Plants

I planted these pots this weekend. I went to Home Depot, and I asked the plant expert what to get, and I picked out five plants and five pots. I also got some potting soil and some Miracle-Gro. At home, I put some dirt in the pots, and then the plants in the pots, and then some more dirt around the plants in the pots. Then I walked around for a while and decided where I wanted to put them. Then I watered the plants in the pots. I got dirt everywhere, including on my knees, but my husband vacuumed it up for me. After that, it rained.

Bow Down, Boys

I wrote kind of a fun post about what strippers can learn from CEOs on my Forbes blog:

She steps out from behind the curtain. She’s wearing a black bra and black panties, and that’s it (unless you count the towering heels upon which she’s balancing). At the other end of the stage, a dozen white males are waiting for her. One of them has stuffed several George Washingtons into the waistband of his pants, to which he is pointing.

 

Girls who Box

I've taken up Muai Thai boxing and really love it. Here's why.

It's all about aggression

I think as a woman sometimes it's not OK to be aggressive. Even if you're six-foot-plus. Or maybe especially if you're six-foot-plus. In a way, Muay Thai boxing is all about aggression. But it's not about being angry. It's about focusing intensity for maximum effect.

It's a great workout

My sit-ups and jumping jacks aren't too bad, but, my god, my pushups are an exercise in humiliation. Apparently, I have no upper body strength. Muay Thai boxing is great for being long and lean, for losing fat, and for building muscle. All good things.

It's fun

I would probably be at a total loss if I hadn't done karate several decades ago. Because I did, I get some of the basics. And I'm not too twitchy about striking someone. At the same time, there are some things I learned that I'm now having to unlearn. That's the hard part.

After the Storm

This is the place where I was living in New Orleans when Hurricane Katrina arrived. This style of house is called a shotgun because you can stand at the front door and shoot a shotgun straight through it. I evacuated the day before the storm made landfall. We fled west, and the traffic was stopped for miles, and the shitty little car in which I'd gotten a ride broke down by the side of the highway, and the first bands were starting to hit, and a sheriff stopped because no one else would, and when he rolled down his window, I said: "Please don't leave me by the side of the road." It was days before we realized we couldn't return. My best friend bought me a plane ticket and told me to come to her, so I did. It was a couple months in Virginia before I got up the nerve to go back. In Louisiana, I rented a car and drove through the city. It looked like a woman that had been raped. There were dead refrigerators on sidewalks like tombstones. The place had been ravaged. I was there to get what was left. The satellite photos made it look like parts of the roof were missing, and that was right. I stood in the living room and stared up through the slats at the blue sky and wondered at the size of a storm that could tear the hundred year old pecan tree in the backyard, at the base of which I'd buried a lucky horseshoe upright so the luck wouldn't run out, from the ground and toss it like a toothpick. Most of my things were lost to black mold crawling across the walls like lace and the asbestos roof shingles. I took what I could and left. On the drive out, there were boats in yards, and at one point across the lake the bridge was there and then it wasn't. This week was my first time back since then. You can't see it so much--the storm--anymore. It's gotten hidden. I remember what I remember, though. I got my heartbroken in this house. I had a nervous breakdown in this house. I almost killed myself in this house. Today, I had the cab driver wait while I took a few photos. "How long will you be?" he said, as I got out of the car. "Not long," I said. And I wasn't. #neworleans #nola #hurricanekatrina

Last week, I went to the Investigative Reporters and Editors conference in New Orleans. It was the first time I'd been back to the city since 2005, when I was pushed out by Hurricane Katrina. I wrote a mini-Instagram essay on it, which I've reposted here.

The First Time I Saw a Porn Movie: I Was Somewhere North/South of 16

i was somewhere north/south of 16 when a movie came to town, and that would be palo alto, ca. i can't remember as to how i heard of this hapnin, but mind you, this was in the 60's, long before this medium and all its red headed step cousins swam upstream. it was a russ meyer film at a small theater off university ave. so i went, probably on my bike.
At 64, the tailings of that night are as fog. nothing substantial, for sure, but perhaps a seed was cast. i remember it , in that they seemingly were hiding some best parts, or just teasing me in a fashion we don't do today. so that's it, it was a provocative film for its time, and I was there.
But then that memory triggered a snap shot of another episode contained within that same chapter. I can't remember whose idea it was, but [redacted], a bro at [redacted] high, played the leading role. we went to a bookstore of sorts.  this was not brick and mortar by todays standard, rather a lovely victorian, just a house with many books for sale. so we made our way in and [redacted] - I think- grabbed the book.
Within some minutes after leaving, and I do recall this, we were laying in the shade of some grand ole tree with [redacted] reading. oh my, this might have been the seed yet. it was erotic. he read so well, and we all laughed that laugh of innocence.
So for me, it is not so much the eye candy as I write you, rather, [redacted] reading well spun erotica in some summer of my youth that is perhaps a certain cornerstone of where I abide today.

"The First Time I Saw a Porn Movie" is a digital project. Want to share your story anonymously? Email susannahbreslin@gmail.com.