Thursday, September 30, 2004
There's just one problem: what to blog about. Now there are many things I could talk about, but what is truly blogworthy? There are many shallow thoughts from my deep mind. Amanda's thoughts are shallow as well, but Her Blogness has the tender sarcasm that I'm not sure I can live up to. Just kidding, sometimes she's not shallow.
Speaking of being shallow, here's a question for everyone: Have you ever thought of giving up television? In previous years I've found myself planning my days around that box of light, and often planning my weekend around when I'm going to watch the tapes I recorded of Friends, Gilmore Girls, Big Brother, and whatever band/celebrity I wanted to see on Leno, Letterman, Conan, or those I-have-to-get-up-at-the-butt-crack-of-dawn-to-watch-this morning shows. And then what do I get out of it? Nothing positive. I get someone telling me that I have to dress like this, I have to have perfect hair like this, I'm too short, I'm too "soft", I'm too pale, I'm not talented. It's made me constantly feel the need to compare myself to, not just the people on TV, but the people I know in real life, even at church. Sometimes I'll think I'm not as good as this person, and sometimes I'll think I'm better than that person. The latter just leads to pride, which I hate in myself.
It's not just physical attributes of being a female either. This will sound cliche but it really does desensitize us to many things. I'm a self-described "goodie goodie" (although since I moved to Nashville it might need to be cut down to just 1 "goodie") - and I've watched TV/movies since I was little and I haven't fallen into the sex drugs and rock & roll "pit of sin." So it's easy for me to say that TV/movies don't affect one's behavior, that behavior is a conscious decision that is controlled by YOUR mind. Luckily my mind's been stubborn enough not to let my body behave like I've seen people do. But has what I've seen been constructive in helping me live a more Christ-centered life? The answer is big resounding, reverberating, plangent NO. And that's what it's all about people. Even if pop culture is not corrupting you, it's not HELPING you either unfortunately. (And it doesn't count that you watch church on TV.) It was making me stagnant - I wasn't going down but I wasn't going up. Get rid of things that make you stagnant, and definitely get rid of things that take you down. Fill those spaces with something else, even if that something is just silence to destress from life.
I'm turning off the TV for a couple weeks and I'm curious to know what it's going to be like. I never thought I'd do this - I was the one who'd give my right arm to have TiVo, but never got around to it. I'll stop here - this post is a lot deeper than I thought it was going to be. Consider the challenge though. I'm curious ("I was CURIOUS!") to see if it might affect others too. Lastly, thanks to Shelly Edwards for inspiring this in me. You are a walking inspiration to me period Shelly.
Wednesday, September 29, 2004
So many emotions are running through my mind as it's almost time to leave.
Excited, about the amazing opportunity I've been given.
Apprehensive about the poverty and sickness I will see.
Humble that I, Amanda, have been called by God to do his work in such a hands-on way.
Nervous about being on a plane for that long (18.5 hours), over water, and winding up halfway across the globe. One cool thing that Em mentioned to me this morning before she left for Minneapolis (I tell you, you just can't hold these Penthouse Pets down!) was that the water will flow down the drain backwards b/c we'll be in the Southern hemisphere.
Sad because I will miss my family and friends, who are the first priority in my life next to following God (and even sometimes then, I let them take precedence anyways)
Hopeful that lives will be changed by this trip- both members of our team of 26, and also the people of Capetown.
There are so many more thoughts running through my head than that, but all in all, we're nervous about the plane ride, but excited about the rest. Check the SA Blog I created to get updates. I'll miss you all- esp. the ones of you I see on a daily basis. We'll have a big night out in Nashvegas the weekend I get back, o-tay butt-wheat?
After Kairos last night we went out to Mac Grill to celebrate Katie’s birthday. Em and Rhonda went in together and bought her a square plate and an olive oil dispenser that has a beautiful painted music pattern on it. They match the bowl and vase that Katie had bought for herself just days earlier, so she was obviously ecstatic when she opened them. As we were all admiring the bottle, and discussing how pretty it was, where it came from, etc. I overhear Em telling Katie,
"…and you don’t even have to use it for olive oil. We have one with dish detergent in our kitchen."
Immediately an imaginary lightbulb bursts into flames over my head.
"What are you talking about Emily?" I said incredulously. "That’s not olive oil in our kitchen?" She stops and looks at me.
"Why? Have you been cooking with it?"
Now at this point all other conversations at the table stop and everyone turns and looks to me. So I begin to tell my story.
A few weeks ago, right after we moved in, I got ready to cook myself something for dinner one night. No one else was home, and it was before we had any pots and pans, so I had limited options on what I could make.
"No problem," I thought to myself, "I’ll just use my handy-dandy-can’t-live-without-it quesadilla maker and make myself a quesadilla for dinner."
So I pulled out a skillet, chopped up some onions, grabbed the olive oil (hmm, why is this over by the sink? That's a dumb place for it to be!) drizzled some into the pan to sauté the onions, and put the bottle in its proper place by the stove. You can probably tell where this is going.
The first bite I take of my quesadilla, I notice a distinctly soapy taste. So I rack my brain, trying to come up with every possibility of how this came to be.
"Well I just bought the onions and cheese, so they can’t be bad already. Someone must have washed the quesadilla maker last and not rinsed it off very well," was the conclusion I came up with. Never would I think,
"oh, maybe somebody put yellow dishwasher detergent in the glass olive oil dispenser." Who does that??
"Didn't you notice I moved the bottle over by the stove?" I said accusingly to Emily.
"Well didn't you notice I was using it to wash dishes?" She retorted.
Communication is key, people. I probably would not have even thought about this again until a) I used the "olive oil" again to cook, or b) used the quesadilla maker to see if the food still tasted like soap, if it weren’t for Katie’s new birthday present.
In the midst of us all cracking up over my soapy quesadilla, Ari says
"you were supposed to make a quesadilla Bradley, not a sopapilla."
Ba-dum-ching. She’ll be here all night folks. Try the veal.
Tuesday, September 28, 2004
You can go to our South Africa Blog in your spare time to keep up with our team until I return bright eyed and bushy-tailed on Wednesday October 13th.
I think this author is no different- he talked about how he used to play women all the time until he met his wife- and then magically he was willing to leave the games behind and pursue her. I say bull. He was ready to settle down before he met her.
What was life changing, or at least enlightening, was that I discovered that women do the same thing that men do as far as playing games, and not being honest with someone when they aren't interested. I cannot tell you how many phone numbers I have in my cell of guys that I know I won't ever date, but rather keep them at bay by answering their calls when they call, and yes, I have been known to DUI them a time or two. It's like the shirt you bought that you never wear but can't throw away b/c what if someday you decide to wear it? I can't take credit for that brilliant analogy, but it is so true. And cruel. What starts out as not wanting to hurt someone's feelings by telling them no, you don't want to go out with them, ends up as stringing them along, or vice versa, allowing yourself to be strung along.
Well the buck stops here people! If you're not interested, then just say so, because you're worth more than a "Tier 4 booty call."
Monday, September 27, 2004
*Saw Wimbledon with the girls, Rhonda Lu & I went to Jonathan's afterwards where we ran into some co-workers and a stalker friend of ours. Watched football on a blue field. Tried to tell Stewart (Stewie) about the Family Guy since he's never seen it.
*Got very little sleep, up at 8:40 the next a.m.
*Watched Kentucky get tossed around like rag dolls against Florida, who was still whining & complaining about their unfair calls in Knoxville.
*bought new tennis shoes (pink of course)
*bought a digital camera
*did minor damage at Anne Taylor Loft, although most of it was covered under my giftcard. The rest were supposed Birthday presents that I got early anyways. Aren't moms great? Especially when they're spoiling you because you'll be gone for 2 weeks
*bought Em & Rhonda each a Christmas present, Katie a Birthday present, and myself a copy of Angels in America to read on the 18.5 hour flight
*yes, 18.5 hours on a plane, nonstop- the longest commercial flight in the world
*watched X-Men 2 with the George + family contingency
*met the girls at Tootsie's- Jared Ashley was there, as was Ranger Bob, so it doesn't get much better than that
*got in much too late. Got very little sleep.
*Ran out the apt like a crazy woman Sunday a.m. in time to sing in the choir at the first service
*Almost passed out in the choir loft at the aforementioned first service (no sleep+low blood sugar+ heeled shoes+bright, hot lights= a recipe for disaster)
*Left the house at 11:11 (make a wish) with Dad, picked up the tickets, got to the stadium, bought some lunch, and were in our seats in time for kickoff. Amazing.
*The Titans game: beautiful weather. Lackluster football- the most boring game I have ever sat through
*SA meeting at church. back to the apt to grab a few items. back to the house for some dinner and quality family time with the George+family contingency (ps- can I just say how much I love this kid? He makes Laura so happy. We're just hoping he doesn't follow through with his and Laura's threats to elope)
*Back to the Penthouse for good where I talked to my roommates for a whole 15 minutes!
*Jon Cate came to visit. Harassed me about Kentucky football. Harassed me about John Kerry. Harassed me about the Naked guy on my wall ("it's Michaelaneglo," I exclaimed! "It's Adam, not a naked man! It's showing how God created him in His own image and how their hands are almost touching but not quite, which represents the separation of man and God..." Jon Cate's classic response: "You're just too artsy for me.")
*Made a huge to-do list. Packed. Stayed up way too late.
*Got up at 5:30 this morning, ran out the apt like a crazy person...
*and the rest, they say, is history...
alright, now that I've vented, maybe I can get some work done. You know, at my job. The one I get paid to not do.
Friday, September 24, 2004
This has got to be one of the greatest games ever. I've played the original Balderdash before but this one has other categories like movie titles, dates, initials, and people, as well as definitions of words that you have to make up and then guess the real answer. For example- you might think the word Plangent is a planned tangent (planned spontaneity, anyone?) but actually it's a loud reverberating sound. Good to know, so now you can add that to your vocabulary along with copasetic.
Speaking of favorite words of mine: horror of all horrors, I sliced my finger on a knife in our kitchen drawer looking for a pizza cutter. This is a word, in this usage specifically, that makes me cringe! (See blog entry from May 25) But there is no other way to describe what happened, so my poor finger is all bandaged up. We weren't sure I was going to make it, but I pulled through being the trooper I am. Enough of that plangent.
The other humorous balderdash moment came when someone wrote that kinnikinnik was the aboriginal word for fire. You'd have to have some previous inside-joke knowledge about the whole "You're fired" competition between Donald Trump and Kelly Rippa on her morning show to understand why this is funny. DT of course does his little hand flicking motion that Ariana so loves and says the proverbial "You're fired." Kelly then comes back with some elaborate moves and hand gestures, spinning around and shooting a "you're fired" over her shoulder to DT. This goes back and forth several times and is apparently quite humorous (Em, am I explaining this very well since you're the only one who actually saw this segment?) So Em told us this story last Friday night and we've all been "firing" each other ever since. So of course, going back to Balderdash (end of plangent), Em looks at Rhonda and says "You're kinnikinnik'd!" Just in case you were curious (I was CUR-ious!!!) , the actual definition of kinnikinnik is a North American smoking mixture made of brush and tree bark.
Thursday, September 23, 2004
Wednesday, September 22, 2004
Here is one of the many animals we might get to see at the gamepark in South Africa. The little one is Timone from the Lion King. (Sorry yall, I just can't resist cute pictures of animals.) So in the days that follow I will be posting pictures of critters that I may come across in South Africa. This is to try and pass on some of my excitment to you, and to pass the time at work. Now granted, this picture is taken from meerkats living in captivity, but work with me here, People.
Tuesday, September 21, 2004
In college we had free cuddle parties after study sessions. They were called Bed Parties, aptly named because after the exhaustion of studying for like the thousandth music history test, we would all pile on the person's bed, cuddle, laugh, talk, and detox our brains a little. But this was free, and it was among friends. No need for rules, because you knew everyone. No shady people to keep away from, unless said shady person happened to be a friend, and you just placed yourself away from that person in the cuddle pile. Easy enough.
The theory behind these NY cuddle parties is that we as adults have lost our inner child, and once puberty hit it became taboo to cuddle with our friends. I am hearby declaring to you all: do not pay for this ripoff ruse. Instead, organize a cuddle party among friends and reclaim your inner child. Put on your comfy clothes, pop in a movie, and enjoy the company of those you love, because cuddling with strangers is just weird.
Monday, September 20, 2004
But I digress. Dinner was delectable- try the desert pizza if you go- after which we left and went down a few places to Gravity/On the Rocks to grab a table before it got too crowded. Here Laurie and her friend Gina met up with us, where we decided we were quite the intimidating group of gals. After finally getting rid of the drunk/high/annoying/old guy that had attempted to befriend us, we decided to head down to the Tin Roof (rusted) to see what was going on there.
The place was packed, as usual, and it made me remember why we don't go there on Saturdays anymore. The old Yogi Berra quote stands true: It's too crowded- nobody goes there anymore. We actually did manage to find a table which was a huge blessing. This kid sat down next to us and all of us are thinking the same thing- this is the first decent-looking, non-scary guy that has tried to talk to us all night! Of course his over-protective girlfriend and her friend rush to his side adding that it's his birthday, so we all sing to him, and they go on their merry way. The band played all the great sing-along songs, but I was in the stupid bathroom when they played Rocky Top that night. It was the only song I really wanted to hear, but I was not about to get out of line after having waited for several minutes. It's a sad life I live really. We rounded the evening out with a little trek up to Dan Mcguiness where yet another stupid drunk guy tried to meet and re-meet us (So where did everybody to school again?). We girls made our own fun that night by laughing at everything, and playing the too- cool-for-school card (You may think you're too cool for school.. well I've got news for you. You aren't.)
Saturday was spent lunching with Ang & Mom, and soaking in the last rays of summer sun. That evening was the surprise birthday dinner for Jean, followed by some intense viewing of the UT-Florida game. I had forgotten Jean & Tabitha were Floridians, and would thus be cheering for the wrong team, so it made for a fun evening heckling each other back and forth (Wow, that kick was a wide right... I thought it was supposed to go through the uprights) (What was that about it supposed to be going through the uprights, Amanda?) But of course we UT fans had the last laugh as cutie-patootie James Wilhoit kicked a 50-yarder to win the game for the Vols. The Titans lost at home which stinks ( 3 in a row to the Colts, too). But Kentucky did manage to beat Indiana in the battle of the bottoms: bottom of the Big 10 vs the bottom of the SEC. Ahhhhhhh- C-A-T-S, CATS, CATS, CATS!!!!
Thursday, September 16, 2004
Wednesday, September 15, 2004
Today has also been good because Ari and I had a Half-Diva luncheon at Bread & Co. along with Angela and we polished off our lunches with a delectable low-fat brownie something-or-another that was indescribably rich and yummy. Chocolate has that effect of making any day better. Chocolate and anything pink. Pink dishes would be perfection. (Chandler: Gum would be perfection) Oh that's right, I already have those. Well tomorrow the couch and chair are being delivered and soon after we will have a fun little dinner party complete with pink place settings to celebrate the beginning of the Penthouse Era. Who's excited?
Monday, September 13, 2004
Friday, September 10, 2004
Speaking of food, did anyone see that awful spinoff show NBC is passing off as Joey?? It was terrible. I'll be fair and give it a few more weeks trial, but they've gotta give the kid some better actors to play off of. Joey was funny but everyone else could have greatly benefited from a laugh track. You could have heard a pin drop in the room we were watching it in over at Ari's when a joke ended- and the room was carpeted!
Alrighty kids, I'm off to do my job. They don't just pay me to sit here and play on the internet all day. Have a great weekend- stay clear of the hurricane. Go Noles. Go Raptors. Go Titans.
Wednesday, September 08, 2004
*The hired help arrived Saturday morning after almost everything had been hauled downstairs and stuffed into our 2 cars- what? you guys didn't get paid?? Well I guess that explains it then. You sure get what you pay for. (Just kidding friends, you know I couldn't have done it without you.) (Well, I could have, but it would have taken me all weekend long and I would be way more sore than I am now.)
*Boofer trying her hardest to find the lightest loads possible to carry up the one flight of stairs. A computer monitor? Not a chance. 2 Pillows? Now we're talkin.
*Lana refusing to help me carry this huge plastic bin that had all kinds of essential things packed into that simply could not be left at home, leaving my mom and I to struggle up the stairs with it.
*Me falling up the stairs after dropping said bin due to Lana making me laugh.
*Ari shaking her head at Lana & I making each other laugh, and Brett standing there laughing at all of us.
*Dad asking me if that was all the shoes I was bringing, pointing to a large plastic bin crammed full.
*Me admitting that there were more shoes packed elsewhere that wouldn't fit in the container with the rest.
The girls celebrated a successful move that night with a cookout at Chateau Bradley and viewing of The Princess Bride which Lana had never seen (She was CUR-ious!!!)
Tuesday, September 07, 2004
A: A really good time
I spent the first half of my weekend in the booming metropolis of Cannelton, IN visiting family, and as usual, there was never a dull moment. Friday night I took Laura and George and met the family at the local watering hole, known as the Pumper. First off though, a little background on the city of Cannelton.
Back in its heyday it was a typical small town in Indiana. FDR’s WPA projects allowed industry to boom with several dam projects along the Ohio River. Now it’s seen better days, and has a population less than 2000 people and bars on every corner. One, people have nothing better to do than sit around and drink, and Two, the county across the river in Kentucky is dry, so they all migrate to socialize with the Hoosiers. On any given night, the age-old rivalry between UK and IU fans comes up several times among those from their respective states. And if any local Kentuckians find out you went to UK such as I did, they’re your friends for life. In all actually, UK fans are always in the minority here and the Kentuckians are always glad to have someone else on their side of the never-ending debate over which school’s basketball program is better, which state’s more redneck, and which hates Duke more.
Now the Pumper is unlike any bar I’ve ever known. Take what you’ve read above, and now imagine a sort-of Redneck Cheers, where everyone knows your name. Seriously. I asked my cousin Ryan if anyone ever walked through that door that he didn’t know and his answer was an honest "not very often." The crowd is a bunch of locals, both young and old, and every one’s a character. My favorites are Jimmy, the bartender, who has an honest-to-God mullet, and a laugh that rattles deep inside his chest that you don’t know whether to laugh or gag when he decides something is funny (which is often), and Frank Mafia, the transplanted New Yorker who looks like the guy from Weekend at Bernie’s and makes no effort to hide his taste in younger women. When we got there Friday night the first thing Ryan did was show George the men’s bathroom. It’s so apparently disgusting that it’s legendary. "when it’s time to go to the bathroom, it’s time to go home."
The place was actually packed that night, and good times were had by all. So much so in fact, that Laura and George opted not to go back on Saturday night. That second night was the more entertaining of the two if you were a fly on the wall however. My mom’s sister Lisa, and my uncle Jerry came to the house to pick up my mom and I and we were at the Pumper by 8:30. Not the best idea. Shortly after, my aunt Kristina joined us, followed by my cousins Ryan and Eric. It seemed that I was related to half the bar in a night that culminated in a rousing rendition of Hank Williams Jr.’s Family Tradition. I just had to laugh to myself as I looked across the booth to see my mom and 2 aunts sitting side by side there singing along. Believe it or not, this was Mom’s first ever experience at the Pumper, and it was just way too much fun for her. She left after about an hour, leaving me to fend for myself among my cousins and their friends. Fend from who, you might ask? Remember those characters I was talking about earlier?
First there was Randy Hawkins (you know, he graduated with Kristina’s class… he married Gordon Hafley’s sister) (that’s how every conversation begins with the family for those of us who have moved away from the small town life and need to be filled in on the latest gossip.) Randy danced by himself at the end of the bar and proceeded to make his way closer and closer to our family’s table, pulling my Aunt Kristina up to dance with him at once point. We promptly got my uncle to rescue her, but Randy tried several more times that night to get us to dance with him. The old Avoid Eye Contact trick worked like a charm.
Next there was this guy named Pat Ogle who trapped me at Frank Mafia’s Christmas party this past year talking about Kentucky and UK. He’s one of those Kentuckians looking to talk about UK when he can get a chance in a land surrounded by Hoosiers. Luckily I knew better this time and began a conversation with my cousin Eric, where you again, avoid eye contact and nod seriously as you actually say to the person, "pretend we’re having an important conversation. I don’t want to talk to that person."
Finally, among others, was my mom’s middle school boyfriend (thank goodness that one didn’t last), some scary Larry’s at another bar called Bear’s, and a couple of my cousin’s friends. It’s like Ryan said at one point: It’s a good thing we aren’t from Kentucky because then he and I wouldn’t be off limits from each other. Seriously- they passed that law a few years ago. You can actually marry your first cousin in the state of Kentucky.
To end my diatribes on the life and times of Cannelton, IN I will share the most random mystery of all. The next day when I was already safely back in the shelter of the Brenthood, I found a full size bottle of Frank’s hot sauce in my purse. What the heck??!! I can only assume it came from the Pumper or Bear’s, and that good times were had by all.
Friday, September 03, 2004
In other news, this weekend marks the Big Move to the Penthouse apartment, so I'll be commin 'atcha Tuesday with some humorous anecdotes about the whole ordeal no doubt. You stay classy Nashvegas. I'm Amanda Bradley?