OldDogNewTits












Today’s Weight … 123.2

Yes, that’s right.  We’re up. Almost three pounds.  I blame Mardi Gras. And the fact that Disney World had cheese far more readily available than I expected.  And fried snacks. That I personally didn’t order. But my kids did and then didn’t finish. Little rats.  And me, being the green-living environmentalist, not wanting to waste food and all, well … fine, fine. I’m back on the stupid, low-cal, fat-free horse.  Mmmmm …. horse.

Don’t get it? Check this post.

In the interest of sheer laziness (my LEAP for the DAY), I give you a very abbreviated version of my recent family jaunt to Disney World in Orlando, Florida with much of my girl’s 4th grade class. You have to admit … reposting (only my favorite) tweets from the trip is a geniusly-brilliant way of fulling my Leap to Laziness for the Day.

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Now boarding flight to Orlando. Burly men with rabid dogs guarding my house. Plus land mines everywhere. Rob at your own risk.

Pushing it with phone. Me and @alecbaldwin. Powering off …

Landed. Call your mothers and tell them we’re okay.

How long do you give me ’til I take out a ceramic shelf of ‘priceless’ figurines with my backpack?

Why MAKE a reservation if you’re not going to KEEP the reservation?!!? Come on, Mexico!

Fireworks Schmireworks!

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Headed to Animal Kingdom to scare the crap out of the kids for a first ride on Everest.

And now my family is on the River Rapids ride. I’m hanging back. I don’t do wet rides. Except Splash Mountain.

How hungry must I be to be coveting my neighbor’s corn dog?

The large Diet Coke was a really stupid idea. Wonder how many adults have peed themselves on Space Mountain?

Use ‘em or lose ‘em. Bladder, don’t fail me now.

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The seagulls here have massively big balls. And I mean that figuratively. Or is it metaphorically?

What I mean is that these damned birds are trying to snatch food right out of our hands.

Who knew seagulls liked churros?

Stupid rain.

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The wind is so strong it blew over a full metal garbage can. LOUD crash. Shouldn’t this shit be bolted down?

Taking cover in a souvenir store. Bet Disney planned this storm.

Oh-Em-Gee. I could eat a horse. I wonder if they’ll be serving it at the food court.

My kid actually just said … “Are we there yet?” I am living the dream.

We’re about to become the Donner Party. #starving

Dave looks like a drumstick. #starving

I never realized how delicious my kids look. Is that wrong? #starving

Okay, fine. It’s VERY wrong. But I am STARVING!

Chicken sandwich, by the way. My kids are safe …

Just went ‘backstage’ in Haunted Mansion. Could’ve reached out and touched ghosts in ballroom scene. Very cool.

The SUPER pass – What you get when your ride breaks down. Good for ANY ride.

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Oxymoron? (It’s okay. It’s my people.)

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Score!

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That is one big ass ball.

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My feet. They are on fire.

No fruit or vegetables for the last 48 hours. This is going to wreak havoc on me internally.

The reason to ride Pirates twice.

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Okay, my kids are starting to pick up on Song of the South’s racism.

Drinking through World Showcase with a dozen or so grown-ups.

If we count as couples, we’ve already conquered Mexico, France, England & Norway …

And Germany …

And Italy …

France. My order … Vouvray, Beaujolais & Pinot Noir …

I gotta sit down.

Singing @neildiamond very loudly.

Why didn’t anyone tell me what a bad idea the whole drinking through the countries idea was? #hangover

Leaving Hoop-de-doo. Last time I came I was puked on. Twice. Only once by my own child. Feeling lucky.

Our parking valet is named Elvis. And he’s from Tupelo, Mississippi.

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Riding Tower of Terror alone. Lines down. Can’t resist.

Now riding Rock ‘n’ Rollercoaster. Creepy single rider. Again.

Fine. We bought into the pin trading phenomenon.

My boy just met David Robinson at the ESPN Zone on the Boardwalk.

I’m really wishing my last name was Disney right about now.

Um, I’m SO not getting on the scale tomorrow. And you can’t make me.

Security has never smelled footier.

“I taste pickles.” – my kid, walking through Orlando Airport, not eating or having recently eaten pickles

Where’s @alecbaldwin? My flight’s taking off and I want to play Words with Friends.

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My internet is down tonight (said through tears and gritted teeth) so I’ve elected (pompously) to give you the ‘Best of ODNT.’ Those of you who are actually friends of my personal Facebook page may remember when I wrote about a family trip a while back. Last year, for Mardi Gras 2011, we vacationed in Southern California, briefly passing through Anaheim and Disneyland. Following that trip, I wrote about the similarities and differences of the older park to its younger, fatter-yet-more-popular cousin, Walt Disney World, in Orlando, Florida. Where, coincidentally, we just visited for Mardi Gras 2012, one year later.

And with my internet (and thus also my laptop) down for the evening, I can think of no better time to revisit this old friend than tonight. So, without further ado, I give you … Disneyland vs. DisneyWorld. Give it a read if you haven’t already. I promise it’s WAY catchier than the crap-assingly-dull title I just threw at it.

Oh, but before I go … I just want to say a very special thank you to my new internet & phone carrier for cutting off our OLD service before sending us the NEW modem enabling us to reconnect to their service. And for dropping our call THREE times when we tried to remedy this little snafu. Excellent first impression. I look forward to many, many more resolution-less incidences of fighting with your surly customer service reps over the phone in the years to come.

And now, on with the show …

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Since so many have asked, I kept a list as we traveled and have the following observations to share about the two iconic theme parks.

(1) Transit – There is none! We stayed in a DL hotel (I don’t think there are many but ours was very nice) and, from it, you’re able to walk (Walk!) to both of the theme parks. There was no need for a shuttle, bus, ferry or anything. The only monorail there serves as a ride in the park! Loved that.

(2) Hours – Much shorter than WDW. Maybe it’s the time of year. Maybe it’s that our days there were weekdays. Maybe it’s the fact that I’m from NOLA. But I was really surprised the park closed at 8pm. And when I say closed, I mean some of the rides started shutting down earlier in different areas of the park. Kiosks went unmanned and were covered with tarps. Some areas were so desolate and dimly lit as it got later that we avoided them and found another route to our destinations. Employees were lining the streets waving and offering everyone a very purposeful ‘Good-bye!’ Shops were closing their doors. Shops?!!? They are SO missing out on revenue here. I was very stressed knowing we had to get to the stores to get our crappy t-shirts before 7pm! Of course, the flip side was …. we were NOT at the park until 11pm … only to arrive back at the hotel and have the kids beg to go swimming at midnight. With the early hours, there was PLENTY of time for swimming. Seriously, if you don’t want to stay all night, it’s your ticket out!

(3) Fireworks – In keeping with number two, there are none on the weeknights. Fine by me but seemed strange by WDW’s punctuating moment each night.

(4) The centerpiece – Both parks have statues of Walt and the mouse in the middle of their Magic Kingdoms. Behind each of the statues can be found the park’s Princess Castle. The Disneyland castle is associated with Sleeping Beauty and WDW’s with Cinderella. And not unlike Sleeping Beauty’s position as a cultural icon as compared to Cinderella’s, the Disneyland castle is WAY smaller than WDW’s … and it’s located on the same level as the rest of the park … making it very hard to use it as a landmark with which to navigate my directionally-challenged self through the park.

(5) And since I didn’t have the castle as my north star, I would greatly have appreciated signage … of which there is very little in the park … pointing me to the different lands. Seems like they’re on every corner at WDW but rare at DL. Maybe this is only a problem for a simpleton like me.

(6) Maybe it was the time of year we traveled (early March) but there – were – no – lines. I mean … you could literally walk directly on many, many of the rides. What took the longest was making your way through the long empty mazes clearly intended for the throngs of people who weren’t there. The longest we waited for any ride was 15 minutes and it was due to a problem in removing a handicapped person from one of the rides. We LOVED the short lines but I felt a little sorry for Disneyland. And perhaps because of the lesser number of visitors, there was also a lesser number of picture-worthy creatures. The only ones I saw there were Goofy and Chip & Dale. There were rumors of Disney’s newest Princess (Rapunzel from ‘Tangled’) but I saw no part of her or her long tresses while there.

(7) Space Mountain – DL’s was very cool. It seemed a little longer, possibly a little more intense and featured double-seaters, rather than the single file rockets available at WDW. Sidebar – Whenever I zoom blindly through the pitch black darkness of that ride, I can never get over my intense fear of decapitation. I fear that something could have gone wrong … in the dark … on the ride immediately preceding mine and thus my head will inevitably be ripped off with no warning, landing in the lap of the rider behind me. So, while the ride itself isn’t too intense a roller coaster ride for me, my irrational fears usually keep me pretty occupied on this one.

(8) Pirates of the Carribbean- DL’s is definitely longer. I’d heard that in advance as it’s the original ride. They say it’s 17 minutes. I didn’t time it and have no idea how long the WDW one is. There’s even a dining area that overlooks part of the ride, sort of like in ‘It’s a Small World’ in Orlando. It also features the new Jack Sparrow/Johnny Depp animatronics, which far surpass the technology of the original characters … and are pretty fun for the moms, too.

(9) It’s a Small World – DL’s is very similar but your ride begins outside which is a little different. From there, you cruise from room to room and see dolls from around the world just like in WDW. You also see characters from different Disney movies in each of their applicable countries. The kids enjoyed spotting Alice in Wonderland, Lilo & Stitch, etc. along the way.

(10) Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage – Anyone remember the 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea ride that was always broken down in Orlando and has now been replaced by a lame racetrack? Well, the submarine ride still exists at DL and it’s been renamed and retooled to incorporate Nemo. It was fun and different though it was the ride that had us wait the longest that day (see number 6). It’s not appropriate for anyone struggling with claustrophobia. It’s a tight squeeze in a little metal caplet for about 10 or 15 minutes. ( I tried not to focus on my entrapment while inside.)

(11) Storybook Land Canal Boats – Lame ride through one Lilliputian village after another of different Disney stories. Felt like I was in a Christmas craft store …which, if you know me at all, had me praying for death. Very boring for little children and their parents. We kept ourselves entertained with the caterpillar who stowed away on our boat … until the ‘cast member’ called us on it and took our little friend away. Skip this one.

(12) Matterhorn – Definitely wanted to ride this one as it’s considered one of the biggies at the park. It’s actually taller than the park’s castle (which, since it should be the park’s focal point, I found odd). It’s intended to simulate a bobsled ride for its passengers and thus NOT a ride to take on with anyone except your child or significant other. The chairs seat two with the passenger in the back literally straddling the passenger in the front. (I have to imagine that this arrangement has made for many a comical situation in the past, maybe even the beginning of a few relationships.) Anyway, the ride was fun but VERY jerky. Gave me a bit of a headache, and I have a pretty high threshold for these things.

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Check out their beautiful haunted mansion. It looks so familiar that I’d expect to be served Mint Juleps and grits when I went inside. And I’m actually FROM the South.

(13) New Orleans Influence – There is a whole section of DL called ‘New Orleans Square.’ It was replaced at WDW by ‘Liberty Square.’ Seriously, just like WDW, you have Main Street USA, Frontierland, Adventureland, Mickey’s Toontown, Fantasyland and Tomorrowland … and New Orleans Square. Wonder why WDW dumped the idea of using NOLA for its newer park … or why DL selected it as its one and only geographically-named ‘land’ in the first place. (There’s also one more land in DL called Critter Country, FYI.) New Orleans Square is pretty big. It houses ‘Pirates of the Carribbean’ (for whatever reason) and ‘The Haunted Mansion’ (looks like a Southern Plantation home so this one I get). The architecture mimics ours pretty respectfully but the food, well … can anyone ever replicate it? 

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You will NEVER find “fritters” or “pot  foods” anywhere in my epicurean city. Nor would there ever be “steak” or “vegetarian” gumbos. Typically, the more exotic the meat, the more likely it’s going to wind up on the table.

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Lots of things in DL are very much the same as in WDW … the Mad Tea Party teacups, the flying Dumbos (though the cars are over water), Snow White’s Scary Adventures, Peter Pan’s Flight, Winnie the Pooh, the Carousel (this one dedicated to King Arthur and not WDW’s Cinderella), the Tiki Room and the Jungle Cruise plus they also have old school rides for Alice in Wonderland and Pinocchio. Additionally, DL has Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and Splash Mountain (the latter of which, my daughter’s favorite, was sadly under renovation for our visit) as well as the largely-ignored Treehouse (here it’s dedicated to Tarzan rather than the Swiss Family Robinson), Tom Sawyer Island and the Riverboat. Among the DL rides not found at WDW were Davy Crockett’s Explorer Canoes (operates on weekends only? Weird) and the Indiana Jones Adventure (it’s a ride, not to be confused with the show at Hollywood Studios). Clearly, this ride must bring in large crowds during the busy season as the large empty maze we navigated before boarding it was longer than the ride itself. But my son loved it. My daughter … not so much. Said the oversized snakes were too scary. Of course, my son also loves WDW’s Hall of Presidents (I know. Really?) which unfortunately for him, but not me, wasn’t at DL. Instead, they offer something called ‘Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln’ which I read is a one-animatronic-man-show but we somehow managed to dodge it. (Tough break, son!)

Disneyland Expansions

Like WDW, DL has now gotten into the business of expanding itself into another whole park called California Adventure, which is basically a compilation of some of the most successful rides of the other three parks at WDW as well as a few new additions. Among the familiar WDW attractions are EPCOT’s Soarin’ (with a specific California focus), Animal Kingdom’s ‘It’s Tough to be a Bug’ 3D movie and Grizzly River Run raft ride and Hollywood Studios’ ‘Muppet Vision in 3D’ and The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror. We forced (I mean, forced … threatened, begged, bribed) the kids to come with us. They’ve both ridden it at WDW so I don’t know what the big deal was. Anyway, it was, as always, lots of fun and no one vomited following the ride so I deemed it a success.

As far as new things at DL’s California Adventure, the best part of it was the Paradise Pier section of the new park. It features an outdoor, knock-your-socks-off roller coaster called ‘California Screamin’ – fast and twisty with no jerky motions (which I HATE, see number 12) and offering a beautiful view of the mountainous (well, it was to a New Orleans flatlands girl!) landscape surrounding the park. Another great ride on the Pier was Mickey’s Fun Wheel offering a different spin (pardon the accidental pun) on the traditional ferris wheel in that half of the cars weren’t suspended by a single connection but rather hooked to a rail that enables them to slide back and forth as the wheel spins around. (Anyone who remembers the Magnetic Gyro Wheel toy of the 70s and 80s knows what I’m talking about.) Truthfully, other than my irrational fear of decapitation on Space Mountain (see number 7), this ride is the one that shook me up the most. High altitudes + spontaneously sliding cars + large gaps in the doors to the car make for a very uneasy me. It was fun but I was pretty happy to get back down again.

After a nice dinner (and I mean nice, complete with wine) on Disney property, we cashed in our fast passes to watch the park’s night-ending show entitled ‘World of Color.’ I still think it’s weird that you need a fastpass for the show given that it appears outdoors in the center of the park. It’s a water and colored lights show featuring music and projections from Disney’s many animated features (and even a few live action ones like ‘Pirates’) over the years. Very impressive but the lure of the hotel pool was too great for my kids and we lost half our troops mid-show.

The Disneyland complex also now includes a Downtown Disney area outside of the parks featuring shops, restaurants and even a little live entertainment, much like its counterpart at WDW. I read somewhere that the monorail system does actually access this area from the parks, not that it’s really necessary with the parks being walking distance away. Still, it’s a neat way to get from point A to point B if you haven’t ‘monorailed’ before. And the hours for Downtown Disney are much more manageable… in that you can actually grab a bite or pick up that last minute Disney souvenir after you exit the park’s retiree hours during the week.

All in all, it was a great trip. I was raised on Disney and always happy to experience something new there. Of course, I am both a wistfully sentimenal, nostalgic person as well as a relentless critic in these situations so my brain often goes into sensory overload during my visits. I loved going to WDW as a kid and love bringing mine there now. I am equally glad to have had the opportunity to bring them to DL, where it all began in 1955. The long and short of it is that, if you find yourselves in Southern California with a couple of days to spare for the kids, you should really take in Disneyland. If nothing else than for the historical Americana of it all.

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As of today, I have officially started my Christmas list for 2012. My friend, Ashley, just texted me this link while I was on vacation. And thus was born item number one on my holiday wish list.

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Please, Santa … PLEASE bring this hat as a torturing device for my cat. Per the ad, it says it can be worn jauntily to the side and “there is a small herringbone cover button on top, as all proper newsboy caps will have.” It’s easily one of the best things I’ve ever seen.

A wool herringbone newsboy hat … for cats. Excellent. This shit writes itself.

Thanks, Ashley.

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Since we’re on an actual family vacation right now, I’m letting my girl serve as our guest writer on ODNT here today with the recent essay she wrote (and typed!) for her 4th grade English class.

We’re still ‘Griswold-ing’ our way through Disney World in Orlando. I hope to post more about it later but, in the meantime, you can follow our family adventure on Twitter.

And now for my girl’s colorful composition …

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When you’re born and raised in New Orleans, you love Mardi Gras. You appreciate Mardi Gras. You anxiously anticipate its arrival each year. But sometimes you just don’t make it to every parade anymore.

My family and I had a great last few days. Until this weekend, things like dance classes, talent shows, homework assignments, unseasonably cold weather snaps and torrential downpours (usually only situated within the city’s six month hurricane season) kept us away from the festivities. But, since we’ll be flying to Disney tomorrow for my kids to participate in a behind-the-scenes program there, we decided we needed to make the most of our Mardi Gras weekend before we left.

There were three days of great parades available to us, only two of which didn’t involve excessive rain. Friday night, we joined friends who along with many others in their circle had rented an apartment for the entirety of the season on St. Charles Avenue, the main drag of nearly every major parade in the city. It’s crazy really. It’s an apartment occupied the other eleven months of the year by, no doubt, a Tulane or Loyola student. It’s modest – one “great” room (a term used very loosely), one bedroom, a kitchenette and a bathroom. And the individuals that rent them for the year know full well that they’ll pay twice the annual rent unless they’re willing to vacate (and, by that, I mean 100% of their belongings) the premises for the month of Mardi Gras. The apartment owners are then able to rent the space out that one month for as much as they’re getting for the other eleven. Usually to a group of families willing to split the high cost for the beauty of having the storage area each night for the many ladders, ice chests, chairs, throws and other assorted crap we all find a must for our parade set-ups. Oh, and let’s not forget the invaluable asset of a bathroom located only steps away from your viewing area on the avenue. These days, I think people would pay that high one-month-rental price for that perk alone.

Every year, I find myself paying a buck-a-pee at various restaurants all over the city or, better yet, befriending people along the route who so kindly offer up their bathrooms only after they’ve determined I’m not a serial killer. (One of these days I’m going to live up to that urban legend and pay the high price of one of my kidneys for peeing in a stranger’s bathroom.)

Anyway, we had a great time Friday, horning in on the well-executed plans of our friends. We’re not part of their Carnival Commune but have certainly considered joining it from year to year. A case of beer and lots of snacks were our ticket in this year. And we all had a blast as we watched one (Krewe of Hermes) … two (Krewe of D’Etat) … three (Krewe of Morpheus) parades pass us by, loading my kids up with beads, stuffed animals (because we SO need more in my house) and all kinds of light-up “jewelry” which has become a coveted staple at these nighttime parades.

By the time we got home, it was just after midnight. And both of my kids (even my son who feels admitting to fatigue is a sign of weakness) begged to go to bed. Dave & I were more than happy to oblige. We all slept like the dead that night.

Saturday was easy. Not easy to decide. But easy as far as parade endurance. The weather was horrid. And, after going back and forth about it for literally hours, we decided to let our kids simply enjoy their rainy day playdates and forego the parade that day. It – was – a – mess. My most sincere apologies to our good friends who throw an incredible party for this parade (Krewe of Endymion) every year. We’ll be there next year. And Dave will make his homemade king cake. Man, was it good.

Yesterday was a beautiful day. With the excessive rain behind us, the sun was out and the weather was actually a little cold. Of course, the grounds were still a soggy mess so a very wise choice was made by me to wear my knee length rubber boots as there were times my entire foot was fully submerged in the swampy muck. I felt sorry for my other family members who were all in sneakers. But there’s always next year, right?

It took us forever to find a parking spot but we finally did … in a little church lot for $20 about 10 or 12 blocks from where we were headed. Par for the course for Mardi Gras I explained to my somewhat whiny kids. “The walk is half the fun!” I lied. It’s only a half-lie really. I honestly don’t mind the walk. You get in a lot of great people-watching when you walk the parade route. I saw a 300-pound woman dancing in a purple wig, tube top, tutu and roller skates to Sir Mix-A-Lot on my way there. And she’s one in a million this time of year. “Drink it in, kids. This is YOUR city.”

We found our spot and joined our friends who’d been out there since 5am to reserve their space on the neutral ground. (That’s what the median is called around here. The term goes back more than a century literally meaning the ‘neutral ground’ in the middle of the street where two different ethnic groups could meet in peace.)

We caught the Krewe of Thoth and, after a short break to eat and regroup a bit, Krewe of Bacchus, one of the biggest Carnival organizations in the city. This year, the parade’s king (referred to simply as Bacchus 2012) was funny man, Will Ferrell. He’s in town filming a movie (with Zack Galifianakis … and I spelled that name without looking it up … Go, me!) and has been busy doing everything from visiting the local Children’s Hospital to emceeing at the New Orleans Hornets Basketball game. From what I’ve seen, he’s having a ball and it looks like New Orleans has welcomed him with bit, fat, easy open arms. That doesn’t always happens with some of the Grand Marshals of years gone by.

Click here see a clip of New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu introducing Ferrell and toasting him as Bacchus XLIV.

My family had a wonderful time. My daughter and I each only got smacked once with beads. We caught lots of stuffed animals and footballs, so both kids were happy. We had more than enough food and drink. And I introduced my boy to the art of public urination.

Don’t judge me. He’s a boy. My girl used a ‘proper potty’ every time. And, if it makes you feel any better, I explained to him that his days of this convenient method are numbered … as it’s a punishable offense when he’s grown. I honestly don’t think he had another drink for the rest of the night. Poor kid.

And now, completely exhausted and totally behind in our planning, we need to get organized for Disney. As we are leaving … ugh … tomorrow morning. I’ll try to check in again soon from “The Happiest Place on Earth.’

Happy Mardi Gras!

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Today’s Weight … 120.8

It’s been five days since I checked in here. Glad to see that number down a bit. Pretty impressive considering the cheese consumption in this household this week. And we’re now headed into Mardi Gras weekend. The good news is … lots of walking. The bad … lots of food … and drink. Sigh. Promise to be honest with the stupid weigh-ins. Ugh.

Don’t get it? Check this post.

1. I attended a Polyphonic Spree concert with my brother and my friend, Vanessa. I realize most of you probably aren’t familiar with this band, so please allow me to pontificate. There’s something about their music (especially live) that elicits an inexplicable feeling of euphoria usually only indicative of a nice muscle relaxant. Or, well, something like that. Maybe it’s the 16 people taking the stage at once wearing choir robes and carrying with them an orchestra’s worth of instruments that sets them apart. I don’t know. And, because I’m a big dork, I stuck around after the concert to meet the band’s frontman, Tim DeLaughter (even his freakin’ name sounds happy) and snap a quick photo. I’ve included the picture as well as a shameless plug for the band (a video of their appearance on Scrubs in 2004 – Love this band. Love this show).

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2. While googling the above song for a good video for this post, I was reminded of a movie (in which the song was used) that I always intended but never actually got around to seeing. (Story of my life.) So this week, thanks to Netflix, I watched Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Anyone besides me ever see it? That is one unconventional film. And it involves Jim Carrey in a serious (as opposed to manically stupid) role which (like Robin Williams) is always a good thing. I won’t ruin it for you by rehashing the whole plot. Just go see it for yourself some time and come back and tell me what you think.

3. Ellen Degeneres used one of my jokes on her show this week. “ONE of my.” That’s funny. Like I have an arsenal or something. Anyway, she was seeking corny Valentine’s Day jokes and I tweeted her one. What’s that? Well, YES, I tweet. It’s 2012, McFly. (Great. Any hipness Twitter just bought me was erased by my cavalier use of ‘McFly.’)

4. I lost half of my face to a little snafu with a women’s skin care product, uncharacteristically cold weather and my own, full-on ignorance. Apparently, Retin-A does not double as a moisturizer. I’ll bet any woman worth her salt already knew that. In the area of cosmetics and girly savoir faire, I am not worth any salt, mine or anyone else’s. Which, apparently, is only about $2.99 per pound, thus rendering me pretty useless. Except that when I complained of my Retin-A debacle, one friend actually said I was ‘making leprosy cool.’ Um, thanks?

5. I made cheese. Yes, that’s right. I built it. From the ground up … or the milk up, as it were. There were powders, liquids, cooking thermometers and oversized, cauldron-y-looking pots involved. And then there was the whole curds-and-whey-separation, a rather tedious process. And kneading. Dear God, was there kneading. But, in the end, there was cheese. Mozzarella cheese. That we promptly used on a homemade pizza for dinner last night. I made cheese. (Sniff.) I may try walking on water later this weekend.

6. I watched my girl kick butt in her third year in the school talent show. She channeled a young Michael Jackson beautifully in her own take on ‘I Want You Back,” although I think she was going for Nickelodeon’s Victoria Justice who recently covered the old J5 song. And, as always, we got to see a lot of other kids strutting their best stuff on stage all evening. One of my favorite acts involved two nine-year-old white boys popping and locking better than a 1980s Alfonso Ribeiro. (Without googling him, please comment below if you actually know who I’m talking about. No cheating!)

7. With the help of a few friends, I compiled a list of of people we’d like to see cloned and sent it to @GeneticsView who (foolishly) decided to follow me on Twitter. They hung in there for most of my shenanigans but finally unfollowed me because, I think, I got greedy and asked for too many clones. Who was on the list, you ask? Using the input of others as well as my own ideas, we sent them the following names: Brad Pitt, Jane Russell, Johnny Depp, Julia Child, Bono, Ellen Degeneres and Orlando Bloom. We were really just getting started when they unfollowed. Cowards. What crappy customer service.

8. I learned that I am an unteachable monkey when it comes to the computer. As such, there will likely be many more ‘This is not a real blog post‘ blog posts until I get this crap straightened out. Feel free to ignore them.

9. I learned that I know someone who knows Paul McCartney. That’s only two degrees, people. Meaning YOU are only three degrees of separation from Sir Paul. Go run and update your Facebook statuses … now!

10. I accidentally emailed my kids’ teachers from my ‘tits’ email again. Bear in mind, my daughter’s teachers include a nun. Please say a prayer for me immediately.

11. I an effort to throw off the many cheesy porn autobots of the world, I tried reprogramming my Twitter account by using hashtags like #Osmonds, #GirlScouts, #PBS, #BillCosby, #7thHeaven, #milk, #Crazy8s and #Waltons. It worked, but only for about five hours.

12. I devoted a day of my life to thinking good thoughts about Doug Henning. Doug Henning, you guys! Am I the only one who misses his big, buck teeth? Did you know he was a magician, illusionist, escape artist AND politician? Didn’t see that one coming, did you? A moment of silence for Mr. Henning, please.

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Oh, yeah. And we passed 25,000 hits on this six-month-old blog. Yay, us! Thanks to all for reading. Happy Mardi Gras. I’m off to a parade tonight …

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Wanna keep abreast of all new ODNT postings? Like me on Facebook. Follow me on Twitter.




This is a test. Again. But the administrator here at ODNT is a complete dumb ass and has trouble accomplishing the simplest of computer tasks. The goal? To link the ODNT blog to the ODNT Facebook page so that a notification of every new post is listed automatically on the Facebook page and sent to all fans. (Are they still called fans? Does that sound pretentious? Should it be readers? Friends? Fools who clicked ‘like’ and keep forgetting to undo it and get on with their lives?)

Yesterday’s attempt to link the account was … as the kids are saying these days … an EPIC FAIL. And our ODNT administrator needed to take a little time off to pull herself together. The tears, the hysteria … it was ridiculous. And we were embarrassed FOR her. She was mess and we, as usual, were left to pick up the pieces. At this point, we don’t know how much more of her we can take and are prepared to go to the top of the food chain of this huge organization and propose an ultimatum.

It’s her or us!

Are you still reading this crap? We said it wasn’t a blog post. It’s just a place filler. And we have readers like El Guapo thinking that if you just take every fifth letter and string them together, translate it to Japanese and then back to English, that it might reveal a secret message. Perhaps even some kind of Horcrux. (We threw that one in for you, Guap … and all of the Harry Potter nerds out there .. of which we are clearly also labeled.)

Anyway, please … for the love of all things covered in extra cheese … say a little prayer, do a little dance or make some sort of inappropriate sacrificial offering that she gets it right tonight. We can’t take another one of her meltdowns.

And you’ll be left to clean up the mess around here from now on.

Signed,
The Middle Management




This is a test.  It is only a test … to determine if the ODNT blog has been successfully listed to Facebook … as the administrator of the blog is tired of manually publicizing the release of every … new … post.  It’s 2012, for freak’s sake, and ‘manual’ (said with much contempt and sarcasm) has become a dirty word and should no longer be a part of the vocabulary of today’s lazy ass computer generation.

If you are still reading, we strongly suggest that you put down the laptop, the iPad, the smartphone or whatever other piece of crap you’re using to access this blog.

(dead silence … blink, blink)

Seriously, you’re STILL reading?  Dude, this isn’t like the end of Ferris Bueller.  We have NOTHING interesting to share here.  It’s not a real post.

Don’t you get it?

Go have dinner.  Walk your dog.  Hug your kid.  Play that musical instrument you’ve ignored for so long.  Clean out our freezer. Read a damned book. There’s nothing to see here, people. The ONLY purpose of this post is for the administrator of the blog to determine if she finally straightened this crap out.  I doubt she did.  Between us, she’s a bit of an idiot.

Please don’t tell her we said that.




Today’s Weight … 122.0

Yes, it’s up. Nearly two pounds. The sad thing is that, had I only stopped chowing down on everything long enough to write a damned post lately, I could’ve logged my recent 119.7 weigh-in. But noooo! I have to report TODAY’S weight.  (eyes rolling)

Don’t get it? Check this post.


It came to my attention recently that simply rearranging the ‘call letters’ of this blog creates another entirely new word – Don’t. The word is usually restrictive, negative, even demanding … but I thought it could open the door to all kinds of hilarious hijinks, shenanigans and other dumbassery. So, here we go … the first-ever edition of ‘You Can’t Spell Don’t without O-D-N-T.

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I don’t

… drink coffee. Ever. I mean, like maybe I’ll have it twice a year. When all the other cool kids are doing it. And, honestly, I feel kind of left out. Most of my friends suck it down by the barrel every day. Seems like a pretty acceptable vice. A benign enough addiction. Right?

Well, not in my case.

Last week, I exercised with a friend and went to have coffee with her afterwards. And, in a complete and utter shit-girls-say moment, I found myself turning to her when we walked up the counter and saying,“Um, what’s my coffee order, Vanessa?”  After all, I was there to taste her diet discovery.  I don’t know the first thing about ordering a pretentious, lengthy-named, fancy-ass coffee beverage.

And so she ordered for me. I heard mention about doubling up on something. I just nodded my head.  “Whatever you’re having,” I said like an idiot.  I didn’t realize we were already talking about a one-and-a-half-shot situation. Which meant doubling it translated to tripling the shot. Of espresso.

By the time it hit me, I was parking the car at the grocery store. Still completely unaware of what I had done to myself. And, as I felt my face heat up and my heart begin to race (“inexplicably”), I wondered if I was having a heart attack. Then, it dawned on me. And so, naturally, I began tweeting …

Dear Barista, You screwed up my coffee order. I said DECAF! Now, come help me down from this tree. I’m a freakin’ hummingbird.

Holy crap. Just learned my drink “accidentally” had THREE shots of espresso. Funny joke, friends. I could outrun the roadrunner.

I am so “Less Than Zero” right now.

At grocery. Cheese is talking. But not to me. Stupid cheese. Feel like I’m running but might be moving in slow motion. #accidentallydrugged

I think I feel my hair growing.

It’s bad when you can play doubles tennis by yourself, right? Should I call the hospital?

Don’t cut me off in traffic, dude. Today is the day I’ll “accidentally” beat you to death with a hairbrush.

This is a grocery bag. Not a damned parachute. Help!

Why is everyone speaking like they’re in super slo-mo?

I’m melting … melting …

CRASH!

Friends don’t let friends overcaffeinate their friends-who-don’t-drink-coffee’s drinks. #WorstPSAEver

It was a c-RA-zy afternoon. I felt energized, anxious and sick … all at the same time. The crash was hard, but necessary. And it was good to be myself again. I just wish I’d be home when it happened so I could’ve finally gotten my bathroom tiled. I could’ve knocked that shit out in fifteen minutes.

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Today’s Weight … 120.2

Check out that third digit. See it? The one right before the decimal point. Yes, that’s right! Proof that you CAN eat cookies and lose weight!

Don’t get it? Check this post.

I felt completely compelled to write a post today based on the above weigh-in box. Especially when you consider the fact that my girl and I went out for dinner tonight and my numbers are likely to creep back up tomorrow.

She and I have been wanting (read: dying) to try out a neat little tapas place located in the Riverbend section of the city. Over the years, I have sat with the owner at the bar in his Spanish restaurant to purchase numerous gift certificates for special people in my life. And every time, I have enjoyed (because if I say ‘sample’ than you don’t realize that I mean entirely full glasses) of his homemade Sangria as well as cured meats, a few desserts and, well, cheese. And I’m like a cat when it comes to cheese. If you feed me once, I’ll be back repeatedly for the same service. You’ve got a friend forever.

The owner is adorable. He’s a Seinfeld character if you ever saw one. And, every time I go in to purchase another gift certificate,  he asks me when I myself will be coming in to dine with him. The last time I went my girl was with me. Thus, she was involved in the decadently gustatory experience of it all. And she’s been asking me to take her back there ever since.

So tonight, while the boys in our family took in yet another Hornets basketball game, the girls decided we were tired of waiting on them and we jumped in the car to have dinner at ‘Barcelona.’ (Yes, I sang that name to the tune of Oklahoma the entire way. What is WRONG with me?  “Barrrrrrrrrrrrcelona, where the wind comes sweeping down the plain ….” )

The owner was just inside the door when we arrived and recognized us both immediately from our past visits. He instantly stopped what he was doing, seated us himself and stayed to talk over the many offerings on the menu. My daughter already knew what she wanted from her previous visit: the 18-month-cured Serrano ham. She describes it as ‘the ham that changes you.’ Keep in mind, she’s 9.

She ordered the garlic crimini mushrooms … and she literally drank the garlic butter sauce in the dish when the mushrooms were gone. (Sure, I probably shouldn’t have let her do it, but she’s a skinny little thing and was so happy that I didn’t want to squelch it.) She also ordered a small plate of ham that came with large croutons upon which she was instructed to rub the garlic cloves and grape tomato halves that came with it, then add a little olive oil and salt, then place the ham on top. I honestly think she enjoyed the preparation pageantry as much as the food itself. She even created her own garlic pop (yes, it’s as gross as it sounds) following the completion of her meal while I finished mine.

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The picture doesn’t do it justice.  There’s olive oil and salt coating the outside of that little chunk of impaled garlic.

I ordered a glass of Sangria (that I would later refill) and let the kitchen select my plates for me. I offered only the suggestion of cheese. And I was not at all disappointed. I tried the Manchego as well as the Gouda which also came with their own crouton bread, Chorizo, spreads, etc.

And for dessert? My girl had never tried Creme Brûlée so we ordered the restaurant’s take on it entitled Catalan Creme Brûlée which infused lemon juice and cinnamon into the traditional recipe. We liked it so much that we, um, ordered a second one.

I don’t expect to get along with my scale tomorrow. At all.

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et cetera
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