Love Song for the Crescent City

A couple of weeks ago, I took a road trip with some friends to New Orleans for my best friend’s birthday. The passing of another year is not usually marked with such an indulgence, but this year carried with it a significance no other birthday has before or will again. I speak of that uneasy transition from 20-something to 30-something.

Sunset on Lake Pontchartrain


New Orleans is such a beautiful city full of history, culture, art and wonderful food. Yet there is a sorrow underlining all of her beauty that is inescapable. I hope to go back again and uncover some more of her secrets. A lyric from “Lorraine’s Song” by Grayson Capps has been on repeat in my mind since we left: “Lord, fly me over Pontchartrain/Back to the land of sugarcane and summer rain.”

H and me (left)

One of the highlights of the trip, of course, was the “spiritual” experience of having beignets and cafe au lait at Cafe Du Monde on Decatur. This was followed by an exploration of the French Quarter.

“It seemed like an ordinary day until I had coffee with Jesus at The Cafe Du Monde.”

Simply decadent.
The aftermath
Pirate’s Alley (where Faulkner House Books is located)
“Standin’ on the corner of Royal Street”

Another day was spent in the Algiers neighborhood. We traversed the mighty Mississippi by ferry to get to this charming place that was left untouched by Hurricane Katrina.

P and H on the Algiers Ferry

Sign posted outside the “fancy grocery store” in Algiers

The day before we left, I called my brother to ask if the 2 hour drive down to Grand Isle was worth it. It was. I could have spent the entire vacation there–collecting shells, watching the porpoises and gazing out at the muddy gulf.

As my own 30th birthday rapidly approaches, I find myself closing my eyes and picturing that beach. I believe that my 30’s will be calmer and I’m quite looking forward to that. “I grow old … I grow old/I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled.” -excerpt from The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock by T.S. Eliot.

Sorry for the long post this time. I hope you enjoyed the photos of our trip.

New Year’s Eve

I just had to post this video of Zooey Deschanel and Joseph Gordon-Levitt. It may be a little too late in the game, but here you go!

I don’t have any big plans for this evening, just working on the house and getting organized. Boring, I know. But on Tuesday I’m heading down to New Orleans and I’ll make up for it then. Do you usually go out for New Year’s Eve, or do you enjoy a quiet evening at home also?

See another Zooey & Joseph video that I love here.

The naming of things

I’ve always been happy with my name, but there were times growing up that I wished my middle name could be my first instead. This was mainly during my obsession with the Young Adult book series, Sweet Valley Twins and Sweet Valley High, by Francine Pascal. Oh, how I wanted to change my name to Elizabeth and be called Lizzie. We moved around quite a bit during my formative years and I swore the next time we moved I would tell everyone to call me Elizabeth instead of Julianne. I never did.

When we moved to the sleepy town of Mountain Home, AR, I did try something new with my name. It was the start of my 6th grade year and I was in yet another new school. This time was so different, a complete shock to my city-girl self. I met a sweet girl named Sara who upon learning my name asked me, “Do you go by Julie or Anne?” I had never really considered shortening my name before. Sure, people would call me Julie on occasion, but I would quickly correct them. “My name is JuliANNE,” I would tell them. But now I felt like I had options! I could be a new person altogether in this strange new place. I told Sara she could call me by whichever name she chose. I regretted it immediately.

I still go by my full name to this day. Nothing else quite seems to fit. Do you like your name? Have you ever wanted to change it?

I love these photos of that other famous Julianne. From Fashion Gone Rogue.

In with the new

I have been meaning to start writing a blog for quite some time now. I keep getting preoccupied with getting everything in place first. What should I name it? Should I get my own domain or use a blogging site? What will I write about for my first post? Who will even read it? My husband keeps telling me, “You just need to start writing.” This is the story of my life. If I would just start writing (sewing, knitting, exercising, etc.) then I’d be on my way. Unfortunately, I think too much about everything. Today at work, while reading some magazines (yes, this is condoned–encouraged even–on the job), I began thinking about New Year’s resolutions. I have never been one to make a resolution at New Year’s. Not that I do not encourage renewal and fresh starts, I just seem to take these kinds of things on (and subsequently abandon them) at all times of the year. Just within the last 3 months I have begun a new diet that has dramatically changed my health and well-being. More on that later. As 2011 comes to an end, I find that I actually have several “resolutions.” I want to make changes in so many aspects of my life that I feel setting out to do them and resolving to follow through isn’t such a bad idea. And why wait until 2012 to begin? I decided to start with one that I knew I could keep. I figure, if I start out easy I have a better chance of success with the harder ones. 
Today, I resolved to come home every day after work and wash my face immediately so that I do not get too tired and end up sleeping in my makeup. It seems so simple, and yet so many times I find that it feels like such a task at the end of a long day when all I want to do is crawl into bed. I know I am not alone since it’s one of Allure‘s “skin sins to leave behind” and even blog queen Joanna Goddard of A Cup of Jo has broached the topic. Along with washing my face, I also I vow to take out my contacts. I have been much better about this in the last month, but I have slipped up a few times. What are your New Year’s resolutions?