In 2015 I decided I wanted to celebrate my October birthday in New Orleans. The other reason I chose to travel to that city was because I had been wanting to experience Halloween and visit a friend that had moved there. We made plans and set the dates at the beginning of the year. Another friend that lives in Dallas said she would come visit at the same time and we could hang out. This would be both of our first time in New Orleans and I was very excited.
We had so much fun exploring the area seeing all the landmark sites, as well as ate and drank throughout the town. One of the first places our friend took us to was a place called Oceana Restaurant in the Famous French Quarter district. Walking into the restaurant, looked like some fun décor. That is also when I realized the places there had courtyards. I had thought it was just patios on the side of places like they mostly have where I live. It was really pleasant to sit in the courtyard and relax. We order several sampler dishes and drinks. One of which was some alligator. Couldn’t come all that way and not try alligator.
I didn’t think to get a close up photo of the alligator. It’s the breaded dish that looks a little like nuggets. And it did taste like chicken nuggets, definitely not chicken, but similar. I’d eat them again.
We also enjoyed oysters, gumbo, crab cakes, and pasta. Very yummy and filling lunch.
What does Duende mean? According to the dictionary, it is “the power to attract through personal magnetism and charm.”
If you look up the word on Merriam-Webster Dictionary’s webpage, it also includes this information: “Did You Know? The word duende refers to a spirit in Spanish, Portuguese, and Filipino folklore and literally means “ghost” or “goblin” in Spanish. It is believed to derive from the phrase “dueño de casa,” which means “owner of a house.” The term is traditionally used in flamenco music or other art forms to refer to the mystical or powerful force given off by a performer to draw in the audience. The Spanish poet Federico Garcia Lorca wrote in his essay “Teoria y Juego del Duende” (“Play and Theory of the Duende”) that duende “is a power and not a behavior . . . a struggle and not a concept.” Nowadays the term appears in a broader range of contexts to refer to one’s unspoken charm or allure.”
Let us see how “trusty” Wikipedia explains Duende. On that webpage it says it could be another name for an elf. Or can be mythological; an artistic expression in a dance; novels or poetry; German trance DJ’s; independent artist cooperative in Netherlands; or a Canadian song title.
I think I like the reference that it’s basically the Latin culture’s version of a leprechaun; believed to be a mischievous forest spirit.
Do you think we have now become familiar enough to be able to cross it off this list?
The TV show Glee mentions Duende in an episode with Ricky Martin guest appearing. Here is a scene that was fun to watch and made me want to jump up and join them.
71 Approach a stranger and ask him/her out
87 Be a docent in a museum
83 Become familiar with duende
72 Clean out your closet and give your throwaway clothes and shoes to the poor
62 Communicate without words
61 Decoupage a table
70 Do an open-mike night
73 Donate books
63 Eat alligator
90 Find a long, straight road and see how fast you can go
84 Find the perfect Peking duck
89 Fossil hunt
80 Give a taxi driver some advice
74 Interview your friends on video camera
75 Interview yourself on video camera
82 Leave some cookies in your mailbox for the mailman
78 Listen to Mozart’s Requiem without interruption
69 Play hide and seek with your partner
79 Read Atlas Shrugged
77 Read to children
88 Ski Tuckerman’s Ravine
68 Spend a day at a nursing home
64 Spend one month completely alone
66 Spend one month with a television
65 Spend one month without a car
67 Spend one month without a radio
76 Take a natural mud bath
86 Take an acting class
85 Wake up next to Brad Pitt or Jennifer Aniston
81 Write your high school teacher a thank-you note
Every month I am taking 30 items from the 2001 Things to Do book and creating a short checklist. I am using this as inspiration to work on crossing things off the list, maybe not particularly from that month, but overall to do something different. This is not necessarily a “bucket list”; it is a goal that by doing something new (or doing something I’ve done before but hadn’t documented it with photos or journaling) I will keep from feeling in a rut. I will be able to look back at the little, big, sad, happy, joyful, or heart thumping moments and feel my life has value.
One of my favorite quotes is:
“A good life is a collection of happy moments” by Dennis Waitley
This is a reminder to myself of why I have this blog. I’m working through posting all the items from the book and beyond, to keep in mind to do something. To get out there for experiences and adventures.
I’d love to hear if you have done any of these. Or if you have other ideas to try.