My Hell Yes Fest Schedule


I love Hell Yes Fest.

It is my absolute favorite time of year in a city where there are a thousand favorite times of year. I sweat a lot less, it’s dark all the time, and there’s comedy abound. Basically my ideal world if I could create one as a god. I love this festival so much that I’m actually a sponsor and have been every year.

Anyway, I thought I’d share the schedule I’m going to try to stick to pretty closely. As evidenced by this spreadsheet, I’m a huge fan of stand-up and particularly our awesome local talent. But check the schedule yourself and see a little bit of everything! If you see me, please say hi. Let’s have a pop and catch a show together.


(Don’t trust my recommendations? I respect that. Trust Cate Root.)

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A year ago at this time, student debt surpassed the trillion dollar mark. This debt mark surpasses auto loans and credit card debt. It is alarming and indeed a crisis. Tons of factors played a part, including state budget cuts, the recession, etc.

Make no mistake, the debt for graduates is crippling. It hinders saving AND spending. 

Today, we call for a national Social Media Day of Action.

If we don’t act, on July 1st the interest rate for Stafford Loans DOUBLES, costing borrowers (a lot of whom are from families with an annual income of less that $50,000) thousands extra. The worst way to encourage spending and saving is to release new graduates into the world by burdening them with crushing student loan debt.

Some news links about the crisis: (sorry)

Some quick reminders if you’re not angry about this:

-Banks and corporations often get loans from the government at 0% interest AND, as we have all seen, no real obligation to pay them back and no real penalties.

-The only crimes with no statute of limitations are: murder, rape, treason, war crimes and STUDENT LOAN DEBT. One of these things is definitely not like the others. Why?

Here’s the information I received from

Here’s How You Can Participate:

Tweet Your Representatives:

Click here to access the Student Debt Crisis comprehensive list of all 435 members of the House – – find your Representative and click the link next to his or her name to send a pre-loaded tweet demanding #DontDoubleMyRate

Other Sample Tweets:

Video: We believe in #DreamsNotDebt. Check out why we can’t afford for fed student interest rates to 2x 7/1
How many burritos worth of #StudentDebt do you have? Check out @YI_Care’s interactive #infographic #DreamsNotDebt

Write to your Representatives:

Post on Facebook:

Video Alert! We believe in #DreamsNotDebt. Check out why we can’t afford for federal student interest rates to double on July 1st

Sign These Petitions:

Tell Congress to Bank on Us! –

$51 Billion in Student Loan Profits – Tell Congress This Has to Stop! –

Don’t Raise the Interest Rates on Student Loans –

Support the Student Loan Fairness Act – HR 1330! –

Stand With Me and Tell Congress: Stop Student Loan Interest Rates From Doubling –

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I was fascinated with the Twitter project the country of Sweden did (@Sweden).  The bio states “A new Swede every week!” I was an early follower and have enjoyed reading about the everyday lives of residents there. Sure, it has gotten a little kooky or controversial at times, but overall the project has been successful.

The About page on their page, which also houses the current @Sweden curator’s long-form bio, reads like this:

Every week, someone in Sweden is @Sweden: sole ruler of the world’s most democratic Twitter account.

For seven days, he or she recommends things to do and places to see, sharing diverse opinions, and ideas along the way.

After that, someone else does the same—but differently. Follow all nine million of us. Welcome to Sweden.

I think we could pull off a project like this in New Orleans. Everyone is curious about us: our food, our habits, our culture, our lives. I travel a lot, and people always ask me about what happens when Mardi Gras or Jazz Fest isn’t going on or they tell me they can’t imagine what living here is like. What better way to let them know what it’s really all about than US, the residents, constructing and controlling the real narrative? Not just the one people see on television or in the news. Can we influence the outside world’s view that New Orleans is not just Bourbon Street and a rising crime rate, but a mix of experiences, multi-layered and diverse? Hopefully. Will those things we’re famous for come into play? Most certainly. But so will hundreds of other inside perspectives.

Every Sunday evening, a new volunteer tweeter will take control of the @BeingNOLA account.  The curator will be briefed with some loose guidelines for the account, given their own password, some surprisingly non-sarcastic  encouragement and a sincere THANK YOU VERY MUCH. This Sunday, June 2nd, our inaugural New Orleans tweeter will take the reins.

I’m very happy that a lot of locals are following the account and would love it if everyone would share it with their non-NOLA friends.

We’ll try this experiment for a few months and see if it catches on. I’m also open to suggestions.

Email me to volunteer, suggest curators, or for anything at: neworleans140 [at] gmail [dot] com

See you on the internet!


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I wrote this for my Mom a few years ago. I know I’ve been rehashing a lot of stuff lately, but it still stands:

Several years ago, which seems like another lifetime, I was an utter mess.

I was screwing up left and right. I couldn’t manage anything: my money, my job, my relationships, my life. It all sort of happened all at once, without warning. I mean, I’d always been kind of a drifting fuck-up and loose with my standards. I never had a job I was committed to or a place I loved being in. I was without roots, I was without conviction. I thought, anyway. Without going into details, after a number of crazy events, it all finally came down to a destructive crash. My Mom, without hesitation, without question, came to my rescue. After all I’d done and all the bad I’d been, she never, ever left me alone or stopped believing in me. She helped me get diagnosed, medicated, into therapy, and on with my life. She did everything short of moving in with me, which, admittedly, she wanted to do. It took quite some time, and I never made it easy for her, myself or anyone, but I eventually got back on track.

During the upswing, I was talking to my very good friend Jonathan, discussing my whole mental health thing and he asked me a question I’d never been able to pose to myself. He asked, “Have you ever really THANKED your Mother for all she’s done? I mean REALLY THANKED her.” I was quiet. The profundity of that simple question was not lost on me. But, I was stunned and probably even a little ashamed.

He went on. “She saved your life.” He was right. She had. She did.

Not long after that conversation, and while I was still trying to figure out an answer to that question, my Grandma died. My Mom was devastated. It traumatized my whole family. My Grandma was our matriarch, our glue, our hero and beacon and one of the reasons I worked so hard to get myself back together. I certainly couldn’t put her through anything more. She fought cancer for a really long time and, in the end, she was just tired. We had to let her go. The day of the viewing, everyone in the family was getting up and speaking. I knew I was going to get up, but hadn’t planned on what I was going to say. I suppose these things aren’t planned, but in those eight steps to the podium, I realized the most important thing I’ve ever realized and it has dictated everything I do, everywhere I go, every single day since.

I’d never witnessed in my life someone who loved their children more than my Grandma. Without her and without the relationship she had with my Mom, the relationship I have with my Mom would never have been possible. It is because my Grandma loved her children so much that my Mom loves us so much.

I said I’d never witnessed someone loving their children more than my Grandma, because I didn’t know up until that day that I’d been witnessing it all my life.

Continue reading

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A few months ago, I wrote an article for Nerd Nite Magazine that listed 10 nerdy things to do in New Orleans. One of those things was the Wizard World New Orleans Comic Con. A few days ago, Wizard World reached out to me to help get the word out about this event and, of course, I jumped on the chance!

For a few reasons:

1. I’m a total fangirl. If you follow me on Twitter, you know that comics and graphic novels are a huge part of my life. But, this Con isn’t just about comics. This con has everything: movies, gaming, television, horror, wrestling, MMA, anima, manga, STAN LEE! Also, Walking Dead, CM Punk, Eliza Dushku, Patrick Stewart, ST:TNG VIP experiences. STAR TREK! How cool is that?

2. I’ve worked hard to help foster a culture in New Orleans that allows more demand for events like this. I love this city and I love to see its interests grow and expand. I don’t remember this sort of event from when I was a kid, so I’m watching it happening now and it’s very exciting! If we continue to support these events, we can pass along an interest as wonderful as comic books to the next generation.

3. New Orleans has some WONDERFUL talent like Kody Chamberlain and Rob Guillory and events like this bring attention to our burgeoning comic artist and writer scene. I believe they’ll both be there, so stop by and give them a thank you for all they do.

Wizard World has given me the opportunity to help out and also offer you a bonus litohograph from an attending artist with your registration. Please help support this terrific event by purchasing your tickets from me, RIGHT HERE!

I’ll be out there all 3 days, so find me and SAY HELLO!



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I managed to see Mission of Burma at Fitzgerald’s last night and it was exactly as expected. The place was teeming with single male music nerds, who all arrived individually. There were abt 10 women in the crowd. So basically, lots of awkward. I got off a few pics before my phone died. I was right on the stage in front of Clint Conley. I didn’t take any notes because I was already dorking out enough. So, this is just a loose recollection of the show.

Highlights of the night for me were This is Hi-Fi, a very new one, and Academy Fight Song, the very first one. I did always prefer Conley’s delightfully nasal singing to everyone else. There were some sound issues, which is surprising considering Bob Weston is their own guy, but who knows at Fitzgerald’s.

First opening band was not what I’m into, but the crowd seemed to like them. The second band, The Garys (I believe) I thought were great. There were obvious throwback tinges of that school of New Sincerity sound and then I found out they were from Austin, so it all made sense. Check them out if you get a chance.

Anyway the show was great, I jumped around a lot, and here are some pictures. Go see Burma on this tour because while they have a new record (Unsound – hilariously their 5th studio record and 4th post-reunion record), they probably won’t tour much after this.

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I finally got the chance to talk to the History Channel today about the show I mentioned on Twitter. Seems very exciting!

Let me give you the rundown of the show first: The show is one we’ve all seen before, called “How The States Got Their Shapes”. The premise of the show is basically Brian Unger driving around in places, looking at stuff, and talking to locals, interspersed with experts talking about the area.

What they told me they were looking for was a little bit different. The premise of this particular segment is QUIZ ROUND. They are looking for dynamic, self-proclaimed nerds who have a grasp on local history. They did mention they weren’t necessarily looking for experts, just dynamic people. The format will be one-on-one quiz rounds, 15 questions a piece. She said that it’s not a formal game show and that nobody will end up looking dumb, if that’s a worry. The whole segment will take about 3 hours to film. It is also in Baton Rouge, so make sure you have transportation and they did mention they would take care of some travel costs.

I’ve got several people in mind, but I want to reach out to people that have come to Nerd Nite regularly. If you’ve been a presenter or regular attendee, you all know my email. I trust your suggestions. Please send them to me, even if that suggestion is you, and I’m going to send them 4 or 5 names to contact.


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