Winter in New Orleans: News and Notes

Three weeks ago we had snow and ice for the first time in New Orleans in five years! It’s pretty rare that we actually get cold weather like that down here. People back home in Ohio always laugh at me when I complain about the cold. While it usually only gets down into the 20s and 30s for a few weeks, very few of us have central heat. And most of us live in really old houses that were built to stay cool in the intense heat of our summers. The houses are raised off the ground and have no insulation. While they do an excellent job of staying cool in the summer, there is no way to stay warm in the winter! Two weeks ago, I went into my office, which also does not have heat and found that it was a balmy 49 degrees. Cold like this is draining and hard to recover from, even when dressed warmly.

It was however, the perfect weather to really embrace Yule and Imbolc. Winter is of course the time of death and the resting Earth and sometimes it’s hard to really take a moment and enjoy that stillness and have that break when things never really take a wintry break. The frost and ice actually allowed us to have a winter this year!

But, I will admit that I was happy to have nice weather return. It’s been in the 60s and beautiful the last week and just in time for Mardi Gras! Walking into work the other morning I walked past this:

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And so the cycle starts all over again: life to death to life.

Just some quick announcements!

I just wrote an article about my partner, Kenny Klein for The Green Egg, one of the oldest running Pagan magazines in America! Their Imbolc edition is now out and is available in print for the first time in years. You should go buy a copy and check it out! The article is titled “Kenny Klein: A Kiss in the Dreamhouse.”

Feb_2014

The new book from Llewellyn is also coming out soon and you can now preorder it from Amazon!

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Last weekend, while at Pantheacon, I sat on a Llewellyn panel about death and ancestor work. The Wild Hunt posted a picture!

From left to right: Tess Whitehurst, Elysia Gallo, Tony Mierzwicki, Jhenah Telyndru, Me, Stephanie Woodfield, Kenny Klein

From left to right: Tess Whitehurst, Elysia Gallo, Tony Mierzwicki, Jhenah Telyndru, Me (Lauren DeVoe), Stephanie Woodfield, Kenny Klein

Last night was my subkrewe’s inaugural march in Chewbacchus, our science fiction and fantasy geek parade! The Party Elves of Mirkwood was a hairbrained scheme cooked up to honor the Randy Thrandy meme from The Lord of the Rings. We had a heck of a lot of fun and think others did as well. You should have been there! It’s totally started my Mardi Gras season off with a bang and is only the beginning! But I was briefly interviewed in The New Orleans Advocate during Comic Con about Chewbacchus, which was a lot of fun.

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A Mask Comes Together

And now for something completely different and on the lighter, nerdier side…(also including some bad pictures of me).

It’s that time of year that all New Orleaneans wait for with baited breathe…that’s right! Mardi Gras!

Mardi Gras starts on Twelfth Night and ends the Tuesday before Lent. Carnival is a Catholic celebration of sinning that is followed by repentance during Lent. What better way to sin than to revert to Paganism?

This year I started the season with a bang and walked in my very first Mardi Gras parade. I had the honor of rolling with THE Wookie in The Intergalactic Krewe of Chewbacchus! And when I say THE Wookie, I mean Peter Mayhew himself.

This was Chewbacchus’ third year and it was a COSMIC TRIUMPH!

A few months ago, I talked about Masking, and this was the night where I put this years’ costume all together. . .

I decided to mask as Sally from The Nightmare Before Christmas.

The Original Sally:

First I bought a dress, but found that it was pretty awful…

Worst Sally Dress Ever

Worst Sally Dress Ever, or, in hindsight, don’t buy cheap costumes.

So, I decided to sew my own. I used the terrible costume dress as a pattern and made my own.

Step 1

At least it was useful for something…

Step 2

Now for the sewing…

And then for a short break with Thunder Cake…

Make-up!

Make-up!

Almost...

Almost…

Final Touches...

Final Touches…

And…

The Parade! My friend E and I. E was dressed as Quaithe from Game of Thrones.

The Parade! My friend E and I. E was dressed as Quaithe from Game of Thrones.

At the end of the night, I was exhausted but completely satisfied. So far this has been an epic Mardi Gras and it can only get better!

After 4 miles of walking, copious amounts of drinking and much hard work...so worth it!

After 4 miles of walking, copious amounts of drinking and much hard work…so worth it!