So, we’re headed to New Orleans tomorrow. NOLA. The Big Easy. The Crescent City. Saint City. Nawlins. I wish I had so many nicknames.

Anyway, we’re taking the train (City of New Orleans) from Chicago and will arrive Saturday afternoon. We’re staying in the French Quarter, which will hopefully give us a nice base camp for walking around the city. Local weather predicts heat that feels like 105 degrees and sporadic, heavy rain showers. YES!

Truthfully, I don’t think the weather will matter all that much. I’m looking forward to eating, drinking and dancing my way through one of the world’s most fascinating cultural meccas. It’s hot and humid here, it’ll be hot and humid there. At least there I can eat a beignet 24 hours a day.

Don’t worry, I’ll post pictures and fill you in on our train overnighters. And as long as I’m promising things, I’ll try to do a summer book list next week, since you asked so nicely.

Laissez les bon temps rouler!

Our NOLA hotel. Yes, I think I will go for a carriage ride, thank you.


crush story.

I’m not feeling too hot today so I’ll be brief. I have a tendency to be attracted to, shall we say, non-traditional men, particularly when they are celebrities.  And while Nick Offerman does not have a large nose nor any cooking skills I’m aware of, his character on Parks and Recreation is misanthropic, hilarious and unbelievably surly. Totally my kind of man.

Yes, I'd like some angry cuddle time with you, Ron Swanson.

Also, Parks and Recreation is really funny this season. It was a dud last year, but whatever they put in the Kool-Aid is working and the show is completely redeemed. So watch it.

Sidebar: I am so bummed Russell didn’t win Survivor, but man, did he tank when it came to talking to the jury. Dude can plot and scheme like no one’s business, but he had no eloquence or pizzazz when it came down to the end.

I will say that anyone who feels a reality-tv game show is a platform to talk about honor, integrity or any brand of self-righteous anything is just asking for a giant karma slap. For the last time, America – GOD DOES NOT WATCH TV! I appreciated Russell’s game play because he owned it, didn’t try to twist it into anything outside of the game and did not project any sort of personal identification into his performance on Survivor.

Bitter, bitter Survivor jury members, take note that Russell won fan favorite two seasons in a row. You may think you’ve got integrity, but while Russell is tricking you into losing he’s completely transparent the entire time. He doesn’t apologize, back peddle or kiss ass. And it was apparent that because none of you had the guts to play that way, you couldn’t stand it.


Okay, I realize these pictures are tasteless and dumb and of questionable origin. I don’t care…they’re hilarious. Enjoy.

Oh, you're welcome. I know you were looking for a gift idea for your mom this weekend. Problem solved.


I so, so want to be at this party. With all of my being. I love the people, I love the artwork and I adore the wardrobe. This is the stuff dreams are made of.

twirl 3/8.

This week I really, really love the recognition The Hurt Locker received at last night’s Oscars. Jason and I saw the movie at Sundance last summer and it was riveting and disturbing and scary and felt so real. It’s been over six months but the movie continues to resonate and color the way I view the war in Iraq.

Over time I think I’ve been desensitized to the news and coverage of our wars, global terrorism and bombings. When I think of the Middle East it’s primarily images of sand and gray and blood and loss that come to mind, but nothing cohesive. The Hurt Locker forced me to look at the war, and the people affected by it, and see their lives and jobs for what they are: real.

The movie is devoid of politics and posturing. It just tells a story and lets the viewer understand for a few moments what it must feel like to live in a world that could explode at any moment.

The Hurt Locker grossed less than 1% of Avatar's take at the box office. Do yourself a favor and see it immediately.

dry brush.

This edition of twirl is all about my love love love for my dry brush. Every morning before I shower (but after my jumping jacks and stretching) I run a dry brush over most of my body. It sloughs off the dead skin, improves circulation, and some say even helps the immune system. Scandinavians have been dry brushing for hundreds of years, and they claim some of the other positive affects include: 

  • Removal of cellulite
  • Cleansing of the lymphatic system
  • Skin tightening
  • Tones muscle
  • Aids digestion

I’ve only been dry brushing for a couple of weeks, so I can’t really attest to any of the benefits aside from exfoliation. But it feels great and adds a nice ritual to my morning. 

Oooh, sweet dry brush.