Mid-Life Ramblings; Sanity Optional

Monday, January 31, 2005

Mardi Gras Beads

This weekend marked the beginning of the Mardi Gras parades in New Orleans. E and I drove down on Saturday and caught the Caesar parade in Metairie. It will be E's only parade as he'll be out of town next weekend on business.

We met up with dear friends M and D and some of their friends to watch the parade. The costumes were gorgeous but then Caesar is known for their gorgeous costumes so we were expecting no less. The weather was perfect - not a cloud in the sky and just a little chilly. I was nice and warm in my windbreaker. The crowd was good as well. I was able to sit for most of the parade (thanks to my injured knee [argh] ). E jumped around up front and caught a good amount of beads. He always swears he isn't into parades or didn't really want to be there but I can always count on him being up front begging for the good beads from the floats and loving every second of it.

My prized possession of the year are my purple star beads caught from Al Copeland. M actually caught them but she gave them to me (so sweet!). Those beads are now dangling from my rearview mirror, having replaced the pink flamingo from last year's Spanish Town parade and the medallion from last year's Bacchaus parade. I'm always very careful to rotate my rearview mirror beads from one year to the next. [g]

This made me ponder the attraction to Mardi Gras beads that so many of us have. These little plastic trinkets thrown from floats each year bring out the best and the worst in people. For example, M gave me those Al Copeland beads (I didn't ask for them) because she knew I thought they were cool. That's bringing out the best in someone. But I have seen old ladies wrestle with little kids in the street over some of these beads. That is definitely bringing out the worst in someone. What is up with that? Why are these trinkets so important to us? I now have a bag full of them in the back of my truck. What am I going to do with them??? I'll give some to Ty and El but, really, what will I do with them?

E caught a stuffed football from the LSU float the other night. He made sure to announce to me that I could not give that football to Ty because that was his prized possession from the parade. He wants it for his desk. I can't give it to the 6 year-old because the 42 year-old wants it for his desk. Geez! Of course, don't suggest to me that I give my star beads to El, the 10 year-old, because that just isn't going to happen. [vbg]

The other thing that Mardi Gras beads do is that they ruin every other parade for us. You just try attending a Mardi Gras parade where you catch a bag full of stuff then attend a Christmas parade somewhere else where they throw nothing. You will be bored out of your gourd, I can promise you. I have always wanted to attend both the Macy's Thanksgiving parade and the Rose Bowl parade but they'd better start throwing some beads or something first or I will not last the whole parade. Mardi Gras parades are the only interactive parades and it's downright addictive. I think everyone should see at least one in their lifetime. Once you catch those beads, I guarantee you'll be back for more.

Saturday, January 29, 2005


Some may wonder why I chose the name Barefoot Cajun. The Cajun part is easy - because I am one. I was raised in south Louisiana born to two Cajuns from deep in the heart of Cajun country. I can trace my roots right back to the Acadians of Nova Scotia and beyond back to France. However, the Barefoot part may not be so easy to understand or maybe it is.

I hate wearing shoes. At 43 years old still the first thing I do when I get home is kick my shoes off. If I'm out in my yard, I don't have shoes on. In fact, if I'm in my office I don't have shoes on. My coworkers are used to this, thankfully.

Here's my morning shoe routine -
1. Put shoes on only as I'm walking out the door
2. Get in the car and kick them off to drive
3. Put them on to go into the office
4. Then kick them off as soon as I sit at my desk
5. Don't put them on again (unless we have clients in the building) until I leave at 5 pm
6. Kick them off to drive home
7. Put them on to get out of the car at home
8. Kick them off as soon as I walk in the door of the house

Man, I just realized that's a whole lot of on and off with the shoes, isn't it?

From the time I was a child I didn't like wearing shoes. My feet get hot in shoes and I hate sweaty feet. I remember running around our neighborhood as a kid playing without shoes on. No matter how hard Mother tried, most of the time she couldn't get me to wear shoes unless we were leaving the house to go somewhere. My feet have always been tough. I could walk across the neighbor's shell driveway without flinching as a kid. I would cross the steaming asphalt street at the peak of mid-July without any pain.

I'm also not the kind of person that you should gift with slippers because I won't wear them unless I have to go outside in the dead of winter. None of this means that I am a backwoods redneck sort of girl, because I'm truly not. I am definitely a girl. I just don't like to have my feet restrained if they don't have to be. But understand that I do have enough sense to know when I should wear shoes for convention's sake.

I happened to marry a man who is the complete shoe opposite from me. E is the kind of guy that doesn't step out of the bed without his slippers on his feet. When he showers, his slippers await him patiently next to the tub. His feet are totally concealed in shoes until the moment he climbs into bed every night.

Here's E's daily shoe routine -
1. Sit on edge of bed and put slippers on
2. Take slippers off at edge of tub to shower
3. Put feet back into slippers as they are dried after the shower
4. Change into work shoes
5. Change into slippers upon arrival home
6. Sit on edge of bed and take slippers off

This is not natural, I tell you! Feet must be able to breathe. I'm not sure if I could accurately describe his feet as I've seen them so little in the past five years. I'll never understand how we can be so opposite when it comes to shoes. But I love him anyway. I guess that's part of what makes our marriage so interesting.

Friday, January 28, 2005

Date Night

We definitely don't do this often enough but for the past two Fridays E and I have had date nights. Last Friday he suggested we go out for a movie. We grabbed dinner at the Jambalaya Shoppe and saw National Treasure. It was quite good actually; much better than I expected.

Tonight we opted for dinner only. We dined on Italian food at Pasta Garden. It was the first time we'd tried them and we came away impressed. In fact, I'm about as full as a tick right now. Our appetizer was something called Crazy Balls - a seafood blend rolled in batter and fried then topped with a lemon butter sauce. Now the name may not be too tempting but they were quite good. I'll spare you the details of the rest of our meal, just know that we really enjoyed our outting.

Date Night is important to us. We both work in pretty high stress jobs and between the jobs, the bills, and life in general we tend to be pretty high strung. It's nice to be able to just take off for the evening and spend time alone, relaxed and away from the rat race. I highly suggest it to every married couple. It helps bring us back to center.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Hello; Traffic

So, this is blogging. Hmmmmm...might actually prove to be interesting.

Hello out there in blog world. My name is Barefoot Cajun and I come to you from the great state of Louisiana, USA. Please bear with me as I stumble my way through blogging for the first time.

So, I live in a city where the traffic sucks; even good traffic days suck here. Of course, E and I have chosen to live on the exact opposite end of the city from where I work. We knew that going into buying this house a few months ago and I think I've handled it pretty well thus far. I really try not to let it get to me. I'm a pretty laid back kind of gal. I rarely take stuff personally, especially traffic related stuff. Sometimes folks just push my limits.

Take this evening, for example. I'm tooling along, listening to some relaxing tunes, minding my own business only one exit from home. It has been a pretty normal traffic day, nothing exciting, nothing out of the ordinary. Now this particular exit that I'm passing is a cloverleaf and the entrance lane to the interstate merges in on the downslope of an overpass. I'm in the outside lane in preparation for taking the next exit and there's a large distance between me and the car behind me. This woman, and I use that term lightly, comes barreling down the entrance lane and, instead of merging into that HUGE space behind me, she decides she HAS to be in front of me and to accomplish that she's going to try to squeeze her ass in the little bit of space between me and the car in front of me.

I admit it, I got all indignant about that. I can't understand why folks think they just HAVE to be at the head of the line. Why can't they be satisfied with being the second car? I do it all the time. So, I made sure the gap between me and the car ahead of me wasn't big enough for her to squeeze into. Now, understand the traffic is stop and go here because of the amount of cars exiting at the exit I'm heading for. So she keeps coming, even after the entrance lane officially ends, driving on the shoulder still trying to get in front of me and the gap behind me is still HUGE. The line of cars, including me, all stop and she's on the side of my car. What do I see when I look over but her screaming, "Fat Bitch" at me as she is still trying to wedge her car in front of my bumper.

Now, I am overweight but I am usually a pretty nice person. But today I decided if she was going to call me a fat bitch, then I was going to damned well be one. There were two things she failed to realize; If she hit my car, she was in the wrong as she had to yield to the oncomming traffic AND my midsize SUV would have left tire tracks across the top of that little tin can she was driving.

I must admit I don't normally enjoy being a bitch but I came home with a smile on my face today. :-)