Tag Archive for: Mardi Gras

Mardi Gras Madness

Growing up in Idaho, I had no idea what Mardi Gras was until
I moved to St. Louis. I’d never seen a King cake. Didn’t know what significance finding the baby baked inside the cake held. So I did a little research. 
Carnival actually runs from Twelfth Night in January to
Ash Wednesday. Mardi Gras, or Fat Tuesday, ends the Carnival season. Lent is a
period of prayer and fasting before Easter, and Mardi Gras is the last hurrah
before Lent starts.

The St. Louis version of Mardi Gras is held the weekend
before Fat Tuesday in a little neighborhood called Soulard.  The event includes a fun run, a parade,
musical entertainment, and of course, a lot of booze.
My husband and I were downtown for a dart tournament so
afterward, we walked the few blocks to Soulard. It was the same week I’d been
diagnosed with breast cancer and we were both a little raw from the news. 
pointed to a horse drawn carriage and said, “Someday, I’d like to take a ride
in one of those.” 
He waved it down and we road to the party in style. On the
way, I pointed out landmarks that I’d only glimpsed through my freeway commute
past the historic sites. Riding through the streets in an open carriage, gave
us the time to really see our surroundings. 
I knew things from books I’d read that even the carriage driver didn’t
know. Like the rumor that the Purina Foods parking lot was haunted. Or that the
Exorcist actually happened in a St. Louis mental hospital, not Baltimore like
the movie portrayed.
By the time we arrived, the party had moved from the streets
into the bars. As we wandered through the neighborhood, we found the farmer’s
market. The buildings remind me of Pike Market in Seattle, without the multiple
Then we took the long walk back to our car. 
We haven’t been back to celebrate Mardi Gras in Soulard
since that year. But I’ll always remember our carriage ride. The time when ‘someday’ became today.

What are you doing for Fat Tuesday tomorrow? 
If you’re looking for a fast pace paranormal romance set in a contemporary world, the first in my Council series, A Member of the Council, is back on the market. I love this cover. 

Of All Things Super and Fat

I was going to write about teachers, and I promise I will, but since it’s the day after Super Tuesday, two days after the Super Bowl, and it’s Mardi Gras or Fat Tuesday—the superest of quasi-religious celebrations—as I write this, I need to address all of these topics. Today we’ll be talking about things that are either Super or Fat. Or both.

Let’s start with Super Tuesday. I was lucky enough (or was at the top of the alphabet enough) to partake in one of those surveys from a local college about the primary. Now’s a good time to disclose that I’m not a poller, a pollist, or a pollizer, whatever the term is. I’m polarizing and want to learn to pole dance but know nothing about polls. I can answer questions (or thought I could until I partook in this poll) but I could never write a substantive or informative poll question. So, I feel a little guilty talking about polls in a mildly disparaging way, but let me detail the kinds of questions I was asked. Then you can decide for yourself. After we got through my age (somewhere between seventeen and a hundred and fifty), my race (let’s just say that I’m somewhere between the color of alabaster and whale blubber), my income (hey, I’m a writer—take a guess!), and number of children (of the ones who will claim me as mother, just one, although I’ve borne two), we were ready to go with the real questions. Which were harder to answer than I would have imagined.

First question. “Did Caroline Kennedy’s endorsement of Barack Obama make you more likely or less likely to vote for him?”

And already I was stumped. Love Caroline Kennedy but I hadn’t given the whole thing much thought.

“Well,” I stammered. “It really doesn’t make a difference.”

Now she was stumped. “You have to answer the question.”

“More likely?” I guessed.

She let out a sigh of relief. “Great. Next question. Did Ted Kennedy’s endorsement of Barack Obama make you more likely or less likely to vote for him?”

I could see where this was going but all I could think of was that I had looked in the mirror that very morning and thought that my hair was starting to look like Ted Kennedy’s. The question should have been “Did seeing Ted Kennedy endorse Barack Obama make you more likely or less likely to call Carla, the hairdresser, to set up a hair appointment?” But I decided to play it straight with her on the whole endorsement question. “Less likely?” But may I mention that my head looks more fat than super right now? No, you may not.

More relief on the pollster’s part. The questions continued in this vein until I admitted that “Project Runway” was just about to start and I needed to go. Because in my world, at this time and in this place, whether or not Romi can pull out a win over Christian is all I need to know. I also need to know if jodhpurs are coming back in style, too, because if so, there’s some work I need to do. And it has nothing to do with sewing and everything to do with liposuction. Because the legs? They are fat.

Onto the Super Bowl. I’m still in a state of shock and awe. Although I will admit that I don’t have a stomach for contests that are decided by a mere field goal and that I did go to bed with a pillow over my head so I couldn’t hear the outcome. And as a result, missed the David Tyree catch heard round the world that broke open the game and brought the Giants their first Super Bowl win in many, many years.

The moral of this story? Hang tough and watch the game as hard as it is to do it. Otherwise you will miss something super.

And onto our last topic: Mardi Gras. Tonight is our church’s annual celebration of Fat Tuesday, which is basically a pot luck supper in the gymnasium. There are silly hats, free beads, and thankfully, no exposing of one’s bare torso. (Yet. There’s also free wine and beer, so it’s just a matter of time really.) It’s a family affair and I do love me some free beads. But the weather is lousy, I have to run the gauntlet that is voting in this town (what district am I in? I can never remember when confronted with all of those tables and little old ladies eating Dunkin’ Munchkins—hey, which will make you fat even if it is Super Tuesday!), and I haven’t made a proper dinner in weeks. I owe my family at least one decent meal and by golly, Fat Tuesday is the day for it! And let’s face it: dragging the kids to a church function in the middle of the week won’t be an easy task. Even with the promise of free beads.

Oh, and incidentally, I just ordered my first pair of Spanx, from what I gather, great for the stomach fat and super tight. Stay tuned to see if I, like my friend–we’ll call her “M.”–will use the jaws of life to free myself from them in the ladies’ room during a bat mitzvah. I’ll let you know in the coming weeks.

You now have my musings on all things super and fat. Do with them what you will.

Maggie Barbieri