Tuesday, November 30, 2004

random question for the day

So while eating my lunch in the breakroom today I heard a most interesting analogy. Now first let me preface this by saying that I work in Franklin which is south of Nashville, and so the majority of the employees live even farther away from the city; either farther south or farther west. Now I consider myself an educated person- I very nearly majored in english- and so I cringe inwardly (and probably sometimes outwardly) when I hear grammatically incorrect phrases being slung about with a thick southern accent. This of course is a regular occurance here among employees. You'll hear people say things like "We was right there when that fire broke out." and "Yeah, I seen that in the paper." But today I had to laugh to myself when one lady made the astute observation that the Tractor Supply Store was a Country Boy's Wal-mart.

Now I always thought Wallyworld was a bit country and redneck itself, and only in recent years has it become so commercially widespread. But heck, I grew up in Nashville,TN and thought Wal-mart was hick-ish! I only recently discovered the brilliance of the Wal-mart Supercenter in college, and still prefer the trendy Target any day! It struck me as funny because to her, Wal-mart epitomizes the city, while to me, it epitomizes the country. So pray tell then, Miss Co-worker, what exactly classifies as a City Boy's Walmart??

Back in the saddle again

It’s a dreary Tuesday morning here in Nashvegas. I can’t seem to shake the urge to run home, put on my pjs and climb back into bed. (Cuddle Party anyone?) But the long weekend was great. I went from here to Indiana to Nashville to Knoxville and back home by Sunday evening. A whirlwind tour for sure, but darn it, there were just so many people who wanted to see me that I just had to oblige.

Thanksgiving was excellent. The best part of the meal for me is always after everyone’s finished eating. We sit around at the back porch table (yes, I got to sit at the Big Table this year!) and listen to my uncle Jerry tell stories. He has a knack for telling stories in a way that even if we have heard them over and over, they’re just as funny. (You should hear him tell the one about Chris taking a taxi to school everyday when he was little!) Thanksgiving night was a tame one at the Pumper with Ryan bartending. Frank Mafia wasn’t there though- I have to admit I was a little disappointed!

Friday night was MLK (that’s Martin Luther King Jr. Magnet High School for Health Sciences and Engineering if you want the full name) reunion night in Nashville as Daniel Robert and I went with ex-boyfriend Andrew and his girlfriend to Boundry.

Saturday was up to Knoxvegas to drown ourselves in a sea of orange, but I must admit- the best UT-UK I have been to in a while. If you didn’t hear, UK lead the entire game and lost in the last 38 seconds. A real heartbreaker for sure, but I was just flabbergasted the whole time that we were winning for that long. This is a team that I think has the 114th rated offense/defense in the entire country, and they came within seconds of beating the Vols at home. Just by luck I got to sit right next to the UK band in the one tiny corner of Blue in Neyland Stadium, so I enjoyed myself up until the very end. The rest of the Knoxville trip was spent consumed in Wedding stuff. Heather, Angie, Jacob, and I took a coupla "Vision Trips" as Heather called them, to the church and reception place to get decorating ideas. We also educated Jacob on the miraculous wonders of Toulle. That sweet boy made 3 trips to JoAnn’s fabrics in one weekend, bless his heart. (Have you ever noticed that Southerners use the phrase "Bless his/her heart" when really all they mean to say is, "what an idiot." It’s just a polite way of insulting someone really.) We shopped till we dropped for decorations and such till Queen Diva Angie and I made the 2 ½ hour trek back home.

Now it’s back to the grind. UK’s football season is officially over, but basketball season is well under way. Get ready to be edumakated on the Kentucky Wildcats as they prepare to take on UNC Saturday after beating Tennessee Tech tonight. Ok, back to my real job. A girl can’t make a living blogging, you know.

Monday, November 29, 2004

Look Who's Blogging Too!

Hello world! It is I, Rhonda Lu! I crawled out from underneath the mound of turkey and dressing that I got caught in over Thanksgiving. I really think that the reason I've been hungry this morning (depsite eating breakfast) is that my stomach got stretched out over the last 5 days. Or maybe Scotch has moved in ;)

But yes, I'm back and blogging with a vengance. Amanda gave me the selfless opportunity to be a contributor on this blog and I waste it. I know that if I wasn't a contributor I'd constantly whine about stuff I have to say and nowhere to let it fly.

Thanksgiving was pretty good for me. I ended up getting a plane ticket on Monday to fly on Wednesday - the folks were just too scared of the traffic for me to drive, so I wasn't going to argue. Did any of you know that the Dallas airport is on the way from Nashville to Little Rock? I didn't either, but Delta Airlines has now educated me. They also educated me in Lost Luggage 101. My bag did not accompany my body on the flight back to Nashville last night. I'm still praying that it will turn up - yeah there was stuff inside that I really want, but nothing that was *absolutely* irreplaceable. I'm trying to be hopeful here.

I think that my favorite thing I put in my mouth this Thanksgiving was Dirt Cake that my sister-in-law made. Have ya'll ever had this? with crumbled up Oreos so it looks like dirt, and you serve it in a planter with a hand shovel? Very witty creation but OH MY DAD it's soooooo good!!!! PS- My grandmother makes the best dressing on the planet. (and the best homemade sweet pickles too, although that's not holiday-ish I just had to let you all know.)

My daddy got a deer on Thanksgiving. Yes, my family is from Arkansas and all the men hunt. It wasn't anything record-breaking but it was a nice 6-point. My brother got a 9-point last weekend and broke his own record of the biggest deer the family's ever killed. My dad said it was one of the biggest shot in Arkansas this season. You don't know how proud these men are of their deer....it's like meeting a celebrity....you take pictures of the deer, of you with the deer, of your kids with the deer, you make reprints and enlargements and you have them all with you next weekend when you're back with the boys to hunt some more. Then you take the celebrity deer's head and mount it and display it in your garage, office, or (if your wife is cool/crazy) your living room. But I have left out the best part....of which I will spare you the gory details. It's the morbid side of me that calls this the "best part." They hang the deer up and they skin him before they store the meat. As a kid (and the kids still do) we got to stand outside and watch this happen. It's not something that they make a sideshow out of or anything like that...it's not even a big deal to these guys cuz they've been doing it since they were teens. It's just the first thing that has to be done to the deer and I remember watching it as a kid. I almost went outside to take pictures of my dad skinning his on Thursday but I didn't. Yeah, you're welcome :)

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Thanksgiving Eve

In keeping with our Thanksgiving-Eve theme, I thought this was pretty funny.

The day is dragging by so slooowwwwly that I am ready to denounce pink as my favorite color just so I can leave. I know. It's that bad. I have wasted an unbelievable amount of time today, just daydreaming about 4 days of no work. So where will everyone be? Well, I'm glad you asked. Ari's already off to Indy, Lana will be in Hop-town but back in time to work Friday a.m. I believe- btw, it's her 24th birthday today, so happy birthday boofer- we love you. Rhonda Lu is at the airport as we speak, getting ready to fly home to Arkansassy, and Emmy Sue is one of the few (the proud, the marines) still stuck at work like me. Her Thanksgiving will be spent here in Nashvegas b/c her family is in town. Michelle of course is still in Hong Kong- hope you get some turkey (today, since you're 13 hours ahead and it's already Thanksgiving there!). And Jenni will be stuck in Pennsylvania taking care of the people who cut themselves with the electric turkey carver or are otherwise sick.

And on that happy note, hope your hump day is excellent. Have a great afternoon. And I'm spent.

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

The Annual Cobble Gobble

With yesterday's blog prematurely promoting Christmas, I thought it best to backtrack a little and give Thanksgiving it's proper due credit. After all, I get irritated with the stores rushing the seasons and putting out Christmas decorations in October, and here I am, ignoring Thanksgiving to blog about Christmas. My work week is thisclose from being done thankfully (pun intended of course), but the rest of the week will be a whirlwind of activities. Tomorrow after work Laura, dad and I are heading up to Cannelton, IN to spend Thanksgiving with Papa (my mom's dad) and my aunts, uncles, and cousins. Mom already left for Indiana today and will be calling us every hour on the hour to give us last minute instructions of what to bring. The holiday should prove to be fun and entertaining, complete with mom ruining some kind of Thanksgiving dish (last year her sweet potato casserole was a huge hit {insert crickets chirping here}). In all fairness though, while she is notorious for burning the rolls, the food is always wonderful- my grandfather just usually finds something to complain about. I myself don't ever eat sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce, stuffing, pumpkin pie, or (gasp) Turkey, but I somehow still manage to find enough food to stuff my tummy with for days. The one food I do look forward to eating every Thanksgiving is my aunt's scooped out potatoes. Those go quick, so if you think you might want 2, better grab them both on your plate during the first round.

Let's see- what other Thanksgiving traditions do we have? Used to, I'd watch the parade all morning. Now that I'm old enough though, I go with Papa, my dad and uncles to either Yaggie's or Bear's for a drink before lunch. It's not so much about being guys and drinking beer, as much as it is the women getting them out of the house and out of the way so they can cook. I never have helped out much in the kitchen on Thanksgiving. My grandmother (The General) always had everything under control, and now mom is the same way (aptly nicknamed Little General). The phone will ring all morning as everyone coordinates what time we're eating, and we all snack on honey baked ham throughout the day until everyone arrives. I am looking forward to using the adorable Publix Pilgrim couple salt & pepper shakers that were new to Thanksgiving last year. Mom and my aunt Lisa cook, and depending on how many people come for Thanksgiving every year, it's always a toss up as to who gets to sit at the Big Table.

All the years when I was little, and even some recent years, Laura, myself, and our cousins Ryan and Eric were always stuck at the kids table. No matter how old we get, there are always those older than us. With 13 cousins on that side of the family it's no wonder. This gave us plenty of opportunities to be loud, spit drinks of our mouths from laughing so hard, and generally get in trouble somehow, so I guess I can look back and appreciate the separation from everyone else with fondness.

The Cannelton trip will comprise of catching up on the latest family gossip, and should also include a trip to the notorious Pumper. Last time I brought back a bottle of Frank's hot sauce unknowingly. Let's see what I can come up with this time.

In the meantime, Happy Thanksgiving. "Now you say Happy Thanksgiving Back."
"appy Thanksgeeveeng, back." Aside from any otherYou've Got Mail quotes, if you've got any fun Thanksgiving traditions or stories to share feel free to share with the rest of the group. Angie's best friend Megan has what they call the Cobble Gobble every year. Her last name is Cobble, hence the Cobble Gobble. They even give out an award every year called the Grand Gobbler that goes to the person who had the best attitude, ate the most food, played the best in football, etc. The best all-around, if you will. Ross and Monica on Friends had the Geller Bowl every year. What traditions do you have?

Monday, November 22, 2004

the weekend, etc.

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas… at least at my house it is. I spent the day with Momma and Daddy B, pulling out boxes and boxes of Christmas decorations. I know it’s a bit premature, but this weekend after Thanksgiving is going to be spent in Knoxvegas watching the Cats lose- I mean play against- the Vols. Basically we were decorating around my schedule that allowed me to be home yesterday. We blasted an array of favorite Christmas CDs (I don’t care what you say- Give me my Celine and Amy Grant Christmas CDs and I’m ready for Santa Claus) and made several trips up and down the stairs while I tried my best to convince my mother to put up the artificial "Blue Tree" in the kitchen this year. The Blue Tree used to go up every year in our living room and was decorated with white and blue lights, and UK and BHS ornaments, aside from our regular Christmas tree in the den. Last year mom was Bah-humbug and decided not to put the Blue Tree up, and I didn’t push it. But this year, I have Christmas spirit abounding, and am determined to have that tree up somewhere!! I’ll tell you what I DO have, thanks to the Blue Tree though. When we bought the artificial tree that would soon become the traditional Blue Tree several years ago, it came with what the box labeled as "Bonus Tree" that was around 2 feet tall. Not "A bonus tree" but just "Bonus Tree." So ever since then, the inanimate tree has always been called Bonus Tree. For example, a typical conversation around my house would have been,
"Hey mom, where are you going to put Bonus Tree this year?"
"Bonus Tree is going in the kitchen on the side table."

We tend to have several household items that are named this way. I own a step ladder known as Skinny Mini, and there’s a certain way you have to say the name in order to have Skinnnnnnny Minnnnnni handed to you. My family also has a big barbecue brush that is actually labeled on the handle as Barbecue Brush in big letters. In order to obtain this coveted brush, you must yell the name Barbecue Brush when you want someone to get it out of the drawer. Yelling is the equivalent of the big printed words on the side of the brush. Come by my house- you will be entertained for sure.

This year however, the Bonus Tree legacy has been passed down to me. Emmy Sue and Rhonda Lu, get ready, because you don’t know what you’ve been missing! Christmas just isn’t Christmas without Bonus Tree.

In other weekend update news, the Cats won their season opener- Kentucky fans everywhere are saying TGIBS (Thank goodness it’s basketball season), and back in the NFL the Titans actually won a conference game. Jenni’s Suckeyes pulled off an important win against Michigan despite the coaches calling me and asking me if I wanted to borrow one of the flashy cars from the car dealers up in Columbus. Sorry Jenni- it’s looking shady for OSU right now. And did everyone see that awful NBA brawl? Just crazy! What a disgrace, but for a non-NBA fan like myself it got me interested!

The movie night at the Penthouse went great Sat night. It was good to finally see Elf since I’ve been quoting the previews for a year now!

And finally, Ari and I went to see the IMAX Polar Express last night with Laura, George, Mom, & Dad. Bradley and Bryant give the film 2 thumbs up. I can’t imagine seeing it in a non-IMAX theater- the effects were great. After getting over the initial giggles of laughing at each other in the funny 3D glasses, we settled in to enjoy a heartwarming tale of a young boy on a journey of self-discovery. Actually dad did bust out laughing on occasion after looking at Mom in her 3D glasses. He apparently thought he was sporting them much better than she was. We walked out of the theater all warm and fuzzy until dad ruined the moment and said what little Bobby really got for Christmas was probably a box of rocks. The Polar Express. Go see it. In the meantime, get back to work you slackers. Who’s excited about a 3 day work week? Well definetly not me. I love my job. Cheers.

Friday, November 19, 2004

In the Pink

Oh Joy, Oh Rapture! I stumbled upon something great just now and thought I'd better share. For what could be better than combining Target' (French pronunciation of course denoted by the apostrophe substituting for an accent) and the color pink? The two teamed up for a good cause! Target' has a new line called Target Pink that comprises of all rose-hued products, and a portion of the profit goes to breast cancer research. This is a cause that hits particularly close to home as a good friend of mine lost her mother to breast cancer this past year. I challenge everyone to find a cause and give back to others during this holiday season. Remember the old adage, 'tis better to give than to receive unless it's pink items, and then I'd rather receive. I made an addendum to the old adage- hope you don't mind. :o)

smarter than the average bear

Let me just take a moment from my busy (ha!) day here at the good ol’ B&J and talk to you about a great American citizen and current crush of one Penthouse Pet. (and I’ll give you a hint- it isn’t me or Rhonda Lu who’s a smitten kitten). Yes, that would be Miss e.e. borders… kind of like e.e. cummings, only not a poet.

Hunter Taverner Hillenmeyer is a Nashville boy currently playing in the NFL. Since he went to Vanderbilt and Emmy Sue got to meet HTH at a Vandy conference in Chi-caaaago, she has been a Chatty Cathy non-stop about this kid. Her and her family have come up with a plethora of reasons why she and HTH are meant to be, aside from the fact that he’s smart (a double major at Vandy!) and good looking of course. Let me enlighten you:

-He’s from Nashville, Emily’s also from Nashville
-Hunter went to a private school (MBA aka. Momma’s Boy Academy), Em went to a private school
-He went to Vanderbilt, Hello!, Emily works at Vanderbilt.
And my personal fav:
-his name has nine syllables…. Her name has 9 syllables!!!

(I’ll pause for a moment while you count out the syllables.)
(And go ahead and count them in your own name as well. Rhonda has a grand total of 5 and I have a boring 6… guess it’s not meant to be with me and HTH.)

But the aforementioned cutie patootie played a crucial part in the safety in last week’s game of the Titans and the Bears and helped Chicago pull out a win. While we were sad that the Titans lost yet another game, we were happy for our Nashville Native doing well for his team. As newspaper & radio personality Brad About You says, there’s always a Nashville connection.

Best of Luck Em on your quest to becoming an NFL wife!!!

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

the faith of a child

Last night I jumped into the land of teenager-dom and babysat for a lady from church. I was strangely looking forward to watching her two boys, ages 2 and 5, which I guess means I’ve gotten soft in my Old Age. Used to, you couldn’t PAY me to babysit- literally- I hated it. But last night was fun. I read to Micah, helped both the boys color, and my favorite- we watched Rudolph the Rednosed Reindeer! Funny how those clay-mation mouths don’t fit as well with the words you’re hearing like they did when you were a kid. Both of the boys were in bed by 7:30 and that left me to find something on TV for an hour and a half till Rachel and David came home. Let me just say, there is Nothing on TV on Monday nights! I watched part of the Swan, and part of the Cowboys-Eagles game (Eddie George vs. Jevon Kearse- both former Titans… Please come back!!!).
Anyways- while putting Benjamin to bed, I asked him what he wanted to pray for that day. He said he would tell me his best parts of the day- the things he was thankful for.
"Ok," I said.
"I’m thankful for breakfast this morning," he told me, "and for getting to watch Rudolph twice, and for bedtime."
I couldn’t help but laugh to myself- I have never heard of a child thankful for going to bed- especially when they have a babysitter! But as I drove home last night I thought about his funny prayers, and how honest and simple they were. When was the last time my top 3 things to be thankful for during a day were a yummy meal, getting to watch a movie, and getting to sleep? I was reminded that we are told to come to God with the faith of a child, and how the simple things we take for granted are actually gifts from God we often fail to recognize. It challenged me to stop before I went to bed last night and thank God for the blessings of that day. Maybe our lives are naturally going to be more complex than 5-year-old Benjamin's, but there are still many simple gifts within a day that we too can be thankful for before we go to sleep at night.

Monday, November 15, 2004

and you can quote him

"I probably could have used a better choice of words, but I am distressed when people are shooting off guns and throwing fruit at our players." - Nebraska head coach Bill Callahan, at a press conference after the Nebraska-Oklahoma game Saturday.

For the whole story, click here.

beavers to build animal kingdom empire

nuff said.

Friday, November 12, 2004


This is just something random to perk up your Friday. What will they think of next?? Actually, there is something out there called Bow-Lingual that we were going to get for our 2 dogs at home. I need to get a picture of Stockwell on here- now That is blogworthy- and he has a funny story to go with his odd-shaped body.

But anyways- Bow-lingual is this device that you hook to your dog's collar and program in what breed he is. For mixed breeds, you put in the size of his snout and shape of ears and some other characteristics, and it matches your dog to the closest breed. The thought is that different breeds have different inflections in their voices, similar to a person from China speaks differently than a person in Norway.

Why Norway, you may ask? Well I just don't think we give enough credit to the Norwegians personally. I mean, granted, they got the 1994 Olympics, but what else are they known for?
So you put this device on the dog's collar, and then there is a separate monitor that you look at, and it translates your pet's barks, growls, and basically any verbal noises they make. Our dog Stockwell is part human I think, and we swear that sometimes the dog is speaking English, his funny noises are so conversational. But the scientists that developed Bow-lingual have done research that supports the idea that different pitch frequencies of the noises dogs make are equivalent to the emotion they are trying to communicate. Pretty amazing stuff, really.

Now who's excited about the weekend? I am! I am! My "best-friend-Heather-from-home" is coming in town this weekend for her Bridal shower that Ang and I are throwing, and a bunch of us are going to see cutie-patootie Dave Barnes tonight at Vandy. Also, the Battle of the Losers is taking place in the SEC this weekend. That's right people, get excited. It's the Vanderbilt-Kentucky game. This you will remember, is the one where I insulted our QB last year in front of his parents who happened to be sitting in front of me. Oopsy! Let's see if Kentucky has any shred of dignity left in their team... And in the meantime, November 20th can't get here fast enough. (That of course is when the Real UK Wildcats take the floor.)

In other news, Ari has got me curious about ebay (I was CUR-ious!) and so I put in my first bid ever yesterday. Unfortunately, I am not ebay savvy yet, and lost all 3 items I bid on. There is an art to this I have found. More to come on this later. Happy Friday!

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

CMA wrap-up

Ok, since Rhonda Lu’s busy with last minute details for her Vacay to the Bahamas and Emmy Sue was in Chi-CAAA-go till today, I guess it’s my civic duty to provide readers with a brief wrap-up of the CMA awards, unplugged. If you want lists of full winners and losers, and non-biased reporting get on msn or yahoo and read to your heart’s desire. But here on this site, expect nothing but catty remarks and wholehearted opinions. (Ok, I’ll try to be nice)
I will also admit that my 100% attention was not devoted to the CMAs this year (not like last year, Rhonda Lu- it’s officially our one-year-of-hanging-out anniversary) (yes, I just wrote that- bring on the cheese). Anyways- I went back and forth from watching the show- anything that Rhonda deemed important and called me in to watch- and getting other things done around the apt after Kairos last night. So off the top of my head:

My major bone to pick is with country artists who are anything but country. Montgomery Gentry thought they were at a rock show the way they grabbed the mike stand and slung it around, all the while screaming this rockin’ song that, sorry Jeffery Steele, was not country. It’s not that I don’t like the song, but what is the deal with country music trying to be more rock and roll? Why not celebrate the difference of genres rather than blur the lines between them?

Along those same lines: Big & Rich? Please.

Brad Paisley & Allison Krauss: loved their performance, although we think Allison may have been a wee bit intoxicated when they went up to accept their award.

Dolly Partin had on so much eye makeup that you couldn’t see the whites of her eyes. And there’s no way those things were real. Her eyelashes I mean.

Poor Kenny Chesny's speech got cut off after he won entertainer of the year- stupid CBS- but the guy had a great year, and I’m happy for him. Rhonda isn’t convinced his album should have won, and I’m not convinced either, but I agree it’s good for what it is: a fun, beachy, youth-reminiscing album.

Rascal Flatts sounded great singing their new song. It was simple and right on, with piano, acoustic guitar, and the three of them singing vocals.

Brooks & Dunn I do not like for personal reasons. Bring back Vince as host.

Hooray for Tim McGraw for winning song of the year. If I could have held onto the Boy for a little longer I could have seen Tim perform in concert this summer in Nashville. Ah, summer love. But Tim looks spectacular in all black. Such a slimming choice.

Julie Roberts… puh-lease. This is a fine example of how money makes the world go ‘round in the Nashville music industry. She’s had, what, one song out? And already is doing Titans commercials, getting front page articles on the Tennessean, nominated for the Horizon award, and performing on the CMAs. This is due to the A&R people putting way too much money in promoting her, meanwhile leaving less of that money to go towards promoting other artists on the label. Sure, she’s pretty, but she can’t sing! Minor details, of course, for the studio wizardry. It’s much more difficult these days to make someone look good than sound good, and that’s the sad reality.

But… Sarah Evans looked beautiful and sounded good too. So the talent is there! It is possible to have both. But hers was one of the best-sounding performances. So yay Sarah.
I think that’s enough to round out the evening. I’ll leave other devoted country fans to comment on their faves or disappointments, and the rest of you to scratch your heads and listen to your pop/rock/alternative.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

a slight emergency

So yesterday afternoon, the boredom and mid-afternoon munchies hit while sitting at the office. I had eaten a healthy lunch and decided what would make my Case of the Mondays go away would be something chocolate from the snack machine. Now I know what you're thinking.
"Amanda, didn't you replace your cravings for chocolate with cravings for tofu?"
Not yet. We're still working on that.
But seriously, I have not made a trip to the snack machine since that fateful day when I consumed enough calories for 2 small children on my fudge brownie snack. Today was a new day though. I just needed something small to tie me over till dinner. So I muster all the courage and self control I can find buried deep within my empty desk drawers, and I head for The Machine. As I open the door and turn the corner to where the snack haven is, I let out a gasp in my inner monologue. My worst fears have just been realized, and The Machine is gone!
After standing there with my mouth gaping open, I investigate a little bit and find out that the snack machine has been temporarily unplugged and moved due to the re-carpeting of the room over the weekend. What's a girl to do? "I can't work in these conditions!" I exclaimed. But there was nothing to be done.
Helpless and defeated, I slumped back to my desk and ate the pineapple cup I had in my desk for food emergencies such as this, all the while wistfully thinking of how much more satisfying the chocolate would have been compared to my room-temperature pineapple. Dena said perhaps that was God's way of telling me I didn't need any chocolate. But what does she know? She's probably talking crazy from staring at her desk thermometer all day.

Monday, November 08, 2004

stranger things

Well the birthday celebration is finally over. It culminated in the big Girls Night Out Saturday night, but first let’s back up to Friday night. In lieu of Vanderbilt’s homecoming game on Saturday, they sponsored a pep rally/concert that was open to the general public (for a small fee of course). Brad Paisley performed and Los Lonely Boys opened up for him (Los Lonely Boys is Spanish for… THE Lonely Boys). Up till now, I haven’t been too crazy about their song that’s out, Heaven. It’s one of those that gets stuck in your head. But aside from most of their songs sounding the same (Blues/Rock with a Tex-Mex flair) the Boys can Sing. I’m talking 3 part, a cappella (Acapulco), harmony. "No prerecorded stuff here" the lead singer quipped.

B-Rad Paisley was fantastic. I’ve never considered myself a BP fan, but people change- UT lost this weekend- Stranger things have happened. The guy is a phenomenal guitar player, and is just so darn cute. He was very personable with the crowd, and seemed to appreciate the youthfulness of the audience. I however was not so excited about the drunk Tri-Delts in front of us- and I mean RIGHT in front of us- who were screaming and dancing and generally ignoring the principle behind the personal bubble of space. I guess it’s another testament to turning 24, but I tried to remember being that age again and acting like an idiot in a public place. But hmm, nothing comes to mind. (Perhaps that’s the problem) but I digress.

Saturday was a gorgeous day in Middle Tennessee, and was spent at a voice lesson, hiking with the roommates at Radnor Lake, and watching football. Kentucky Football is getting more and more embarrassing to watch, by the way. 62-17? Come on Cats- I don’t care if it Was Georgia. (Is it Basketball season yet? That’s the only time I claim to be a true Kentuckian.) Sat night me, Emmy Sue, Rhonda Lu, and Jannelle were Trendy-Mindys (to use an Angie-ism) and dined at the ultra-hip Virago. Katie made an appearance and hung out for a while in between studying for her Orals and Writtens. I passed on their famous sushi but was brave and tried a bite of Em’s.

After dinner we met up with Ari and her crew at Johnny Jackson’s and danced the night away. Thankfully the Scary Larrys decided to stay in for the evening, so we were able to have a good time dancing with each other and not have to worry about "rescuing" each other. Sunday morning came early as it always does after a JJ night, but the loss of sleep was well worth our night on the town. Thanks Em for the ponchos… and I swore I’d never wear one. Oh well, stranger things have happened- Ariana was actually in town on a weekend!

Friday, November 05, 2004

4 More years

Now I know what you're thinking... but this is not about bashing W or lamenting Kerry (whom I did vote for) (hey, I'm 2 for 2 voting for presidential candidate Losers!)

But I did think it was high time we brought some intelligent conversation into the divadomain which is usually only concerned with anything pink, inside jokes, and random observations. Now that the election is over, I just have a few comments to make.

The exit polls have shown that people voted primarily on the candidate whom they felt had the strongest moral values. Moral issues outweighed the economy, foreign policy, and the war in Iraq, all of which were proven to be major factors for voters. This is amazing to me, and shows the real character of the American people. Being the first election post September 11th, these results show that the people of the United States agree that while neither candidate was perfect, or even ideal, that what matters most is that you have a president that stands firm on what he believes is right and wrong. Maybe this voting on moral character is a reflection on our country's own moral stance, and spiritual awakening of our nation post September 11th. Bush may not have made all the right choices during his 4 years, but at least he doesn't waver on what he believes. Now I am not naive enough to believe that Bush has always made the best decisions for our nation- he is president because he is a politician, and you aren't a politician without "working the people," and implementing the "I'll scratch your back if you scratch mine" theory. But at least we can always look at his Christian faith to gauge where he might stand on an issue, whether we believe the same as he does or not.

Here's what's discouraging though: the exit polls have also shown that with all of MTV's and star-studded voting campaigns that young voters- ages 18-24- had the same voting percentage this election as we did in 2000. What gives? If you or someone you know didn't vote this year, you have 4 years to redeem yourself and get out there and get to the polls. There is no excuse in this age of information to not have an educated opinion about politics.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

"We gon party like it's yur birfday..."

Well, everyone...the day has come. No, not election day, but the Diva's birthday!! Our lovely friend/roommate/sister/daughter/African Queen is turning 24 today. So quit working, and leave her a birthday message!! Happy Birthday, Amanda Jane!!

Monday, November 01, 2004

Come on Ride the Train...

"The Soul Train"

This weekend was one of the best I have had in a long time. We had our singles retreat down in Alabama, about 2 hours away. I saw my first real-live cotton field, came face to face with a bull (there was a fence between us- I learned my lesson with the baboon- one can never be too careful!), and was tempted by the Chu-Chu’s Buffet in Athens, AL (not really). We passed this fine establishment on our way down, which served American, Chinese, and Mexican cuisine. Um yeah, I’ll have a taco with some chow-mein and a side of fries please. As Lou-Ann from the hit movie SHAG would say, Ga-ROSE!!!

As luck would have it, Chu-Chu’s seemed to be the recurrent theme of the weekend, only a different kind of Choo-Choo. That’s right people, one of my random, spur-of-the-moment ideas actually paid off! Rhonda Lu, Emmy Sue, and myself won the prize for best group costume at the retreat with our train costume. The chuga-chugas and the train whistle is what set us over the edge I think. It was great. And then when we were announced as winners, our favorite master-of-the-music JillyMae hooked us up with some old-school Quad City DJ’s so we could Come And Ride The Train.

Once we arrived in one piece Friday night (only Emily and Ginger can appreciate the validity of that statement), a bunch of the girls piled into one of the cabins to watch SHAG where we cracked up at my boyfriend in the straw hat, and realized that Buzz has a striking resemblance to Vanilla Ice (Ha. Lar-ious). Something else funny worth mentioning was that a picture of my mom and I when I was little was up in all of the cabins. This was of course back in the day when we were both American Indians, and before I started using SPF 30 every day and dying my hair blonde.

Aaron Loy did a wonderful job leading worship this weekend (notice I said wonderful, Emily) (I decided yesterday that wonderful is an adjective that gets often neglected so I’m making an effort to use it). Aaron Bryant told hilarious stories, and then introduced related scripture passages and broke them down into very simple, yet poignant thoughts about God and our relationship with Him. All of the verses we looked at this weekend were already familiar to me (you can never go wrong with Romans) but Aaron was able to communicate them in a fresh new way that I appreciated hearing.

Girls, what am I forgetting to blog about? There were so many fun, funny, and memorable moments that I can’t seem to get them all down. At any rate, I stopped traffic in the cabin when Vann asked me about who I voted for, Emily gained the respect of everyone with her booty-liscious dance moves, and Rhonda and the rest of the SALT team did a great job with everything being so well-planned and organized. The most fun of course was getting to hang out with my 2 roommates whom I never see (hall meetings don't really count!). Oh yes, the Twix are ours!