Saturday, January 19, 2013

We've arrived in N'Orleans!! Scrabble tournament here Ross comes!

Today marks the day of a new adventure!

Ross and I traveled to N'Orleans via 65-S and I-20 through Mississippi. We made it! We arrived at about 1:10 AM, by my gunning it around 75-80mph on my half of the driving. Yes, I AM better at maneuvering than Ross; it's true.

He's playing at the Crescent City Cup at the Sheraton Saturday-Monday morning! I'm so proud of him for studying so hard! My guy is extremely dedicated and determined with this! It's been a little exhausting-I gotta say-, but in the end...WE ARE IN FREAKING NEW ORLEANS!!
There are around 100 participants listed, and he will definitely give most of them a good run for the money "pun intended" :-)

Before sundown, which set in traffic while sitting in the car on Little Rock's 630 for 50 minutes, I started crocheting Ross's "official Scrabble tile pouch", which I hope to finish tonight at our hotel, the Bourbon Orléans Hotel, of which I will undoubtedly be talking a lot about later, for it is haunted by 17 ghosts, and I am a ghost story/show freak.
It was opportune that the sun set at this point because I was getting carsick, and I didn't want to hurl.

On the way we stopped in Dumas, Arkansas, and I had a faint nostalgia about the word "Dumas" that I just couldn't seem to pinpoint. It wasn't until after my belly was full of McDonald's double cheeseburger that I belted out in song: "Well let's all go down to Dumas Walker, lets all go down to Dumas Walker...we'll get a slaw, burger, fries, and a bottle of skeet...bring it on down to my baby and me."
This is, of course, the lyrics I googled. What I really sang was all of the beginning and then: "We'll get a small bowl of fries and two bottles of beer."
I'm happy with those lyrics too, especially since I probably haven't heard that song in 15 years.
I was pretty content in my recalled country music youth, until Ross spoiled my sport and banned me from singing country music for the rest of the trip.
"Ross, hunny, you know how I have random things pop in my head that have to get out lest my head explode. I can't guarantee this, and you can just put up with it."

Cut to dub-step music.

Cut to state lines.
Of course we kissed when we crossed the borders, a Jones family tradition. I have fond memories of my childhood, when my parents would always kiss whenever we crossed through state lines. My brother and I always squealed uncomfortably, but deep down we knew that we were in a loving family.

Cut to cracking the window open because I got carsick.

Cut to hearing howling coyotes. Ross said it was probably some country drunk folk hootin' and hollerin'. I stand by the coyotes. Not by my man on this one ;-)

Okay, so back to the hotel...
The Bourbon Orléans Hotel is nestled in the French Quarter. Built in 1817, it was N'Orleans' first Theater/Opera house. Then a convent for black nuns, one of the first of its kind. Then an orphanage. Also, for a time it was the seat of legislature when the old state house burned down. Marquis de Lafayette held gala events there at some point, and white businessmen/rich men/plantation owners would often frequent the hotel to get with their mulatto lovers in secret. Last (but probably not least), there is a lot of Civil War history in N'Orleans, as it was the largest Confederate city at that time, providing a bounty of soldiers.

So, with all that, you've got a hotel full of historical significance and spirits who intend on staying.
I've read through a lot of personal eyewitness accounts online about hauntings:
1) James Franco stayed in the hotel-with but not in the same room as Nicolas Cage-while filming a movie. He got into his room, started putting his stuff away, and he heard the bathroom sink's faucet turn on at full blast. He went to investigate the faucet, decided it wasn't loose, and then asked the maid about it. "Oh, it was probably the Confederate soldier. He frequents this floor."
2) Most of the sightings are of kids. Tablecloths can be seen being tugged at, and a little girl is seen roaming the halls of one floor.
3) An old man reading a paper and smoking a cigar is often seen just sitting at a table in the ballroom. Folks say they can often smell cigar there.
4) Some have said they've seen a Confederate soldier wandering around in full regalia with weaponry.
5) Some have seen a fancy mulatto woman dancing under the chandelier in the ballroom.
6) There has been witness of a black nun in one of the hallways.

Interesting...wonder if we will encounter anything;-)

I had a dream last night that Ross and I were in an unspecified, though huge hotel room, and he went out to get ice or something. He was gone for a long time. I was in bed, wrapped up, and I heard something and thought it was him, which it wasn't. I got up, tried to find the light, couldn't find it, kept hearing stuff and seeing shadows. I finally found the light switch, and it wouldn't turn on. Then I found another, and it too wouldn't turn on. Terrified, heart racing, I began wandering through the room and its many doors (leading to where, I don't know), and I became dizzy and disoriented. I felt I was being toyed with by ghosts, malevolent ones.
Luckily I woke up to pee, and then I didn't dream another minute about it.

Interesting...wonder if we will encounter anything;-)

So, we get here. Awesome valet, awesome bellhop, awesome hotel (though a bit cramped), crazy people on the street.

Nathan Joseph Rabalais, my dear Cajun friend who was also a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar to Strasbourg the same year I was to Lyon, lives in New Orleans, goes to/teaches at Tulane, a short distance away from his "pays"-Lafayette. He told me that Mardi Gras started early this year. Super Bowl's at fault. So, it's gonna be craaaaaaa-ceeeee.
Already, driving to our hotel, through the iron-barred, beaded, balconied buildings, we spotted some questionable characters: 1) a had-to-be-a-trannie, Asian guy dressed in a skin-tight dress, fuchsia, 2) a Mohawked, short Latino wearing a ton of black eyeliner and a full body suit of a full buff-bodied suit (literally head-to-toe), and 3) several shirtless people (I think I saw female breasts).
It's shaping up to be an Old-French cultural experience, a Cajun/Creole experience, and an underground "I'm in that phase right now in my life" experience.
Should be entertaining, on all three aspects.

I'll write soon...maybe...remember...Mardi Gras is starting early in N'Orleans this year on account of the Super Bowl.


Sunday, January 13, 2013

Baby blanket #2 (work in progress)

I like this one better. A boy blanket. It's going pretty quickly. Can't wait to finish it :---)

I'm trying to figure out some new stitches so I can make Ross's blanket. He wants one/cute huh ;-)

I gave up on those blasted socks. I'm patient, but more of a free-stitcher. I hate following patterns. Hate it. Hate it.

I also need to crochet Ross a Scrabble tile bag :-)

Happy Sunday everyone! I woke up singing "I love to tell the story..." Maybe it was the Quaker house next door. Don't know how that one popped in my head ;-)

Tightline Your Eyes!!

Yesterday I saw something on Pinterest, or some other site (can't remember), and I learned something very neat and useful!

Tightline Your Eyes!

"Tightlining your eyes (also known as the "invisible eye liner") is a great way to add a subtle definition to your eyes. Instead of lining the skin above your lashes, you line between the lash line. This method is perfect for any casual or fancy occasion, and is super easy to master. Keep reading to learn how to tightline your eyes!

Using clean fingers, gently lift your lashes upward (this step is only necessary if you find it easier to tightline). You'll see tiny gaps between your lash hairs, which you'll be filling in with eye liner.

Using your eyeliner, lightly dab the eye liner in between each individual lash (as close to the root as possible), to fill in your lash line and make it look fuller.

You've officially tightlined your eyes!

If you'd like to intensify the look, tightline your bottom lash line as well. It's the same concept as the top, but you'll be filling in the space between your lower lashes."

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Ancestry continued from the summer...

On Thursday, I found this CRAZY website with details on who is related to Charlemagne.
I found out the webmaster, the creator of this website and decided that I would write to him.

Dear Mr. Humphrys,

My name is Jessica Jones, 29. I live in Little Rock, AR.
I am guessing that you live in Ireland.

I've been out of school since 2008, (an English and French major), and I've always wondered about my English/French roots...especially French. My mom's dad always told me that I had a lot of French in my bloodline, but his family didn't know how.

This summer, I did tons of research on my tree, and realized I was related to "THE" French - Clovis I, Charlemagne, Hugh Capet...etc.
I was so excited!

Today, I stumbled upon your website ( after googling "Descendents of Charlemagne", and I learned about many famous people I am related to (according to your website), which was highly entertaining. (Brad Pitt and Angelina are somehow distantly related, and they are engaged to be married lol!)

My first question is this: Are all of the American Presidents related? And why does that seem conspiracy-theory-weird to me? I mean how can I literally be distantly related via this website to all of these presidents and presidential candidates!?

It wasn't until I stumbled upon John Mercer Langston, a freed abolitionist, that I realized that I might have black ancestry in my family...for I am as white as white could be/real pale.

Then, I saw Obama on there! CRAZY!!

Anyway, my question is this: Where might you even suggest that I start researching to see what blacks I am related to? I am quite intrigued right now!! I'm also wondering how I might find out if I'm just related to some blacks by marriage since, like I said, you can't see a trace of black in me.

Help me if possible please.

Your distant relative?
Jessica Jones

No response yet. But seriously, this website is nuts.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Unexpected Inspiration

Friday and Saturday were busy days!



Talked to the terrible, mean, screw-you-over landlord. Trying to get out of my beautifully architected, yet terribly decaying, black mold rotting apartment. I think it's going to be possible.


Ross and I have found a place: 3rd floor view of the river bluffs. River walk :

I think we'll get a puppy, and then I can walk him along the river or to the dam. I'll get off my tush ;)

Also, you can literally walk a feet yards and fish right there off the bank!! Cool! I'd probably enjoy doing that more than Ross lol!


Went to The Green Corner Store, picked up a check, and dropped off some more cards! It's not lucrative, but it makes me feel good ;-)



Justin and Miriam were in town; we enjoyed going to the Apple store (my mom just thought the way that you paid was delightful!) and eating at PF Changs. I got a very lucky fortune cookie note;-)


I attended a funeral for a friend's dad. Never met the man or his wife in my life. I'm so glad that I got to meet them. I walked out of there so heart-warmed and a little overwhelmed.
Here's why...heart-warmed because that funeral was the most beautiful and thoughtful funeral I've ever been too. Most crowded too. It really didn't surprise me on how thoughtful and tender it would be, given that my friend, Jessi, is the type who enjoys little things in life like myself, and will tear up at any given moment when something touches her. Where else would she have gotten this characteristic other than her dad, who I learned had the same sentiment. He seemed like a very sweet, jolly man.
From the start of the service, I teared up and didn't stop until after. The first man to speak made me verbally say: "Oh God" after he said that Jessi's dad proposed to his wife on New Year's Eve, and every year since he's asked her to marry him on New Year's Eve. He passed away on New Year's Eve.
Every part of me couldn't hide what I was feeling. Immediately, I thought of this sweet man on his deathbed, coherent, (though I don't know if he was), asking his wife one last time if she'd marry him.
It's is beyond the sweet of everyday life to me, and it is this little fact and daydream that will last with me. It's just so tender.

Her day's brother got up there and spoke of two heroes in his life when he was a boy growing up in cowboy country, Oklahoma: a tall black athlete and his brother. Then he said that he learned what true love was when Jessi was born because he could see it on his brother's face. He also ended with jokes and memories and a detail about how oftentimes, our heroes fail us in life, and his brother never did. It was so sweet.

The end was a recording of his voice. I've never seen that at a funeral. It made me recall the voicemails of my Papa after he passed, listening to him again and crying. Although, I never knew this man, I had a lot of empathy for those around me who were hearing his voice for the "last" time. I can still imagine my Papa's voice and his mother's voice-my great-grandma. It's sad that I can't remember my Nana's voice (my Papa's wife who died at 59).

I'm very glad that I attended this funeral. It is something I'll never forget.


The overwhelming part...I saw an ex-friend I didn't want to see at the funeral. It was awful seeing her. But, I survived.
She is pregnant.
Everyone is pregnant!


Ugh. Tomorrow I go back to school. Not looking forward to that.


Today, I will be packing up books, DVD's, board games, and craft supplies.


Thursday, January 3, 2013

Take This Waltz - Video Killed the Radio Star

It's is such a delightful film! Full of nuances, awkward love, longing, and heart.
Michelle Williams and her charm win again :-)

This very tender movie had me drawn in, eyes wide, from start to finish. It's very dramatic, but director Sarah Polley really is able to lighten dramatic scenes with little touches of just -cuteness! Cute cute!
I loved it!

If you loved movies like "Le Fabuleux Destin d'Amélie Poulain", "Waitress", and/or "Little Miss Sunshine", or if you've ever even seen Michelle Williams acting ("Blue Valentine", "Wendy and Lucy", "Me Without You") than this is your next viewing pleasure :-)

Baby Blanket #1

Everybody is having babies.

I'm making blankets. I just want to.

I went to Michael's the other day and ALL of their yarn was on sale, which of course made for a happy Jessica! I bought to huge sackfuls.
Ross wants his own blanket, and I just wanna crochet, so I figure I'll make his, and I'll make baby blankets.
I guess it's good to just have them "on stock"-you know, *in case*.

This is a picture of the latest, a little girl blanket. I used basketweave stitch!!! I had to watch a YouTube video on how to make the stitch, and it was actually successful!
It's not the first article I made with this stitch-I made the best friend, Thomass, a bright, royal blue, basketweave scarf for Christmas.

Upon finishing this blanket though, I think I should have alternated the fuchsia and the striped yarn. I just might do that-do a little color mending.
On verra.

Next - How-to Make Socks.
I started last night, got really frustrated with myself because I can't read the patterns. Ever since I was 9 years old, after my Grams taught me with simply a hook and yarn, I haven't seemed to be able to sit down and read stitches. It's like reading Math or something. And I hate reading Math. Le Math n'est pas ma langue.


Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Auld Lang Syne

Hi! Long time.

I hope you all have a great start to your new year!

I am going to start looking at everything like this (it's how we all should approach life!):