I also made a newsletter for singles to send to their families before holiday gatherings. I'll be sending them together this year.)

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Why Life in New Orleans is Like a Sitcom

I've always wanted my life to be like a sitcom. I can already hear some of you decrying sitcoms as the lowest form of televised entertainment, and I say to you: Shut up, hipster. Sitcoms are delightful little 22 minute packages of laughter, wrapped up nicely each week to make you feel better for watching it. Sometimes there are even moral lessons sprinkled in, but not always. Not everything has to be life changing, you know.

I've been saying for a while now that I think that the writers for "Happy Endings" actually just follow me around and then write up Penny's plot line for the week. (If you don't watch the show, I suggest you do. But maybe give it a few goes round-- just like life, not every episode is a-mah-zing, but in general: I love it.) Penny's hijinks have my friends (and myself) saying "Gee, this sounds an awful lot like LeeAnne," which has always brought me some joy that my life is at least a LITTLE bit like a sitcom, and I'm the comic relief.

But then I moved to New Orleans. 

In the few months I've been here, my life has become more and more like a sitcom with each passing day. Of course, I'm about to tell you why:

We're all familiar with the scenario: the main character has a conversation that the writers don't know how to wrap up, then thankfully the neighbor barges in and the laugh track starts rolling. Just watch an episode of "Seinfeld." Jerry is inevitably ranting about something and just when you're wondering how much longer he can go on, cue Kramer sliding in the door with some ridiculous comment or plan for them to carry out. Or in "Will & Grace." The banter gets less and less witty and then BOOM! Jack is running through the door!

In my life, I have my roommate/landlord: Bill. He is wonderful, but positively cuckoo bananas. In the otherwise stressful storyline of LeeAnne's first hurricane, Bill pops in and has me help him "purify and protect" the house. I can walk around burning sage and repeating mumbo jumbo with the best of them, so I did it. And it made me feel better, just realizing that ridiculousness was happening. Or I'm cooking dinner (not a particularly thrilling chore), when he pops in to explain to me that the feral cats in our backyard are more human than we are and that we can learn so much from them. Maybe he's got the onset of dementia, but it brings me a lot of joy.

In the sitcom formula, the show always centers on a group of friends, usually a trio, because then there's always the awkward sexual tension of two of the friends liking one another and the other being left out. Oooh, drama!

Well, I don't really have that. I serve as third wheel to my friend Nicole and her fiance, Michael, so it's not really a mystery to me as to which two in this trio has feelings for each other, but the similarity still stands. We are a group of friends who have adventures together. (Adventures you'll read about if you keep reading.)

What about sitcoms with larger casts, like "Friends" or "Happy Endings" or "How I Met Your Mother?" I can fill out those casts, too. Between our co-workers and the awkwardness that ensues, we're an entertaining bunch at any number.

Speaking of co-workers... They are often a source of hilarity in sitcoms. Obviously "The Office" (original British or spin-off American version) is the best example of this: work places are rife with situations you don't encounter in other parts of your life and also full of awkward people forced into interacting with one another.

I work in a campus activities office, so the number of bizarre work experiences I have are especially abundant. You've heard me talk about that before, so I won't go on (rather, you should read my other posts). But I will say this: Any job that involves working with magicians and inflatable fly guys as much as mine does = sitcom comedy gold.

Any sitcom worth its salt is chock full of shenanigans. Fortunately, so is my life. Going hipster isn't so much a storyline as an ongoing joke (I live around a bunch of hippies and I use Instagram), but that's still common to sitcoms.

I won't tell the whole story to the following shenanigans as that's the job for future posts, but here is a list of for-true adventures I've had since I moved here in August:

  • I got free front row tickets to a Brad Paisley concert just because I was sitting and eating and looking generally friendly. (We didn't go because we decided to buy tulle instead, but that's another story.)
  • We dressed up as giant loofahs and went out on the town. People loved us, and we're floating around in Facebook albums by people we don't know and probably won't see again. Also, a woman's necklace got stuck in my loofah and she took it off and decided just to leave it there. FREEBIES! (We gave it back.)
  • We crashed a party at Muriel's celebrating the best restaurants in New Orleans-- which, if you know anything about New Orleans, means these were hoity toity people we were hob nobbing with. We gorged ourselves on pate and lox and top shelf liquor, all the while fawning over John Besh and some lady who was in Treme and acting like we belonged. 
  • I pretended to be engaged to a friend of ours (who happens to be gay-- Penny and Max from "Happy Endings," anyone?) so that we could crash a rehearsal dinner tasting. It was delish.
All of this happened as the aforementioned comedic trio, of course.

You'll notice if you've ever watched a sitcom that they usually wrap up with all of the characters getting together in their usual spot to discuss the happenings of the episode and end the episode laughing so that we on the outside know that they're ALWAYS having fun, not just for 30 minutes a week. There are a million examples of this: "Friends" had the Central Perk, "Seinfeld" had the diner, "Cheers" had, well, Cheers, and "Saved by the Bell" had The Max.

I have happy hour. The location changes each week, but it serves the same purpose: my friends and I get together at the end of the week to discuss our happenings and leave laughing so we know we're fun people.

Sitcoms always have cameos, too! Watch "Glee" on any given week and you'll think to yourself, "Oh, [some actor/actress far too talented for network television] is on this week! Who knew s/he could sing?!"

Well, living in New Orleans, I also have cameos of famous actors. Personally, I've run into Justin Long and Noah Wyle. My friend Nicole saw Morgan Freeman at a restaurant once, and it's a well known fact that Leo DiCaprio jogs in Audubon Park at 5am on the daily.

I also have people who serve the cameos' role in my life; my friend Nicole says no one else does this, but I often have people I call "friend-for-a-day." I hang out with them for a day or so and then I never talk to them again. I met a girl on the bus who got me into a Trombone Shorty concert for free and we had a grand ol' time. I have no idea what her name is. After Isaac, when I was hot as all get out and escaped to the Quarter during the day, I hung out with the same people at an artists' co-op everyday, shooting the shit and painting and complaining about the heat. I haven't seen them since. It happens. They're my cameos!

But mostly when I think of cameos, I think of the sitcom king who I want dearly to cameo in the sitcom of my life: 

I love this man. And it's a cameo that could potentially happen as he lives here in New Orleans. Then my sitcom would be PERFECT. 

I might as well just plan on that happening and pitch my story to some network execs ASAP. I even have my promo worked out. Show's logo is a unique font so it's immediately recognizable. Main character highlighted front and center. Cheesy smile and awkward pose so people know it's a comedy. Generic photo of the show's locale to attract mainstream viewers. Primetime time slot so people know there's some adult content.

I'll update this with a network logo as soon as someone picks it up. I feel pretty good about this.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Identity Crisis

Alright folks, it looks as though many of you anticipate an identity crisis in my future. New Orleans is going to make me an entirely different person?! That's news to me!

For those of you who don't know me well, let me paint you a picture (or crudely draw you a stick figure):
That's me. Pretty average, I know, but I like me a lot, so I'm happy with this picture.

What everyone else pictures, however, is a little more seedy (or depressing):

To be fair, my family also pictures me as this:
Copyright the History Channel

I have something else in mind:

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Adventures in Moving

First and foremost, I'm spoiling you, you know. Don't get used to this posting-on-a-regular-basis business, because it's just not going to happen. I'll fall off the face of the planet again soon, don't worry! Mostly because:


That's right, folks, I really am moving to New Orleans! I'm very excited for this life change!! 

Yay! Sunshine and rainbows and daisies!

...But the reality of moving has definitely set in.

Ugh. Sunshine and rainbows and daisies take up a lot of boxes. 

Don't worry too much about me, though. I'm very quickly approaching the final stage of moving: apathy.

Don't worry. Mostly I donate it all. Everything but the clothes on my back.
This whole process is definitely an emotional whirlwind (mostly because I am moving and all my favorite things about Ohio are not), but it's also been a great learning process for me. Even just looking for places to live, I've noticed how much I've grown over the past few years.
Who cares?! IT'S MY FIRST PLACE!!!

Ah. There's the bitterness of experience right there.
Overall, I'm proud of myself. What a relatively responsible way of looking at renting, right? (I did not use that spreadsheet by the way, but I did think of those things! I still get points for good intentions!)

But, of course, moving has also led me to intense judgement. What kind of person am I? So many questions...

Seriously. I've never smoked ANYTHING. How could I possibly like Pink Floyd THAT much?!

No. I don't have a drinking problem. I have a storage problem.

Five or six pounds of beads.
Not everything has been left a mystery to me, though. I've learned some things, too!
Every piece of trash has a story, dang it!

This shouldn't be in past tense. It's still on my fridge.

Ha cha cha.

Please don't actually nominate me for that show.
Hoarding's not so bad though, is it? Look for updates with more fun facts I'm learning about myself... who knew moving was such a developmental process?!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Boy Band Song Interpretations

*To be more accurate, interpretations are more LeeAnne-ish than "literal."
My little teenage self just melted over that photo. Give me a moment to recollect myself.

I'll be the first to admit: I. Love. Boy. Bands. I loved them then, I love them now-- they are catchy and have harmonies that angels envy. And they have this:
I'm going to ignore how strange this is and just say, "Way to be ahead of your time, boys."
I know every word to every Backstreet Boys song ever penned (even the albums that have been released these last couple of years... yes, I have a problem). But I never thought about the lyrics until much more recently. When I stopped to listen to what I was singing (badly), I was struck by one thought over and over again:
Followed quickly by:

Think I'm kidding? Below are some illustrations I've created for just a few boy band songs from the 90s and 00s. Needless to say, I didn't pen these songs. And don't bug me if they aren't right-- go to and fix it there!

You're not getting it "all" from me, son.
 I know, I know, "All or Nothing" is supposed to be a sad break-up song. I get that. But this is what I hear every time. 

Giddy up: a song about bestiality?
 I mean, seriously? What do you think Justin Timberlake is singing about riding? 

Seriously. This was a hit?
I never liked LFO. There. I said it.

All those ooh's can't mean anything chaste.
If you listen to "Hey, Mr. DJ" you'll note that the singer is creepily watching this girl and then goes to dance with her, followed by lots of ooh-ooh-ooh's. 

Sorry. This is more filthy than usual.
 I hope no man I ever date has heard this song. (That may be difficult to accomplish since I make most people listen to it whenever they ride in a car with me.) The lesson is that shitty cell phone service can lead to kinky times with some stranger who lives close to a bar. No, no, no. At least at the end she finds out and the singer gets dumped, but that poor girl is left holding phone saying "Hello? Hello? Hello?" for a good three and half minutes.

Don't the phrases in parentheses just make it that much dirtier?
 I was clearly a Backstreet Boys gal. I listened to them non-stop. So how come it didn't trouble me that a pre-pubescent Nick Carter was telling me that he could hit my spot? Surely he didn't know what that was?! 

The dirtiest Backstreet Boys song I know is "Get Down." I couldn't possibly draw all that business, so I made a Wordle. (Yes, I used an educational song to illustrate this filthy song. Judge away!)

Wordle: Song - Get Down
Yes, that's blurry. Click on it to see it more clearly!

A "night" for me is a handful of sparkly stars.
 What? You want in my pants in TWO languages?! That's just classy. Of course I'll give you just one night!

Every boy band had one...
Ooohhh... Well, maybe next time.

So you can listen to these songs and be troubled all over again, I conveniently made a Spotify playlist for you:


Sunday, March 4, 2012

A Beginner's Guide to NACA

If you're reading this, you probably already know that I work in campus activities. If you don't know what that is, use context clues. Your junior high English teacher should have covered that. And you thought that the things you learned in school wouldn't come in handy!

Anyway, NACA is the National Association of Campus Activities and I just got back from the national convention. I'm not going to take the time to explain it now because I want my illustrations below to show it to you (a picture's worth a thousand words and all that). 

As usual, I want to include a disclaimer: NACA is a valuable organization and I wouldn't spend my university's money on it if I didn't have proof that it was worthwhile. We learn a lot from ed sessions, are affirmed in what we're doing as a programming board, and save a lot of money by block booking. However, like all things, it's also very silly, as you're about to see.

First of all, for those of you who are unfamiliar with NACA, I've come up with a few slogans that might come in handy...

On the note of performers, NACA showcases a number of musical acts. A lot of them are up-and-coming (folks who participated in "The Voice" and "American Idol") and, well, Bowling for Soup, Hanson, Blessid Union of Souls... I've mapped out the musical act selection process; it's actually incredibly scientific. Note that the x-axis represents to progression of bands from up-and-coming to down-and-out; the y-axis represents popularity from garage band to stadium filler.

And last but not least, let's talk CAMP. Such a weird place, I can only hope to begin to describe it for you...