The Journey for Pants

Any woman reader will understand this story in all of its entirety.

I’ve mentioned before how Lane Bryant is incapable of figuring out how women’s pants should fit.  Seriously, what the hell?

I went to five stores to find navy blue dress pants for a job that I’m starting this week.  I have to have navy blue pants and a light blue button down shirt.  That’s right, I got a job where I have to wear nice clothing.  I’m going to be fancy.

So I go to the first Lane Bryant, and the sales associates were avoiding me.  They’re starting to bring back wide leg, which is fantastic, because they fit me like flares.  Because, you know, I have huge legs.  And calves.  And feet.

I finally track down a sales associate and she shows me this white button down shirt, which makes me nervous because I love to wear my food.  They have no light blue shirts, and they were out of blue pants.  The boardwalk store had blue pants though.  One pair, in my size.  Success!

So I drive the twenty minutes to the board walk.  I ask the sales lady at the front of the store where they put the pants on hold and she said “over there” and walked away.  I walk to the counter and ask and they said, “They’re right there!” while not pointing to any direction.  I get really mad, then I see a huge tag that has my name and I grab the pants.

I see the pants and cringe.  They’re petite.  Apparently I sound petit, even though I’m 5’8”.  This makes me nervous.  I try the pants on and I can button them, but my ass is too big for the zipper. Oh, and they stop an inch above my ankle.  And for some ungodly reason, Lane Bryant makes pants with fabric so thin that you can see the cellulite on my ass through the pants.

Nope, not happening.

So I took them off and put them back on the hanger.  When I came out of the dressing room, the lady at the counter asks me if those pants are all I’m getting.  I told her I’m not getting the pants.

“But those are the only blue pants we have,” she argued with me.

“Yeah, and they don’t fit.  You can see the cellulite on my ass through this thin fabric.”

“You’re too young to have cellulite.”

Oh, how I wish age played a role in cellulite.  I told her no because they were too short and they were too small for my thunder thighs, and she was still trying to talk me into the pants.  I asked her if torrid had blue pants, and she said she didn’t shop there.

Whatever chick, you totally shop there.

So I walked down to Torrid and the lady there was so excited.  “Yes we do!  We just got our pixie cut pants in!”

Not even cute on skinny girls

Not even cute on skinny girls

Now, I was unsure was pixie cut was.  But let me tell you what they are.

They are stretchy jeans that are the size of an arm sleeve that stop an inch above your ankles.  I saw these jeans and the waist was in my size, but the legs were for someone who skipped leg day at the gym.  These pants were for people who had no fat in their legs, or never used their legs because these pants were made for someone who had a 45 inch waist and legs that were six inches around.

Only picture I could find, so sue me.  You get the point.  Hell, you're probably not even reading this.  I could say anything, such as stupid bumfuckery.

Only picture I could find, so sue me. You get the point. Hell, you’re probably not even reading this. I could say anything, such as stupid bumfuckery.

Seriously fashion industry, what the fuck?

I couldn’t even get my hand into the bottom of these jeans, how the hell was I going to get my giant feet through them?

I told her no and she tried to argue with me that they were the style.

Lady, have you not seen what I look like?  I rarely comb my hair, much less dress according to fashion sense.

Every Morning

Every. Single. Morning.

I went to dress barn and no navy pants.  I’m about to screech.

I go to Catherine’s plus sizes, a place that I always associate with my mom’s grandma clothes (sorry mom), and the sales lady was a tiny little black woman who had a thick southern accent.  She was so sweet, found me the shirt I needed (and no need to iron), found me pants that fit, and when I tried them on, asked me to show her.   I asked her for the mom opinion, since I didn’t have my mom to help, and she gave the same responses my mom would have given.  I think.

So… Five stores, two hours later.  I found one pair of pants that fit kind of meh.  I found two shirts.  And I swear on my life, I am never shopping at Lane Bryant in the south ever again.


Have you ever gone clothes shopping and had absolutely no luck of any kind?  Do you ever feel like no matter where you go, you can never find clothing that fits?  Do you hate Lane Bryant?  Let me know in the comments!

When Going On A Date, Always Bring A Knife

I’ve been confined to my house in recent weeks so I’m running a little low on stories, but fear not, I have an unlimited supply of weird stories of when I was a young college student at the University Of Alaska Fairbanks.

Best. School. Ever.

Best. School. Ever.

Shortly after I dropped out, I joined a couple of dating sites.  I was rooming with an army guy and a girl who I knew from the dorms in a tiny little apartment in the hills just outside Fairbanks.  They were the Yak Estates, for anyone who knows Fairbanks.  My male roommate was a total jerk, but the female roommate was one of the best roommates I’ve ever had.  And I miss living with her quite a bit.

Anyway, the three of us would have a lot of good times drinking, throwing parties, watching movies, all that jazz.  I had a lot of good times in that apartment.

Shortly after I moved in there, my roommate suggested I join a dating site so I can get out and meet people, since I was really  never leaving the apartment after I got off my 8 hour shifts at the deli.  I shrugged, figuring why not, and joined a dating site.

While exploring the dating sites, there was one person that stood out to me, but not for the reasons you’d think.  I’m very big on gay rights, and I’m very supportive for people following their passions, no matter what it is.  Alaska isn’t conservative, so to speak, but they’re extremely libertarian and bordering on anarchist.  People mostly just want to be left alone to do their own thing, but the whole gay rights thing was a little behind the times because it just wasn’t something you’d typically talk about.  At all.

Not a popular topic up north

Not a popular topic up north

The person I found was a man who was working on becoming a woman.  When I met her, she was still a man and had just started looking into the surgery, would wear minimal make up, and was a martial arts instructor.  I messaged her, telling her that I was just blown away that she was announcing her plans to turn into a woman and I fully admired her decision.  I even asked if she wanted to get coffee because I was eager to talk to someone who was passionate about gay rights like I was.  She agreed, and we met at a coffee shop.

I was ordering coffee when she came in, and she was dressed like a lumber jack.  What I wasn’t expecting, was that she was two inches shorter than me and maybe 140 pounds.  But I figured since I’m an Amazonian in stature and Midwestern, I was going to have a hard time meeting anyone taller or bigger than me.  We got coffee and talked for a few hours.  She was really interesting, worked in a mental hospital, very well-rehearsed on Buddhist and Taoism, so we talked mostly about life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.  We exchanged numbers, I gave her a hug, and we parted ways.

A couple days later, she asked me to go out again.  I didn’t think anything of it, and she said she wanted to get to know me.  On our first encounter, I told her that I would never date her, but I would love to be friends.

We decided to drive around the outskirts of Fairbanks, because we both felt that car rides are the best way to get to know someone.  About an hour into the driving around, she turned to me and asked me why I didn’t want to date her.

“Well, no offense, but I’d break you in half,” I told her honestly.  I was more than double her weight.  She laughed.

“My ex fiancé was over 250 pounds, I’ve always preferred heavier women.”

I was a little confused.  “So, you like women?”

She nodded.  “Just because I want to be a woman doesn’t mean I’m not attracted to them.  I dated a few men and they’re fine for sex, but I could only ever love a woman.”

This made sense to me, and we continued to talk, me still thinking that I’d break this poor person in half.  We get to the top of a hill, about five miles from the nearest house, and she pulls the truck over and cuts the gas.

“Alright, there’s where I’m going to bury your body.”  She pointed to the ditch where a large field of wildflowers and rosehips grew.  I first thought of how pretty the flowers were, then the words sunk in a little bit.

We both laugh, then I turn around and see the shovel in the back of his truck.



All the blood leaves my face, and she didn’t break eye contact.

A few minutes pass, then she turns the truck on again.  “I’m just fucking with you.  I’ve always wanted to do that to someone.”

Relief washed over me and we went to Denny’s to talk more.  She was really nice, and after hanging out a few more times, I started to date someone else and I never heard from her again.

A few months after that incident, I started working on base and met Alex.  So I guess everything happens for a reason.

So that’s how someone half my size nearly murdered me in the Alaskan wilderness.

So, tell me, what are your thoughts? What weird, over the top dating experiences have you had? Anyone pull a prank on you while on a date early on? Let me know in the comments!

The Laziest Guard Dog Alive

I’ve mentioned before how my Sahara is a fairly lazy dog.

Sahara is a German shepherd mix who is mixed with something that makes her a really lazy dog.  Which makes no sense because the top dogs she could be mixed with include Red Heeler, Corgi and Australian Shepherd.  She’s short and stocky, but has the coloring of a German Shepherd. She’s always been incredibly lazy, but within the last few months, we’re starting to realize just how lazy she is.

Seriously, what the hell is she mixed with?

Seriously, what the hell is she mixed with?

Alex and I are on very opposite shifts.  I’m not working right now, just finished my bachelor’s degree, and Alex has to get up at four in the morning for PT, then he goes to work and is home around three.

Sahara is not a morning dog, and she is not a night dog.  Well, she’s kind of a morning dog, Luna is not a morning dog.  Luna doesn’t wake up before the crack of noon, but then she’s ridiculously hyper the rest of the day.

I’m getting off topic.

Sahara, I’m fairly certain, is an old girl.  She lays around the house, she only moves around a lot of we mention a walk, to which after a few blocks she trips you until you start heading home.  When she does go on walks, she walks very slowly, tongue hanging out of her mouth, tail wagging with each step taken.  When we’re home, she lays on the floor looking defeated.

When we went to a dog park in Minneapolis, she just laid on the ground next to Alex the entire time.  When we got home, she looked so exhausted that you would have thought she was running all day.

When I was doing homework last week, Sahara started to get… really annoying.  She kept nudging my arm so I would mess up my typing, she kept climbing into my lap, she even howled.  She was very, very whiney.

I couldn’t figure it out.  She kept running back and forth between Alex and I, and finally, I moved over one more room to sit next to Alex.

Her response?

She laid down near Alex’s feet and fell asleep.

Right before falling asleep.  Alex is on the bed next to her.

Right before falling asleep. Alex is on the bed next to her.

She was trying to get us in the same room so she wouldn’t have to make her guard dog rounds.

I think if someone breaks in, she’ll do one bark and give up.

Worst. German Shepherd. Ever.


Do you have pets that do ridiculous things that just confuse the hell out of you?  Do you have any idea what Sahara could be mixed with?  What are the funniest things your pets have done?  Tell me in the comments!

I Can Put BS Behind My Name Now

To all of my friends in real life, I swear to god, this is the last time that I’m announcing this.  I’m just so giddy about it that I want to scream.

So as of today, I officially finished my Bachelor’s degree.

Now, for some people, they’ll see this and be like, “Pshaw, a bachelor’s isn’t impressive.”

Au contraire, it is impressive.

When I was a toddler I was diagnosed with a learning disability.  I don’t remember what it’s called, but it caused my language development to be really behind, I had to spend five years in speech therapy in elementary learning how to do word pronunciations and how to sequence stuff.  From what my mother told me, they were really excited for me to be able to sequence past 4.

Part of it also means that I’m a total and complete airhead.

For the most part, I grew out of most of those, except the airhead bit.  I still run into walls and look for stuff that’s in my hand.  Drives my poor mother insane.  Also Alex.  Alex goes nuts at how forgetful I am sometimes.

It even affected how I understand language.  There would be times where people will talk to me, but my brain won’t connect the words together so I’m just confused as all get out.  Hence why my best communication is the written word, because when I see it, it makes sense.  Doesn’t make sense when I hear it.  Pretty much ever.

I remember hearing as a kid that I’d be lucky to ever go to college, much less get anything above a C in high school.

And all through school I struggled.  When I was in High School I was also diagnosed with ADD and was given Adderall, which caused my grades to go from F’s to A’s.  Overnight.  I started taking AP classes and while a lot of my classmates could blow off assignments and get A’s, I would study for 4-6 hours a night and still only get C’s and B’s.  Because information would not sink in.  But I kept trying and passed those classes.  However, until the past month, I was never able to pass a science class ever in my life.  I almost didn’t graduate high school because I couldn’t get my science grades above a D-.

I went to college in Alaska and dropped out after two years because my attendance was horrible and because I’m a horrible test taker.  Also, an English degree will not get you any sort of job.

I discovered online school and I’m graduating with a 3.72.  I’m pissed it’s not a 3.75.

I was able to do what so many people told me I can’t do.  And now I’m considering getting my Master’s.

Because I know I can.

Pretty much, what I’m saying, is that if someone who can’t even figure out how to say the word “Differentiation” can get a bachelor’s degree, there’s hope for the rest of humanity. *


Mostly I just wanted to share how happy I am to finally finish school. Those of you who are friends with me on facebook are probably tired of me screaming I FINALLY DID IT!  SUCK ON THAT LOSERS!  AHAHAHA! But please understand, for a long time, I was told I’m too stupid to ever go to college.  And now I have a higher degree than the people who told me that.

I paid for a piece of paper and worked my ass off for it and it says I’m smart.

Hells yeah!

Have you ever done something that people told you that you couldn’t do?  Has anyone told you that you were too stupid to do something?  Tell me in the comments!  I want to hear all about it.


Note: I used the word “differentiation” as an example for pronunciation because it took me YEARS to have someone correct me.  I always thought it was diff-eer-ee-en-tae-shun.  It’s pronounced “Dif-ur-en-tee-ae-shun”  It seriously took like four years for someone to say “Wait, what the hell are you saying?  YOU’RE PRONOUNCING IT WRONG!”  Pissed me off.  They could have corrected me, seriously.

Hypocrisy At It’s Finest

On the day we drove out of Minnesota for our much needed vacation, we decided to make one final trip to Caribou Coffee and the adjoining Panera Bread.

For those of you who are not in the Midwest, you’re probably wondering what Caribou Coffee is.

Caribou Coffee is angel’s tears in coffee form, put into your cup by someone who is really good at pretending to care about your day, with inches of sugary sludge and coffee strong enough to make you grow chest hair if you’re a woman, while not having the acidity that nasty ass Starbucks has.  It’s on every corner in Minneapolis, and it’s found in North Dakota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Kansas and Missouri.  Also Seoul, Korea.  It is my favorite, and whenever I go home, I usually drop around $100 at Caribou coffee and I buy tons of coffee beans from them.  Easily one pound of coffee beans a week.  Because they are next to godliness.

And no, they did not pay me to say that.  But if they sent me free coffee beans, I would not object.  Hint hint Caribou Coffee.


Basically Angel's Tears

Basically Angel’s Tears

Anyway, because the commissary on base stopped selling Caribou Coffee beans just before we left, I had to get my fix.  So I drank far more coffee than I should.  Every day.  All day.  It was awesome.

The day that we left, Alex went into Panera Bread to get us bagels for the road, and I got our coffee.  We had this awesome little Asian woman make our coffee.  I have no idea what her name was, but she was so funny and she made awesome coffee.  Seriously Caribou, where do you find your employees?

When I came out, Alex was madder than hell.

“You won’t believe this,” he tells me, as he straps himself into the car, burning his tongue on the angel’s tears.  “I asked a really cute little old lady if I was standing in the right line and she screamed at me that I wasn’t, then went to sit down.”

I shrugged.  This was not uncommon for women in their eighties.

“After she sat down, she started to scream at this old man that nobody treats veterans with respect and that she can’t stand people who are rude to veterans and active duty military.”

I choked on my Turtle Mocha made of angel tears, trying not to laugh.

“Did you tell her that you’re technically a vet and currently active duty?”

He shook his head.  “There was no point.  She would have probably gotten mad at me.  You know, because I’m a big dumb youngin’ who can’t figure out where the line is.”

He had a point.  He then continued, “It’s so weird, every day we’ve been in Minnesota, we’ve had awesome customer service and everyone was friendly.  Our last day here, an old woman screams at me and complains nobody is nice to military.  What the fudge?”

So we ate our bagels and began our drive out of Minnesota, wishing we didn’t have to leave.


Have you ever been treatly really poorly for something completely stupid?  What’s your worst customer service experience?  Let me know in the comments!

Snakes In The Grass

On the one year anniversary of moving to Louisiana, we decided to celebrate by getting the hell out of Louisiana.

By driving with our two dogs.

Up to Minnesota for three weeks.

Now, you may think this is drastic, but I had a family reunion and my mother in law was getting her PhD in Minnesota, the same week of my family reunion, so it lined up pretty perfectly.  We brought the dogs because we knew they wanted a break from the opossums, scorpions, snakes, and 100+ degree weather.  I’ve been concentrating on school as of late, and we both just needed a long vacation.

In case you don’t know, driving from Shreveport to Minneapolis takes approximate 16 hours if you don’t stop.  If you have two dogs that are whining in your ear and eating your seats, it takes closer to 20 hours.

And we left around 5 pm, hoping to miss rush hour in Kansas City, Des Moines, and Minneapolis.  To me, this was a flawless plan.  Alex was off work that day, we tried to clean up the house while the dogs were at day care (Yes, I put my dogs in doggie day care, so sue me), and we packed the car.  The deal was that if the house was spotless, we could leave.

However, since Alex wanted to leave just as much as me, and I’m really annoying when I beg, Alex forgave me for leaving the house in total disarray and we picked up the dogs at 5 and began driving north.

About two hours north of Shreveport, in southern Arkansas, we stopped at a church to water the dogs and feed them, as well as stretch our legs and drink some much needed coffee.  We found a field of high grass and let the dogs loose, thinking that this was a great idea.  There was a house nearby, a house that I was convinced was condemned.  Honestly, it was falling apart.  And I mean no harm to the people who lived in it.


Pretty sure the house looked a little worse than this

Pretty sure the house looked a little worse than this

A few minutes after letting the dogs run around, an elderly woman came out to greet us with her little dachshund.  The dachshund barked at Luna, who gave him the stink eye and put her paw on his head, to which she chased him and pretty much ran him over.

The woman was so kind.  She saw our license plates and asked us if we had driven all the way from Alaska.  We told her our story, and she thanked Alex for his service.

“You know, there’s a field on the other side of the house that’s my property.  It’s mowed so there aren’t any opossums, water moccasins, scorpions, or poisonous spiders.  I’d hate to see your dogs die because of a preventable critter.  You can use the field for as long as you like.”

I thought this was very generous of her, and Alex agreed.  We took the dogs to the field, and they ran to their hearts content, while Luna especially found it fun to lay down in a pool of mud.

After a few minutes, the woman came out and offered to let us sit down in her house to relax, offering us some sweet tea.  Considering I was easily three times this woman’s weight, and Alex is just a huge man, we both agreed that we were fine and that we were going to get going soon.

As we were packing up the dogs food and water bowl, she walked over to us and handed us a wal-mart bag.




“I have 12 pecan trees and I have more pecans than I know what to do with.  They make excellent pie, or great to snack on as you’re driving.  Would you like more?”

This bag was so full.  It was easily five or six pounds of pecans.  Freshly fallen from her trees.

We thanked her, she thanked us for stopping by and told us that if we drive through again, just knock on her door and she’ll give us a bite to eat and some sweet tea.

This was the first time in the year we had lived in the south that we had experienced southern hospitality.

I almost wish I lived in Arkansas.

What is your best example of hospitality from a total stranger?  Have you ever been somewhere where you were just flat out confused at how nice people were?  Let me know in the comments!

The Golden Heart

I mentioned that I took a trip home this previous August.  I was home for nearly three weeks, and the main reason I was home was because there was a big family reunion for my father’s side of the family.

My father’s side of the family rarely gets together, especially like this.  We’re not a huge family, unless you go out to third and fourth cousins, then there’s close to a thousand of us, but for my late grandfather and his brother, if you include their children and grandchildren, there’s approximately 30 of us.

We’re a strange bunch, to say the least.  While my father and I have a very strange relationship where we have a lot of unspoken agreements on how we talk to one another, I can say that I’m definitely much closer to my father’s side of the family.

My grandfather had a PhD, as well as tons of other degrees.  He went to college for thirty years straight, and he stopped college when he retired.  He had an IQ that was easily around 180, and absolutely no common sense.  However, as my uncle explained, he had the family’s Golden Heart.

I’m twenty four now, and I always knew that my grandfather had a golden heart.  Heck, it was the reason that I was so crushed when he passed nine years ago.  My grandfather was a person who had very strange ideas about everything around him.  He was a college professor, an engineer, and a member of the NRA.  He never wore socks, he would have my grandmother make his pants with deep pockets in case someone tried to pick pocket him.  He would bathe in laundry detergent.  For as long as I knew him, I never knew him to comb his thick, white hair.

He was a very, very strange man.  But my memories of him are never malicious.

When I was young, I mentioned that I really wanted to learn piano, but my parents couldn’t afford it.  My father filled vending machines and when he was home, he would scrap metal in the garage, my brother and I helping him.  He easily worked 80 hours a week.  My mother was a type setter and typed textbooks in the living room while raising my brother and I.  I give my father a lot of crap about how we were raised, especially after the divorce, but one thing I can never neglect is that my parents worked hard for the little they got, and they never let on just how hard it was to take care of us with the little they had.

My grandfather, a week later, found an old organ at a flea market and bought it for me.  He told me to just play around on it and maybe I could teach myself someday.

When I was an older, around 13, I had decided that I wanted to be a writer.  I would spend hours writing fan fictions and short stories.  By the time I was sixteen, I had written two novels, both of which I have in an old notebook in my closet.  I read all of the harry potter books several times.  I read every Janet Evanovich book that had been released at that time.  In school, I wouldn’t do my homework or really participate in class because I was always reading.  My head was always in the clouds, thinking about how I was going to be a famous writer someday.

My mother was supportive in a strange way, telling me that I’ll never make a living being a writer, and that I should shoot for something else.  My father laughed at me, many of my other relatives (I have 15 cousins and it’s rapidly growing, as well as several aunts and uncles), and they all rolled their eyes at me.  I felt, at the time, that nobody quite understood me.

But my grandfather always did.

When my grandma was in California for a week vising my uncle, I spent the week with my grandpa in Eastern Minnesota.  I mentioned to him shyly that I wanted to be a writer, and instead of giving me grief, he spent the entire weekend we had together talking about the different types of writing there is.  He was pushing for technical writer or grant writer, which makes a lot of money.  He told me I can do romance writing, and if that’s what I wanted to do, he would support me, but he said that he knew I was intelligent, and if I took after him, technical writing would be the route I would be best suited for.

Every time I saw him after that, he would ask about my writing.  He would then try to persuade me to pursue technical writing, but he understood me in a way that nobody else ever did.

Probably my fondest memory of my grandfather is when he and I were at the flea market.  When he retired he became a blacksmith, because he found it fun.  He would sell bronze knives and plant stands that he made himself, as well as other blacksmith goods.  He was quite good at it, considering.  I would go with him to the flea market and we would sit on the back end of his truck, persuading people to buy the plant stands or the makeshift grill he made, but this afternoon it was slow.  We shared lemonade, and we talked about everything.  Old family stories, his childhood in Pennington, MN, his time in the Air Force, everything you could imagine.

We both fell asleep sitting in the sun, enjoying the suns warmth.  On the drive back to his house, he held my hand and told me that he was proud of me no matter what I did.

My grandmother is like that even now.  She is quirky, like my grandfather was, but she has the golden heart.  If I ever needed anything, she would be there to help me.  If I’m having a rough day, I call her and she makes me feel better.  There was one day, where I just needed comfort, and I called her almost in tears.  It was shortly after I got married, and when she asked me what I was doing, I told her I was making a cup of tea.

The best words of wisdom expelled from her mouth.

“If you can enjoy a cup of tea, it’s really not that bad.  As long as you can enjoy the taste of the tea, everything will get better.”

When I’m having a bad day, where I feel like I want to give up, I make myself a cup of tea, and my grandmother’s words echo in my ears.  No matter how bad things get, I can always enjoy a cup of tea.  And I realize that bad things are only relative, and things can always be worse, but they’ll always get better.

As I get older, I feel myself feeling less bitter to those who have wronged me.  Sometimes I kind of had it coming, other times it was misplaced affection (which sounds really strange as I type it).  I remind myself that every person in my family, my father included, has a golden heart.

If I were in trouble, no matter how estranged I was to anyone in my family, they would do anything to help me.  If I needed clothing, they would give me the shirt off their back.  If I was alone and scared, even if we were fighting, they would wrap their arms around me and give me comforting words.  There is one thing I know about my parents: my father loves me, and my mother loves me, and no matter what happens, if I need them, they’ll be here.

Sure, my family is strange and quirky and all together weird, but they have one thing that I’ve found a lot of families don’t have.

We have the golden heart, that no matter what happens, we strive to help those around us in any way humanly possible. We don’t discriminate against each other, we don’t hold grudges, and we most definitely ensure that nobody is treated with animosity.

And I’m happy to say that I’m part of a family that treats each other like that.

What is your fondest memory of your childhood?  I believe each family has it’s own uniqueness as to why their family has a golden heart, what is your family’s “golden heart?”  Tell me in the comments, I would love to know.


One Year Transplant: The Pros and Cons of Louisiana

I have officially been in Louisiana for one year. And this blog is one year old now. Huzzah!
Alex told me that I can’t judge a new place until I’ve lived there one year. Well, it’s been one year.

The Pros

The People
The people in Louisiana are actually not overly friendly. However, I’m very obviously a yankee. The reason I have this in the pros is because whenever I go to Arkansas, we meet really nice people. I don’t think I’ve ever paid for coffee in a gas station in Arkansas because they see my Alaska license plates and they talk to be about how awesome the military is. Overall though, I’ve met some really nice people in Louisiana and they’re very good about trying to keep in contact. Unfortunately, I’m such a homebody that I never see any of these people.

The Food
The food in Louisiana is awesome. From Jambalaya to Cajun seasoning, I have to say that the food here is just all around good. The veggies are just so fresh and flavorful, the food in restaurants, even chain restaurants, are just so much better than the chains that are up north. Olive Garden in Louisiana is actually good. I have no idea why.

Gas Prices
Gas at Sam’s club by my house is $3.04. That’s way cheaper than I’ve paid since before I moved away from Minnesota.

Sin Tax
I don’t smoke, but my friend who does told me that $3.50 a pack is dirt cheap. And when I visited Minnesota recently, I realized that alcohol is dirt cheap here too. A bottle of whiskey here is ten bucks, in Minnesota the same bottle of whiskey was $19. Also, junk food is really cheap. A bag of chips is $2. Minnesota it’s closer to $8. The lack of sin tax is nice.

Surprisingly, it helps me deal with the bible belt

Surprisingly, it helps me deal with the bible belt

The Cons

The People
Yes, the people make and break this place. It’s one thing to have friendly people, but it’s another to have people who are incredibly racist. I will be totally and completely honest: I don’t understand racism. Who cares if you’re white or black? Gay or straight? I honestly, truly don’t care about what you look like, I just care about the sweat on your brow and how kind you are to others. I’m coming to hate people who are upper class. They say that the lower class is lazy, but after working a crappy low paying job, I can say that I’ve never worked so hard for so little. It’s ridiculous.

The Weather
On Christmas day last year, it hit 80 degrees. That was the first time that I was able to wear flip flops on Christmas. Additionally, it is impossible for me to get into the Christmas or any holiday spirit here. I think this is because I’m used to a very temperate zone. Thanksgiving and Christmas, and also Easter, always had snow. Well, Easter usually had a blizzard or the lilacs were just starting to bloom. The fact that winter didn’t start until January and it was spring by February freaks me out and I hate it.

I’ve mentioned my love for cockroaches several times. And I can tell you that I’m a much better housekeeper now than I ever was. However, I’m a better housekeeper because we have those wonderful cockroaches mooching on everything. The fact that I clean my kitchen and a three inch long cockroach hisses at me and crawls behind the stove went from being terrifying to just irritating. I’m getting tempted to burn my house down.

Not that big here, but if they were, I would never leave the north pole

Not that big here, but if they were, I would never leave the north pole

The Critters
This is to address the opossums in my garbage, the 30+ pound swamp rats that hang out in my yard, the armadillos littering the road dead, the raccoons that chase kids down the street, the scorpions that are in my yard, and the snakes that appear in my yard if I don’t mow it regularly.
I moved to Alaska to get away from snakes. There are no snakes in Alaska. There were only garter snakes in Minnesota. We have snakes that can kill you here. Not cool, Louisiana.



Sales Tax
Until I was living in Alaska, I had no idea that food and clothing was taxed in other states. Minnesota is a wonderful place where food, excluding junk food, and clothing is tax free. The rest of the tax in the state is 6%. In Louisiana, everything is 9% sales tax. Including groceries. Which is ridiculous.

Overall: I would sacrifice a baby goat to the corn gods of Iowa to take me from this place. Alas, the military says I have to stay. So I’m going to continually try to find the good in this place, be it eating tons of delicious food, or going to the Louisiana Boardwalk in Bossier to check out the outlet stores.

What are some of the pros and cons of where you live? Would you want to live somewhere else? Tell me in the comments!

The Corn Gods Must Be Crazy

Alex and I decided to be really stupid and drive to Minnesota last month.  It’s a two day drive, and I always forget that time seems to stop in Iowa, because it feels like an eternity to get through Iowa.

Since I am from Minnesota, and every Minnesotan can agree with me on this, I believe that Iowa is not a real place and that it needs to fall into a hole in the earth.  Of course, I’m exaggerating, but seriously, Iowa is not a real place

Not real by association

Not real by association

Since Alex has lived in a total of eight different states, he has no love or affiliation with any place.  Since he spent a lot of time on the east coast, I consider him an east coaster, but I was born and raised in the same area of Minneapolis and lived there for 18 years.  My mom still lives in the house that she bought when I was four, and I still talk to a couple of my high school teachers.

I’m very, very overly proud of my home state and home town.  Something that baffles my in laws, but I think it just adds to my quirkiness.

Anyway, I’m getting off topic.  As soon as we get to Iowa, I scrunch my nose and complain that Iowa is basically hell and not a real place.  Alex starts to get agitated with me.

Alex: Why are you so against Iowa?  What did Iowa ever do to you?

Me: It exists.  Isn’t that enough?


But by the end of the day, Alex would be agreeing with me.

Not a real place

Not a real place

There’s this chain of fast food restaurants in the Midwest called Culver’s.  They fry their burgers in butter, they serve beer battered cheese curds from Wisconsin, and their ice cream is actually frozen custard and they make it fresh in every store.  You can get a heart attack just looking at their delicious food, and it’s a treat for Alex and I to visit every time we’re home.  I looked on the Culver’s website and find that there’s a Culver’s in Des Moines.  I figure that this was the time for Iowa to redeem itself.  They also had a Caribou Coffee, which is my favorite chain of coffee stores, and I will go into my love for Caribou in a later post.

Alex and I were starving.  The biscuit and gravy breakfast from the Super 8 Motel was not sticking with us.  Alex and I are both hangry (so hungry that you’re angry).  I get the directions on my phone to get to the closest culver’s restaurant, and as we’re getting closer, we realize that we’re in a residential area.  When the maps says we’re there, we’re in front of a condemned house.

Strike one, Iowa.

Alex says screw it and we’ll find something once we get to Minnesota, which at this point is only two hours away.  I pull out some veggies from our cooler of goodies, but carrots are just not a good substitute.

As we’re back on the highway, I see a sign stating that Culver’s is the next exit.  I get excited and then I mistake the next exit for the exit following.

So we missed culvers.  Again.  Alex was furious.

I can’t blame him.

Then I see a sign for caribou.  Alex tells me that if he can’t get cheese curds, I can’t get a turtle mocha.

So we’re both in the car, in silence, the dogs are sedated in the back, and we’re both staring ahead.  I decide to change things up a bit.

Me: How about we play I Spy?

Alex: Sure.

Me: I spy something yellow.

Alex: is it corn?

Me: Good!  Now I spy something green.

Alex: Is it corn?

Me: Ugh… Fine, I spy something husky.

Alex: Wait, wait… let me guess… It’s corn!








When we finally got into Minnesota, after getting lost in Des Moines, driving through hundreds of acres of corn, Alex and I came to an agreement.

The corn gods must be crazy.


Have you ever been to a place where you were just so frustrated by how little there was?  Have you ever gotten lost in a strange town because apple maps were designed by assholes?  Let me know in the comments!

*Our I Spy game lasted close to an hour.  Only two other times were the answers not corn: When I spied something spinny, which was a wind turbine, and I spied something beany, which were the soybeans.