Monday, January 31, 2005

the halls are alive with the sound of music

Well, we made it through Day 1 since the Great FireWall of Franklin has been erected. I say "made it through" because I was about to go nuts by the time I left for the evening. It was not a pleasant day at work for your Divadomain CEO, but you know what? Tomorrow is Tuesday and that means that 1) it's not Monday any more (woo hoo!) and 2) it's one day closer to the weekend.

Now. We all know how important music is to me. It's what I live and breathe for the most part. When asked that dreadful hypothetic question, would you rather be blind or deaf, I always choose the first because I cannot imagine a life without sound. In the days of old, I could never study while listening to music because it distracted me. I would always end up listening to the music instead of reading my textbook or studying my notes. However, in more recent times, I have become a much better multi-tasker. I am able to have several things going at work at once and actually make sense of it all. Friends call me on my cell, and I'm working away as I'm talking so that no one can hold it against me. (AND I can walk and chew gum- who's impressed?)

So. One of the joys of my work day is getting to listen to music all day long. Not that I have relegated the precious tones to background music and nothing more, but I guess I am using different parts of my brain to work than I am to listen, so miraculously I am able to do both.

Seriously though- I discovered Yahoo's Launchcast radio a few months ago and it brought happiness to the Bone & Joint Clinc where there was none, but sadly, it has gone away. Yes, my friend the firewall strikes again. So Dena and I are relegated to listening to cds and the crappy little radio that we have in our office that likes to fade in and out from time to time. But even this would not be so bad if I didn't have a Nazi working directly across the hall from me.

At first when Dena and I moved into our new office a few months ago, we got along with Becky. And Becky never said anything about our music being too loud. Then one day she stuck her head out the door and asked us to turn it down... then another day... and another. Now as of late we have been receiving these stiffly polite emails addressed to both myself and Dena asking us to "please turn down the music." (FYI: My nickname for Becky is the Warden because she yelled at Rhonda and I one day back in 2003 when we were both working at the B&J for being too loud. Ever since then, when she's in her manic moods, she trandforms into the Warden.) Today was the last straw though. Today, right at the end of the day, I received an email just to me that said


I was appalled and frankly very angry. For one, all caps is the email equivalent to yelling! There was no such need for this. And plus, it was the end of the day, would it kill her to close her office door, since she's the one that is bothered by our radio, which I might add was totally at a reasonable volume?

I am convinced the Warden is trying to zap any joy from my day. But she will not win this battle. They may take my Launchcast radio, and they may take my ability to blog (may it live on through the work day without me), but they will NOT take my music. Oh, it's ON now.

Bring it on...

No, I am not about to give a review of the cheerleading movie. I have officially decided to run the Country Music 1/2 Marathon on April 30, 2005. So mark your calendars! I thought it might be neat to keep a journal on the blog about my progress, etc. It may be boring as Hades for you, but it will keep me accountable and help me get through this grueling process by myself. I've run a 1/2 marathon before (The Half in Dallas, TX on 11/1/03), but I trained and ran it with several friends. But for this one, it's just the road, the rubber, and me. On one hand, that really scares me. But on the other hand, I view it as a new challenge. Training officially starts tomorrow morning with 3 miles. I used to laugh at 3 miles, but I'm not in as good of running shape as I used to be. I will let you know how it goes.

Just to give you some background, three years ago I could barely run 1.5-2 miles. I would get so frustrated and quit. One day I just decided that I was going to make myself learn to run...and learn to like it (to a certain extent. I'm not one of those crazy people that loves to run. I love the sense of accomplishment after I run...and of running farther and farther each week). Slowly but surely I worked my way up to 2.4 miles (the Bear Trail). I signed up for my first race - the Firecracker 5K (3.2 miles) and ran it on July 4, 2002. I was hooked. Pretty soon I had worked my way up to 5 miles, so I ran the Boulevard Bolt on Thanksgiving day 2002. All of my friends in college were running 1/2 and full marathons, so I was around it a lot. I ran 6 miles...and then 7. That's when I decided to go for the 1/2. So on 11/1/03, I completed my first 1/2 marathon. It was one of the best and worst experiences of my life. It took me 2 hours and 20 minutes (not great, but not too shabby). I tell all of this just to prove that anyone can run. Trust me, if I can run, you can run! It's amazing what you can do when you prepare and train yourself for something (not just running).

Ok, enough of the cheesy stuff. Stay tuned for more of my training journey...

Short-term memory loss

And now, for what I logged onto the Diva Domain to blog about in the first place (the Rhondavous distracted me).....

Tomorrow is February 1 which means my Yahoo! LAUNCHcast radio will be re-loaded with my unlimited (and by unlimited, they mean "800") songs! I swear to you that they jipped me in January. They cut me off after like 10 days. Benches. okbye!

How about a Rhondavous?

Amanda forgot to mention our Opry pre-party. It's a VERY rare occasion that the Penthouse Pets are all home at the same time after work. It happened on Friday in the hour or so that we had before heading to the Opry. I decided to make some margaritas to go with dinner, which consisted of Baked Cheetos (they ARE good!) and french fries, a la Rhonda. Music makes any Penthouse gathering more fun, so one of my genius roommates decided to throw on some booty tunes, and we had ourselves a little spontaneous dinner and dancing in the kitchen with margaritas - much fun, much fun :)

(Getting ready to leave the house:)
Rhonda: Is it illegal for me to bring this [margarita] in the car?
Emily: Yes
Rhonda: Do you mind?
Emily: No

Have ya'll heard that new song, "Everybody at the Opry gettin' tipsy"??? You soon will....I wrote it Friday night! No, it really wasn't that bad but it doesn't take much for me to feel the effects. Combine that with the fact that alcohol makes me sleepy, and we were all having trouble keeping our eyes open during the show, minus the cutie-patooties that we went to see.

Sorry this was short and boring but it's back to work I go. Amanda Jane sends her love to everyone telepathically. telepathetically? yes? no? "I think I'm confused....wait....maybe not."

Sunday, January 30, 2005

blogging from home

Yes my friends, the sad day has finally come where I am no longer able to write or check my blog from work. What do they expect me to do all day I ask you? Work?! Rubbish! However, I have been able to use this relaxing weekend with the out-of-town relatives to help me let this horrible news process, and I have calmed down considerably about the whole ordeal. You should have seen me Friday though- I was in an awful state of shock and frustration, let me tell you. Happy hour could not come soon enough! So I apologize in advance for the inconvenience this may cause some of you. I know many of you plan your days around checking my blog for its notoriously faithful updates, and I pledge to you that I will do my best to keep writing and posting from the Penthouse or Chateau Bradley, or heck, any other creative way I can to keep the Divadomain up to the same high quality standard that you have come to know and love. Trust me, no one is more upset with our new change in format than myself.

That said, I hope you all had a lovely weekend. Once again, the weathermen were wrong, and all we got was a smattering of rain. There was no ice. There was no snow. Heather- I'm jealous that you and Cubby Hubby got to go sledding with Craig & Jenny. Just one snowfall is all I'm asking for- is that too much? Apparently so. Welcome to Tennessee, where it's 50 degrees one day, and 30 the next.

The Grand Ole Opry on Friday night was great. I felt like a tourist in my home town, but was glad that I finally experienced this long-standing tradition. All you UT grads, don't be jealous, but the highlight of my evening was seeing the Osborne Brothers perform Rocky Top live. Another plus was getting to unexpectedly see Josh Turner perform ("Denim on Denim never looked so good") and the three of us singing along with Restless Heart- a total throwback to middle school ("They sound like a country Journey"). It was however, most disapointing that Brad Paisley only did 2 songs. What the heck Brad- where's the love?

I shopped till I dropped this weekend, doing some major damage at my all-time favorite store, Target'. I treated myself to a pink t-shirt with the pink panther on it that says, "I (heart) pink," most appropriately. Laura got a red t-shirt with cookie monster on it that says "Me want cookies." This is fitting for her since Lulu's first word when she was a baby was "cookie." I also splurged and bought season 5 of Friends ("now that right there is the gift that keeps on giving"). Sunday after church we hit up Shopryland for a mega shopping trip- we're talking several hours here people- but it was fun because we got to try out that new Aquarium restaraunt. I will say this- you are definitely paying for the atmosphere if you go. The food is way expensive, but the fish are fun to look at. They even have one aquarium that has a "Nemo" a "Dori" and a "Gill," so that was fun since we just watched Finding Nemo last night, and my cousin Braedon knows all about the different kind of fish. When dad ordered this afternoon he asked our server for the "fried clownfish" and bless her heart, but she was a little on the slow side, and didn't get that it was a joke. (You know, Clownfish, Nemo? ha ha) I tried to give her the benefit of the doubt and thought that maybe we just caught her off guard, but sadly no, because later on in the meal when my aunt joked with her asking if she provided babysitting service while we ate, she was totally lost again. Oh well. We tried.

Not much else to report here in my neck of the Brentwoods. The Cats barely squeaked by with a win yesterday, but a win's a win, and they're still the only undefeated team in the SEC, so I'll take that. Have a most pleasant evening, and thanks for stopping by.

Friday, January 28, 2005

GOO night

Ok kids, the blog is still up and running for now... we had a bit of a scare here with the firewall that is taking over life as I know it here at work. But for now, TGIF! It's finally almost the start of what should prove to be a relaxing weekend for me. I plan on kicking this Black Lung thing once and for all, after having been gracious enough to pass it along to James of course. Tonight the Penthouse Pets will check the "GOO" off their Things to do in Nashville list (only Rhonda may cross off this item, and she must do so with the aforementioned red marker, as she is the official secretary for the apartment). After that, I have family coming in town this weekend- my uncle Michael, who's my Mom's baby brother (and famously #2 in the list of favorites behind Mom!), Aunt Missy (a fellow DZ, how fun is that?), and my cousins Braedon (age 5), and Garrick (age 1). As a dutiful cousin and niece I have marked off the rest of my weekend to spend with them, so I am looking forward to that. I think I see some shopping my forecast as well: Look out Cool Springs Galleria, here I come! (Hey, I can't help it if I am forced to support our economy with my out-of-town relatives!)
Happy Friday- only 7 more days till next weekend- I think I see a roadtrip in the near future! :o)
aaaaaannnnd, I'm spent.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

the GOO

Where can you find the Penthouse Pets tomorrow night? Rockin' out at the Grand Ole Opry with Brad "ain't-nothin-like kids singing" Paisley, Mark "and the crowd goes wild" Wills, and Craig "baby cut that coupon out" Morgan!!! So yeah those are my cheesy nicknames for them that no one else will really get. My fabulous friend Beth was able to get her hands on some tickets for me. (Pets, we are indebted to 95.5 The Wolf now!) I am praying that Amanda's rehearsal will not force her to miss the show. I am SUPER excited and just hope that our seats are okay. It's at the Ryman which is very very cool. I have never been to a concert there before. There are other people playing at the Opry too but I do not care as much about them, no offense. WE HEART B-RAD!

OK kids I have a WWYD? situation. This might just be for the gals but boys can advise. Nothing life changing but slightly exciting and at least a topic of conversation. I met a guy (NOT while at a bar with friends haha!) who seemed very nice and cute, and he asked for my # and I gave it to him. This was over 3 weeks ago so I was all, "OK 'He's just not that into me' and that's fine." Well last night he did call me and left a message apologizing for it being so long, asking if I'd like to get together with him and his friends Friday night, and asked me to call him back. According to our now-famous authors, if he was just that into me he would have called me immediately. I know what I'm going to do (unless I change my mind :) ) but what does the general public of our readers think I should do? Guys....why did this boy wait so long to call? Could he really be that interested? Throw me your thoughts. I've got my catcher's mitt ready.

Twentysomething vs. Twentysomeone

What’s a Diva to do? The emails just keep coming this morning so I can’t seem to get any work done. I think my ideal job would be to get paid to blog and email and surf the net. Is anyone hiring for that position? (Buehler?) But between doing my actual job and responding to the insane amount of SOGWEAW emails and other non-work related stuff, I have to be responsible… and answer all of my emails first. I have my priorities straight! What if you’re in need of a witty comeback or someone to plan lunch for the girls? Who will do this if I’m unavailable? :o)

Seriously- I apologize for the shallowness of this site as of late, and so I’m going to try and redeem myself by offering a helpful thought for the day. In Bible study last night we listened to the 3rd cd in our Louie Giglio series that was entitled Twentysomething or Twentysomeone. This lesson was packed full with insightful things about finding God’s will and learning how to live in it, most of which I can’t recreate without the aid of my notes, but here’s what I can recall.

*Finding God’s will is about who we are and not what we do.

*Do we really want an "Information Booth God" who we walk up to, ask Him a question and then go on our merry way, or do we want a God who instead of telling us where something is on a map, will just say, "come with me and I’ll show you myself."

*One way to gauge our spiritual maturity is by looking at the time it takes between the moment we sin, and the moment we ask for forgiveness.

*And finally, look at Psalm 37 sometime soon- it tells us to "Dwell in the land," meaning that whatever our circumstances, live life to the fullest, and continue to give God glory, even though the situation you’re in may not be ideal. You can’t just wait for the ideal moments to worship God- you miss out on witnessing to others, you miss out on blessings, and you’re not being faithful and obedient.

There was so much more, but ultimately it was just a very stimulating and challenging evening. Sometimes I am overcome by the evidence of God working in the lives of the those around me, and I can only hope that those people are seeing that in their own lives too. I used to have this journal that I wrote in daily where I would list 5 blessings of that day; 5 simple things that occurred on that day specifically to make me realize how God is working in the big things and the small. So today I’d like to rekindle that and list a few of what I fondly call "small blessings." Feel free to add your own to the list, or just reflect personally on the things you have to be thankful for on this day.
1. sunshine
2. unexpected emails
3. lunch with friends
4. rehearsal tonight
5. conversations with coworkers

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Calling all Kenny-heads

I’m sitting here listening to the new Kenny Chesney cd that came out yesterday (thank you Amanda Holt) and imagining I’m anywhere but here. I can see why Kenny calls this his "beach album." But as if all the other ones weren’t fun-in-the-sun-and-sand albums either… it’s like EMILY said to Rhonda- "What’s he gonna do to make this one a beach album- fill it with sand?" (Em, just trying to give you the credit that you so very much deserve!) (PS, James, I fixed all the mis-quotes from Dion too- hope you’re happy. Wouldn’t want anyone thinking he was "the guy." Ha ha)

But back to Kenny. What is up with this whole Island thing anyways? I heard him on a radio interview yesterday where he’s going on and on about this being his most personal album yet, and blah, blah, blah, and how sometimes as an artist you get put in a box and people only think of you singing one type of song and how he’s trying to break that mold, blah, blah, blah. Well excuse me Pot, this is Kettle. You’re BLACK!! Aren’t all of Kenny’s albums up to date about being young and enjoying life, and wishing you could go back? So explain to me then how an album full of beach music is any different from that. Kenny, that is so deep. Let’s just forget about work, fly to the Caribbean and lie on the beach all day, drinking Malibu and Diet. Riiiiiight. Since all of us can afford to do that. And when you strut around town in backwards baseball caps, basketball jerseys, and red convertibles, Uncle Kenny, but you say you’re trying to break the mold that you’ve been placed in, how exactly does that work??

Qualm number 2 with the KC and the Moonshine band album is this: this is absolutely not country music. It’s Buffet with Kenny singing vocals. Now explain to me why Jimmy Buffet comes to Nashville years ago and can’t make it as a writer and an artist, so he leaves, becomes enormously popular gaining a Parrothead following, only to come back and try to prove himself again in country music. I don’t care if you sing with Kenny Chesney or Hank Williams Jr. You’re not country. And so now following their famous collaboration, Mr. Chesney feels the need to stray from his enormously popular venture in country music to pursue Island music yet attempt to include it under the guise of country music.

I will say this though, this is some Beachin’ music. It’s definitely making me long for a Spring Break 05 Beach Trip. Who’s goin’ with me?

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

the Black Lung

So I’m still trying to get over this black lung disease. It’s really not the black lung, but we don’t know what else to call it. I think Em had it first, but then whenever it got passed on to Rhonda she had these pathetic little double-coughs that were reminiscent of the Derek Zoolander "cough, cough, I think I have the black lung, pop." So it then became known as the Black Lung in our apartment. Well it’s obnoxious is what it is. No temperature (my Mom checked. She also made me chicken noodle soup. Thanks for that.), no sinus congestion, just a tickling cough and I have developed some minor congestion in my chest, but I feel completely fine otherwise. I know this is way more than any of you care to know, but whatever. I need to vent.

We’re going on week 2 of the Black Lung and I am at my wits’ end. Last night I woke myself up multiple times coughing, so even though I went to bed super-early and slept in this morning I still feel like I got no sleep. I’ve been taking this leftover prescription expectorant/decongestant that I had and I made the mistake the first day I took it of taking an entire tablet. Big mistake. This stuff has some serious adverse reactions I found out quickly, a few of which are, but not limited to, being jittery, loopy, and pass-out exhausted.

Is it bad that I have all kinds of leftover prescription drugs? I never finish them. Never. And I know all the biologists out there would say that it’s my fault that the spread of disease is continuing to occur because the little bugger viruses are smart and develop immunity to the drugs. They continue morph into more powerful strands of the same virus all because we don’t finish our medicine.

Mom found a bottle of Bacon Bits in our pantry at home a few months ago that was 6 years old. Six Years! And what did they morph into? Nothing. Bacon Bits are indestructible. No way am I putting any of those into my stomach ever again. I’ll take my chances with the Black Lung virus.

The Weekend, part 2

Broadway, Breakfast and Beyond

So where were we? Dinner is over, and we decide to head downtown to Broadway. The plan was to try out Red Iguana since only Rhonda had been there yet, but since it was too early to go there we made a coupla stops first. We decided to take the boys to a country bar since we were in Nashville after all. Em’s friend Carla was supposed to be at the Stage with some people (the same Carla who gave us misleading directions. Curses you misleader!). Well we never did see Carla there, but the place was packed and the band was great. They made my night by playing Rocky Top. That song never gets old to me (hence the previous post on why I love being a Tennesseean- just chalk that onto the list). But I realized halfway through the evening, that being that I have the black lung and pulled a Diva move by not singing at my Pirates rehearsal Friday night to save my voice, I was being slightly hypocritical (and stupid) for singing Rocky Top and Dixieland Delight at the top of my lungs. Oopsy. We hung out at the Stage for a while and then moved next door to- where else- our favorite place, Tootsie’s. This makes 3 weekends in a row. I’m beginning to wonder if the bouncers think we are stalking Jared Ashley. But they’d be wrong. It’s really Ranger Bob that we love so much. I was worried that James and Dion wouldn’t be quite so fascinated with Tootsie’s as we are, but they said on several occasions that they were having a blast.

"I didn’t have this much fun in Nashville the last time I was here," Dion said.
"Were you with band people," I asked?
I rest my case.

Finally we all decided, what the heck, let’s try Red Iguana and see if it’s any fun. We are always looking for a great place to dance. The place was, well, all red. (Whadayaknow?) It was enjoyable enough; I’d go back I think. By the time we left though, downtown Nashville was covered in a thin layer of snow. The guys were total gentlemen and let us wear their jackets, and we all huddled close together to keep warm while making the trek back to the car.

Due to the obscene amount of snow on the roads the next morning (read: barely any), James and Dion didn’t get on the road quite as early as they’d anticipated. And that would be the understatement of the weekend I think. James missed work ("Well, I wouldn’t exactly say I’ve been missing it Bob.") and Dion missed the family’s going away party for his uncle who is going to be gone for the next 5 years… to prison. Only in Kentucky, that’s all I can say folks. But on the bright side, we three got to go to Pancake Pantry for a late breakfast.

"I thought you said it’s not far," Dion said as we’re driving.
"It’s not," I said. "But that doesn’t mean it’s close either."
I don’t think the two are mutually exclusive.
But the short drive to Hillsboro Village (or long, depending on who you ask) is well worth it. I cannot describe to you the amount of joy the Chocolate Sin pancakes bring to a person. It’s just something you’ll have to experience. So as we’re standing in line outside the place, I am doing my best to explain to my Lexington friends just what makes the Pancake Pantry worth standing out in the cold.

"It’s a Nashville tradition I exclaim!" my back to the restaurant. James then points out that it says exactly that under the sign: "Pancake Pantry, A Nashville Tradition."
"Well see, I couldn’t have planned that any better if I’d tried!"

Also while standing in line, James looked down and noticed on the sidewalk there was a kernel of corn (insert your pick of corny jokes here). (Hey, what else do you do while standing in line but make bad jokes?) (Ok then, what else would I do while standing in line besides make bad jokes?)
After the 2 hours it took James and Dion to decide what they wanted, and our bellies sufficiently filled, we headed back to the Penthouse to watch the Eagles-Falcons game. Well, Dion and Emily and myself watched the game- Rhonda and James took advantage of an early afternoon nap!

Finally around 6 o’clock that night, the boys reluctantly made their exit from the great state of Tennessee. Well, James was reluctant but Dion I think was just being a good sport by hanging out with us all day. But the gesture was certainly appreciated.
And my first question to James upon learning that they had made it back to Lexington that night: "so when are you coming back?" :o)

FYI, the Cats play the Vols tonight. Let it be known that though it has taken me several years to be able to say this and mean it, I am actually cheering against UT tonight. Ari, you'll make me an honorary Kentuckian yet.

Monday, January 24, 2005

Just call me Kevin Nealon

Except that this isn't really a Weekend Update. It's more of a Random Thoughts kind of entry. I will let Amanda post the Complete Weekend Update, as it was more exciting for her than it was for Emily and me. First of all I'm feeling mad at myself because I spent too much money this weekend. I will share with you all my new motivation for saving. I realized how much I love to see my bank account roll past the next dollar "milestone" (Example: checking your balance and seeing you now have $3,001.00) Your milestone may be the next thousand, or next $500, or just the next hundred. It's a great motivation because when you do pass the next milestone you HATE to see the account fall back into where it used to be. Then you've got to re-do the milestone again. Just don't celebrate crossing milestones by doing something that requires spending money! (Which basically means you can't do anything, but I digress.)

Amanda, Emily, and I are fun-loving gals who like to try new things in this fabulous city we live in. We are constantly saying "We should go there," or "We should try that." So, being the geniuses that we are (minus me), we created "The Lists" and proudly displayed them in the kitchen. Currently we have the "Things to Do" list and the "Places to Eat" list. We desperately need to create the "Movies to See" list but we've been too lazy. One of the rules about The Lists is that you have to use the red pen - oh and I have to write it because it's already in my handwriting. (I won the Penthouse Penmanship Award.) This weekend we were able to cross off Rosepepper Cantina, where we went to eat Saturday night. It was well worth it and I was a happy girl!!! If any of you Nashvillians reading along have suggestions for The List, please share :)

Two of the items I bought this weekend while spending too much money were a new pair of pants and a new pair of shoes. I am super excited about the shoes and had to wear them to church yesteday even though it was 28 and there was snow on the ground. They are sassy and pretty un-Rhondaish actually! Today I am wearing the pants to work (along with other items of clothing.) They are black with pink and white pinstripes and guess what - they have pink lining inside! Oh gosh I sound like Amanda!!!!!!! And yes I'm wearing a pink shirt to (hopefully) accentuate the pink pinstripes. You'd be proud, Roomie.

OK peace out. stay classy.

The Weekend, part 1

A trip to remember

No black lung disease is going to keep this DIVA down, no sir! The weekend was full of activities that have left your president of the DIVA Domain a little worn out this a.m. (and btw, I’m not only the president, I’m also a client.) But never fear, I have plenty of exciting stories and memories to share that will perk you up this Monday morning, or at least help you kill 2 or 3 minutes out of your day.

First of all, please welcome our newest Nashvillian, Miss Amanda Joan-Wade Holt. Amanda is a fellow DZ/UK grad and has made the big move to Nashvegas because she simply couldn’t stand to be away from me for any longer. She’s a sagitarius who likes tall, dark handsome men, and long walks on the beach. Emmy Sue and I headed downtown Friday night to the oh-so-trendy Virago to meet up with Amanda and her new roommate Susan (who also just happens to be a fellow Brentwood High graduate), followed by Rhonda and Laurie, who joined us after their previous engagement at the Bluebird. The six of us stood at a table in the center of the room with 3 other fellows who were also sharing the table, and we all were entertained by the awful 80s videos playing on the giant screen in the front of the restaurant. But how often is it that one sees Michael Jackson’s "Beat it" or the "Humpty Dance" video? Random for sure, but a conversation starter if there ever was one.

In case you’re keeping up with it (and all of you should be) the Cats defeated LSU on Saturday by 31 points, so I was a happy girl. I would have been happier had I had 2 certain young men in town in time to watch the game with me, but they were too busy doing laundry and playing poker till all hours of the night to get on the road in time. So sucks for them, they got to listen to the game on the radio. After much anticipation however, James and Dion finally made their grand arrival at the Penthouse, apparently driving through a freak snow storm in Kentucky and Tennessee to get here. And believe it or not, my directions were so good that they only got turned around once! (It’s sad but true, but people who have lived in Nashville for under a year know their way around better than I do. I am just terrible with directions. Remember this fact, because it plays an important role later in the story.) Hugs abounding and introductions made, we all watched the end of the Tennessee-Louisville game followed by Office Space (yeeeeaaaahhhh, that'd be Greeaaat). If you’ve never heard Rhonda do her Milton impersonation you’re missing out.

Next the great debate begins. Where to eat? We want to take James and Dion someplace fun, so Emily suggested that we go to Rosepepper Cantina because it’s on our list of places to eat (Rhonda, Emily, and myself have created two lists, FYI. One of "things to do" in Nashville", ie. Go to the Grand Ole Opry, and the other list consists of places we want to eat in Nashville).
Me: But Rosepepper’s all the way in East Nashville.
Emily: But it’s not that far from downtown.
Me: (reluctantly) ok.
And Emily was right, it wasn’t far from downtown, making it convenient to get to the clubs, but it was the getting there in the first place that proved to be so difficult. Emily and I had both been there before but I know at least I had gotten there a different way than the way Emily was trying to go. You can guess where this is going. We got lost in East Nashville. Not the worst part of town by any means, but not the best either. Blame the faulty directions from Em’s friend Karla, but we ended up having to pull into a gas station where Em and I proceeded to fire away on our cell phones and try to track down directions to this restaurant. What followed was nothing short of comedy.
Emily: Dad, can you look in the phonebook and tell me where Rosepepper Cantina is?
Me: (leaving a message on Heather’s phone) Heather, we’re lost in your old ‘hood. I need help. Call me if you get this soon.
Emily: (on her phone) so Woodland turns into Gallatin road?
Me: (dialing the parentals…) hey- I need you to get online and tell me where this restaurant is.
Several seconds pass…

Mom, on one phone: What’s the name of the place?
Dad, on another phone: What are you doing in East Nashville?
Mom: I’m not seeing it. How do you spell it?
Dad: Was this your idea to go down there?
Mom: Is that one word or two?
Dad: well don’t stop anywhere. You know that’s not the best part of town.
Me: Yes, thanks for that, tell me something I don’t know!
Dad: well if it were me, I’d be finding someplace else to eat.
Me: Grrrr!!!!
meanwhile… Emily calls her friend Houston (we have a problem) and gets more faulty directions (what is it with faulty directions? Twice in one night? Oh REALLY??)
To make a long story short (too late) we found the place, had a lovely dinner, and managed to get back across the river without any trouble.

Friday, January 21, 2005

This One's an All-Skate

Hallelujah, it’s Friday. And the forecast shows another good weekend in store for the girls of the Penthouse. More out-of-town guests, a potential trip to Tootsie's and JJ's, a home Kentucky game, a newly Nashville-transplanted Kentuckian/UM resident (that’s ugly Massachusetts) (Welcome to FT, Holt!!) (Fat Tennessee) (These parenthetical references are making absolutely no sense to most of you, but I’m trying to keep you in the loop with all of the inside jokes thrown in here) (btw, isn’t parenthetical a great word? It just might have to go on the revised List of Favorite Words.), and a partridge in a pear tree.

So we’re in a random mood here at the divadomain headquarters, aka the Bone & Joint Clinic, so our CEO has decided to grace you with a plethora of blogworthy tidbits that I have been meaning to include in a post on here, but for one reason or another they have been pushed aside, shoved under a bed, and put in a corner until now (Nobody puts Bradley in a corner!). Because they’re just that good.

Momma B found this for me last week: It’s an article about a sheriff in Arizona who ordered hot pink handcuffs for his prisoners to deter people from stealing them. The handcuffs, not the prisoners. The picture is just priceless.

Dennis, our music minister, made reference to an All-Skate at choir rehearsal one night, ie "this one’s an all-skate, so everybody sing on the chorus." Used in context this is a great phrase we all need to bring back!

The rest are thanks to Ari:
A sign at Schlotsky’s Deli: "our prices have went up by 5%."
If you don’t understand why this is funny, we’re laughing at you and not with you.

A reference to hottie ER doctor Goran Visnjic as being a Euro-Clooney

And finally, the classic response to the person who says, "We was down at such-and-such the other day and..."
"Oh Was you?"

Thursday, January 20, 2005

a Nashvillian for life

"Did you know that dogs and bees can smell beer?"

No, not really- that was just a misunderstood quote from Jerry Maguire.

The thermometer reads a pleasant 52 degrees on this gorgeous January afternoon , reminding me how much I love living in Tennessee! I always said growing up that I would someday move to New York City because I fell in love with the city after visiting at age 11, but now that possibility seems further and further from reality. Why would I ever leave Nashville? It's a great city, with so many nooks and crannies that I am still discovering (Was there really life before discovering Chitown and Tootsies?). My family is here. My history is here. I can be a UT fan during football season, and a Kentucky fan during basketball season (and have plenty of others nearby to cheer the Cats along with me). I can go back and forth between being a city girl and a country girl whenever the mood strikes me. I can wear short sleeves in the winter, and flip flops for the majority of the year. True, it doesn't snow that often, but when it does, the whole state shuts down and makes a major event of it, making it more special I think. I love how genuinely nice people are, and hearing phrases like "well bless his heart." I am grateful that God is someone who is talked about often and people don't give you a weird look if you ask them where they go to church. The hills and landscape are beautiful. The city of Nashville has so much personality that it will always be home to me no matter where life takes me. Nothing felt better than making that trip back from Lexington and coming over the hill on I-65 and seeing the Nashville skyline in the distance. I could breathe a contented sigh and say to myself, "I'm finally home." Admitedly, I am not a person who likes change (heck, I had tears streaming down my face at my highschool graduation- I thought life could not get any better than Brentwood High! Ha!), but just like the Chicken O'Tenders at O'Charley's (the OC for those in the know) why would you want to change a good thing?

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

some fun links

My friend Winn (Who? What? Winn!) piggybacked on Rhonda Lu's post about the song Hillbilly porn and put up a link so that you can hear the song. Well, I am not so computer-inclined that I know how to put the song link on my page, but I'll give you the next best thing. Click here to go to Winn's site and check the post from Jan 17, complete with a pic of "Musica" to hear the hilarious song. (Only Nashvillians will probably really get this)

Secondly, I have found a girl after my own heart! My friend Bethany's friend Trisha. She blogs on a regular basis like I do, and seems to have a similar writing style and body of content as the divadomain does. True, I have never met her, but we are kindred spirits I think! Check out her site, complete with Napoleon Dynamite references, for a bit of reading enjoyment.

The 5 people you'd meet on Earth

Ok people. It's time for some interactive blogging. This is something we haven't done in awhile, but I stumbled across an old email this morning that begged the question, who are the 5 people you'd like to meet? They can be dead or alive, famous or not, but it's a fun hypothetical question to get you thinking on this chilly January morning. And since it's way too difficult to narrow it down to only 5 people ever that you'd like to rub elbows with, we're giving you 2 freebies allowing you a grand total of 7. Hey, 7's a good number. Why not? Alright, so Amanda's List includes the following, in no particular order:
1. Jesus
2. W.A. Mozart
3. Bill Clinton
4. Tom Hanks
5. William Shakespere
6. Paul McCartney
7. Brad Pitt

Happy pondering, and be sure to click that comments button and enlighten the rest of us with your list.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

You mean I might have to Work all day?

Horror of all horrors! We had a little scare there yesterday afternoon, folks. I think our computer tech guy was installing some new software for the system here at work, or he put up a new firewall or something- but for a brief moment I had no internet access. None. Of course I still had my office email and thus access to the outside world, but the thoughts just began racing: no launchcast radio. No looking up sports scores. No googling. No yahoo mail. And worst of all- the straw that broke the camel’s back- No Blogging. (GASP). Yes, you read that correctly.

So what’s a girl to do? As I sent Rhonda an email in all caps in my panic, I tried to remain calm and wait it out, since I had received no company email detailing changes in our internet access abilities. But the thought crossed my mind: I might have to work for 8 solid hours with no breaks! That’s just cruel and unusual punishment, is what that is! The second thought that crossed my mind was, I have to find a new job NOW!! The third thought was, I wonder if Emily and Rhonda will be willing to get cable internet at home… and the thoughts kept on coming!

But dear and faithful readers, rest assured that as you read this, the internet is back up and running (although I have noticed a few changes- no pictures, and still no Launchcast radio :o( BUT I am grateful for the access that I have).

Quick movie review: Saw the Aviator yesterday. I’ll be honest: I have mixed emotions. It was a strange film. And I’m not sure if I classify it as strange because Howard Hughes was an eccentric man, and any movie depicting his life is going to be kooky- (all I can say is people, if you think I have OCD tendencies, well, this man just puts me to absolute shame) or if I thought it was strange because I just don’t "get" Scorsese’s directing. It was one of those films that ended and you sit there and go- what? (Oh REALLY???) it’s over? It can’t be over- there are all these loose ends they forgot to tie up! So I feel that I can’t make a fair judgement on the movie. I will say that Leonardo DiCaprio gave a great performance. To me he crossed over from being the pretty boy in Titanic to becoming a great and serious actor. His portrayal definitely drew you in as an audience member and made you feel for Howard Hughes the person, and Cate Blanchett was fantastic as well. I’ve never been completely sold on her, but this film changed that for me. She stole every scene that she was in. The Aviator was 3 hours of my life that I will never get back, but with all the hype with the Golden Globes and potential Oscar nominees, it was one I had to see.

Who else is excited that it’s Tuesday? Anything is better than Monday right?

Monday, January 17, 2005

Tim, Wildcats, & get-togethers: what could be better?

What an amazing weekend! It would have been perfect if I had not somehow contracted the Black Lung from Rhonda (he he) but oh well. My weekend began at 3pm on Friday afternoon when I left work early in order to do a few last-minute errands before my friend Greg got into town. One sun-shiney hour later, my office email pen-pal-of-sorts arrived at the Penthouse. He, Rhonda, and I went to an early dinner where Emily met us shortly after. I coined the phrase “I’ve got sticky on my fingers,” and we girls explained to Greg the plight of dressing to go out in the winter over our respective dinners (ie. You don’t want to drag a bulky coat wherever you go, but then you don’t want to freeze walking from the car to wherever you are going, and plus it’s usually hot inside the bar or club or whatever, so what’s a savvy dresser to do?). I ran to my first Pirates meeting soon after where I received my score, this week’s rehearsal, and a cd of the operatta, and got back asap so that Greg and I could meet Rhonda Lu, Laurie, Ryan, and Emmy Sue down at the Gaylord Focker Entertainment Center to see none other than Mr. Hotness himself, Tim McGraw.

Now it’s funny: whenever anyone has asked me how the concert was, I respond with an enthusiastic “It was great!” before pausing to think about what was so great about it. True, Tim looked hot in his tight T-shirt and jeans. But he forgot the words to several of his songs: not so great. He had incredible energy, and charisma with the crowd: great. Vocally however, he sounded scratchy and tired; also not so great. The sound also wasn’t very good inside the GFEC making it hard to understand our Real Good Man sometimes.

Q: So how then can I possibly categorize the concert as being great?
A: Because there are some things like an on-stage persona and the ability to pull a crowd into a show that just can’t be taught.

Roger said it best in his blog when he made the comment that Tim’s show was great just because he is Tim McGraw, and I agree. Tim could have performed nursery rhymes and I think the crowd still would have screamed and sang along with every word! Him closing with Real Good Man/The Ride in a Nashville Kats jersey was just the icing on the cake. After the show we randomly ran into Jean and Tabitha on the sidewalk and drug them along with us to the world famous Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge. I think everyone else who had been at the Tim McGraw concert had the same idea we did, so the upper room got packed out fast. No matter though, we pushed ourselves to the front and sang along to Jared Ashley as usual.

5:30 am came early Saturday morning, but some things are more important than sleep. And one of those things is UK basketball. Greg and I left the Penthouse at 6am and got back a little before 8pm that night after having watched the Cats pose a76-55 victory over the Georgia Bulldogs. It was a fun game to watch, and I have pictures coming. I just might even have one of a certain Duke fan wearing Kentucky Blue.

Saturday night was spent watching football and then (Finally, after months of anticipation…) Garden State with the roomies and Brad Johnson. This is quite possibly in my top 3 movies of 2004 to see. I would hate to make a bold statement such as that only to have to retract it because I forgot about another gem of a film, but in any case, it definitely breaks into my Top 5 of the year. Zach Braff’s screenplay was very true to life, while maintaining a very tongue-in-cheek view of life in Jersey. And does anyone know offhand the significance of the color orange in this movie? I plan on watching it again before returning Laura’s DVD to her to see if I can figure it out on my own, but if you pay attention, there is orange everywhere!!

Sunday was spent checking off things on my To-Do list, watching football (poor Peyton!) and beginning to learn my Pirates score. It felt good to actually vocalize and sing some after not having done so in absolutely forever. The role of Mabel is going to be so much fun to sing- I can already tell. Finally we gals had a few friends over to watch the Golden Globes where we ate pizza and made catty remarks about ladies’ dresses. By the way, Finding Neverland got Robbed. But I’m going to see the Aviator today so I’ll give you my humble opinion tomorrow.

Penthouse Pets at Tootsie's

Saturday, January 15, 2005

Kentucky Fans for Life

Friday, January 14, 2005

Hillbilly Porn

OK so once again it's totally freezing in my office. Probably because it's freezing (i.e. 40 degrees) outside too. Excuse me if I'm mistaken but wasn't it 65 on Tuesday? Insane! (Captain Insano!) So yes, I'm blogging today. For those of you who haven't caught on yet, this is Rhonda you're talking to. My Launchcast radio has made me really happy today. That's good because I am a sick little chick today :( Yesterday I developed "the black lung," as we call it now when someone in the Penthouse is sick. It's our throwback to Zoolander - " I got the black lung, Pop." I wouldn't have come to work today except I actually have a project to work on.

I went to the Bluebird Cafe again last night. One of the writers was Lee Thomas Miller, who wrote the "Hillbilly Porn" song - which is possibly the funniest thing I've ever heard in my life. I'd heard a lot ABOUT the song but had only heard parts of it. The writer said that some artists have put the song on hold, but then release it when they realize that once you get 20 miles outside of Nashville, no one "gets" the song. Which is why some of you probably have a quizzical look on your face right now. Long story short, there's a piece of "artwork" in the middle of the traffic round-a-bout at the end of Music Row. It's a 40-foot tall bronze statue of naked people dancing, or leaping, or whatever they're doing. You couldn't miss it if you tried. Needless to say it is VERY controversial, but it's still there and no one's vandalized it or put clothes on the people. So the song is hilarious and here's the lyrics (you might be able to find an MP3 if you Google it):

At the birthplace of song on beloved Music Row,
There's a picturesque place where a statue should go.
It could be Harlan Howard or the great Bill Monroe.
Why they chose naked giants, we'd all like to know.

And they're dancin' in circles and flittin' around.
The women look chilly, the men sure look proud.
If it makes you think dirty, go ahead, honk your horn.
Oh, the mayor done bought us some hillbilly porn.

The songwriters drive by five days a week,
At the crack of 10:30 we all sneak a peek.
Like a flash, something sparks in the creative mind.
That slut in the middle looks like my ex-wife.

Second Chorus:
And they're dancin' in circles and flittin' around.
The women look chilly, the men sure look proud.
We all speculate what the tambourine's for.
Oh, the mayor done bought us some hillbilly porn.

Now in the world of the arts, there's no wrong or right.
Up in New York City, they wouldn't think twice.
But down here the people are wreckin' their cars.
Nothin' says hit your brakes like big private parts.
And our mommas are shocked and the Baptists are mad.
The tourists are shaking their pink cowboy hats.
They say "Back home we've got NASCAR and corn.
But Nashville's got football and hillbilly porn."

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Just call me Mabel of the mornin'

(Are you singing along like I am?) Angel of the Morning was one of Holt's and my favorite songs to rock out to when we were roommates in the good old Delta Zelta house. Along with Hero by Inrique Inglacias, Back Where I Come From (by Kenny Chesny), and Celine Dion's A New Day Has Come. Those were the days... when our open-door policy invited as many distractions as possible, and phone messages on our answering machine often got confusing ("Which Amanda were you trying to reach? Ok, does she have blonde or brown hair?..."). I also credit rooming with Amanda that year to my renewed interest in Country music, as I admit I had fallen away from it for some time.

All that to say, Mabel is the character I have just been cast to play in the upcoming production of the Pirates of Penzance. Of course it's a small theater, and there is no paycheck involved, but it will get me singing and on stage again, so I am thrilled. The show runs in March and April, so I can forsee the next few months of my life becoming devoted to this production. I'll try to still have something interesting to say on here that doesn't have to do with the opera, so bear with me.

For a short quip on high-maintence people that came about after a Penthouse hall meeting the other night, see here for the article "How high is too high?"

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Focker of the Opera

Time to update the movie review list. I finally saw Meet the Fockers with Jannelle last week. My opinion is that no sequel is ever as good as the first movie. You can argue this point with me all day, but I stand firm in this opinion. After the original, you go into the sequel with expectations, and preconceived notions. Now in rare cases the 2nd movie is as good as the first (Shrek 2, Back to the Future II) but even these are few and far between. You can guess what this is leading up to. Meet the Fockers was enjoyable. I laughed out loud a few times, but it in no way measured up to the magnitude of hilarity and feelings of pity for the protagonist, one Gaylord Focker. (I will pause briefly for a plangent: while walking back to the Penthouse-Mobile (i.e. Emily’s car) Saturday night after going to Tootsie’s, we passed the GEC. No longer will we Nashvillians refer to it as the GEC, but it is hereby dubbed the Gaylord Focker Entertainment Center.) Don’t get me wrong- it was an enjoyable evening, and money well spent. Dustin Hoffman and Barbara Streissand were incredibly funny. This film could not have stood on its own two feet without them. But all in all, I give it a big One Thumb Up.

Now. Last night, I went with the other Bradley women plus George to see Phantom of the Opera. First I will regale you with a blonde moment I had while waiting in line to buy concessions with L&G.
Me: (looking at the candy counter) what are S Q worms?
George: Those are Sqworms! (pronounced squirms)
Me: Oh. Well what kind of word has a Q with no U next to it? That’s stupid.

Do you wanna know what else was stupid? Phantom of the Opera. I won’t go into specifics on here of my serious issues I had with this film in case any of you out there feel like taking a chance on this movie, but if any are curious, email me and I’ll be glad to send you a detailed list of my querries with Mr. Schumacher’s piece of debauchery he calls Andrew Lloyd Webber’s the POTO. Am I getting across to you all how much I despised the movie?? And I am a huge movie fan- I never walk out of films, and rarely start a movie without finishing it (that’s the slight OCD coming out in me), but I could have left before this one was over and not been disappointed at all. I was just flat-out bored. The two younger of the Bradley women give it Two Thumbs Down. However, I will put a disclaimer and say that the eldest of the Bradley women (and that of course would be Momma B), absolutely loved it. So if any of you out there in TV and wish to waste 2 ½ hours of your life, then she will no doubt accompany you for a second viewing.

Monday, January 10, 2005

Is it Monday Already?

Why is it that those 2 precious days that we call the weekend fly by faster than you can say “5 o’clock on Friday?” This weekend had a good mix of activities and down time for me. I did something highly unusual, and that is I didn’t set an alarm clock on Saturday morning. Stop the presses, but Amanda actually did not have her entire weekend planned out in to-do lists!! But first let’s back up to Friday.

Dinner with Tadd at the Macaroni Grizzity. It was very yummy, and full of laughter as time spent with Tadd usually is. He got a new car but Mrs. Copeland Collins hit it- and she didn’t even tell him about it! (YHTBT) He and I rode along listening to a German immersion cd on our way to the restaurant because we are just that cool. You listen to a short conversation in German, then the second time they speak very slowly, and then by the third time when they repeat it at normal speed you should understand most of it. Only Tadd and I would find this fun though. Upon arriving back at the Penthouse, Emily and I agreed that we were too tired to go out, plus it was pouring down rain, so we were both dozing on the couch watching TV when Rhonda Lu walked in after 9. I actually crawled into bed at 9:30- it was wonderful! I think my body was still playing catch up from all the holiday travel and sleepless nights in Lexington.

Saturday was spent doing- whatever I felt like, GOSH!! I worked on my South Africa scrapbook, worked out with Rhonda Lu, and spent some time learning how to use my new favorite toy, my new cell phone. Let’s all take a moment to mourn the passing of my pink “ghetto nokia” phone. It’s been a real trouper for the past 2 ½ years, but the time had come to replace it. Close to the top of my agenda is finding a pink background for my phone’s wallpaper. Sat night we all went to the Bluebird for a Songwriters in the Round show that included Dave Barnes as one of the writers. (Crazy Bout Ya Baby, Dave Barnes? Yes. The very same.) Our table was thisclose to Dave- I was a little star-struck. Can you be star-struck by someone who really isn’t a star?? Seriously though, it was a great show. All 4 writers were enjoyable. After that, we had some time to kill so we hung out at Starbucks on West End, then hit up our fav spot in Music City, and that of course would be Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge.

Jared Ashley was playing so we couldn’t pass up that opportunity. The place got packed, and some other friends from church ended up showing up- some on purpose, others just by chance, and we had a good time dancing and singing along to JA and the Dirty South Band. My one complaint was that there were too many “guest appearances” by other no-name singers. We want Jared and only Jared. All others are just an excuse to take a break and go to the bathroom. Em, Rhonda, and I did make a new friend though- I don’t even know if we ever knew her name- but I refered to her as Clogging Girl all night. This nickname would of course be referring to her admitting to us, and to anyone else in the bar who would listen, that she’s a clogger. (Does the phrase “She’s a clogger” bring to mind a Seinfeld episode for anyone else? All I hear is George saying that phrase, but I can’t quite place it. And of course in the actual episode, the line isn’t she’s a clogger but rather, she’s a something-or-another.... anyone know what I’m talking about? Buehler?)

Back to the topic at hand however. Our little clogger was a fellow 1980 baby, so she Rhonda and I relived having Light Brights, Popples, and Gloworms among other things. And she and I argued over who’s sorority was better. The Shady Pi’s were the first sorority founded, but we (The Easy DZ’s) are the biggest nationally. I know. It’s sad that we actually had that conversation, but really, we were just kidding around. Sort of.

The funny moment of the night came when my friends pulled me up to the front of the crowd where they were. As soon as I got up there and turned around to face the stage, I was, ahem, waist-level with Jared Ashley! He was standing on top of the monitors and I had nowhere to go! We were all squeezed in there like sardines, so I did my best to look up at his face while blushing profusely, and making excuses to turn around and talk to Laurie until our cutie-patootie cowboy moved to the other side of the stage. Our feet killing us by this time, we Penthouse Pets finally turned in the towel soon after.

Sunday I spent some time over at the house, watched #8 Kentucky lose to #2 Kansas, and watched a little tv, and that’s all I have to say about that. A very disappointing afternoon. They’d better get their act in gear is all I have to say. I already suffered through a disappointing Titans season, so I don’t think I can handle a crappy season by Kentucky.

That is all.

Friday, January 07, 2005

"Quality Girls: Part Deux"

Did anybody ever see those movies "Hot Shots" and "Hot Shots: Part Deux"? I never saw them, but I remember how funny my dad thought they were, so they've always stuck in my mind. (Along with many other meaningless factoids!) Ok, before I move on to more important more stories from the Wildhorse...I would like to make one comment about Rhonda's anecdotes. After I refused the drunk, married guy a ride, I DID offer him money for a taxi if he needed it. And you know WHY I did that? Because this is a Grade A Quality girl right here, that's why! Why, quality is my middle name! That's right folks, you can call me Emily QUALITY Borders from now on. In fact, I'm resorting to my younger days and refusing to answer to anything BUT Emily QUALITY Borders.

The first person to sing last night was really talented, had great stage presence, and brought a large fan club with him. So I'm thinking, "Wow, we're in for a night of great singers!" Then came contestant "numero deux", who completely threw that theory out the window. She comes on stage, and I try to overlook her crazy curly blond hair that looks like a pom-pom quite honestly. But then she starts singing and flipping the pom-pom back and forth, back and forth with the music. It's all I could look at after that. On top of that, she's a pretty poor singer, EXTREMELY twangy, and acts like a complete ditz in between songs, giggling and such. By the end of the second song, I couldn't take it any more and I said, "where's a hook when you need one?" (You know, the hook they put out on the stage and pull the person off?) Then, without thinking, I yelled out, "Hook Her!" But somehow my words combined and I yelled "Hooker!" luckily think only a couple people heard me. It was a true "trumboner" moment, wasn't it Rhonda?

We had a pretty good streak of talented singers after that...although not without laughs. The biggest laugh of the night came when Willie Mac performed. And, no, it wasn't just his name that was hilarious. Willie chose to sing Elvis' "Little Sister" complete with hip swings and fancy guitar moves. One such guitar move involved a backwards hop thing (for lack of a better description)...and then all you saw were arms flailing as Willie fell back and onto his back. At first, Rhonda thought he may have meant to do it...taking his rocker guitar moves to the floor. But oh no! The guy fell flat on his back and then couldn't get his guitar untangled for the rest of the song. No more swanky Elvis moves for you! But I will say he recovered nicely despite having to get a new guitar because his was out of tune from the fall. Who knows...maybe the fall helped him stick in the judges' minds? At least that's what he's hoping this morning!

Other highlights were Dylan Dixon (could his name BE any more perfect for a country singer?) and Ward Guenther (sp?) who we sort of knew...friend of a friend kinda thing. Dylan sang Keith Urban's "Somebody Like You" and he did a great job. Rhonda thought he could've showed a little more passion, but I thought he did a great job. Ward came on (and had a huge cowd there!) and immediately asked everyone if they wanted a little Willie. Some girls (his friends mind you) yelled out for him to take his shirt off, and he said, "Now I just asked you if you wanted a little Willie." I think the whole thing was staged personally. My overall opinion on Ward is that he's a great singer, but he just doesn't seem "country" enough. Of course, many country stars aren't country themselves, but Ward seemed a little too "just stepped out of a frat party."

All in all, this was a very "blog-worthy" night as they say. It's funny how the nights that you don't expect to be blog-worthy are, and the ones you hype up turn out to be insignificant. "Buried at sea...huh?!"

high quality blogging

Wow much to tell! And I haven't blogged much recently (darn job) so the wealth of information you are about to receive will make up for that. Last night Emily and I went to the Wildhorse Saloon to watch the regional finals of Nashville Star. For those of you not familiar with that TV show, it's basically a country music American Idol. It broadcasts on USA and this is the 3rd season, hosted by LeAnn Rimes this year. Although it's taped in Nashville I've never been to a taping of it, so I thought the regionals would be fun. And they were! The place was packed and Emily asked this older couple if we could sit with them and they allowed us to. They were from GA and were on a road trip and spent the day in Nashville. They were so nice and the husband told us all about his 3 kids and his grandson who just turned 1 (complete will whipping out pictures from his wallet.) We think that through the duration of the night he had a little too much beer and the Mrs. got a little mad at him. Whoops! There were 4 men sitting at the table next to us and 3 of them left about halfway through the show. The lone ranger began chatting it up with Emily, asking her what we were doing after the show and where is a good place to go out, etc. It was probably at this time she noticed his wedding ring and explained that we were going home after the show because we have this thing called a JOB that we do on Fridays (she wasn't quite that sarcastic though.) He and his buddies who left him were in town for a coaches conference. I didn't think much of it but Emily's high-quality brain got to cranking and she just pondered the worst about this man's intentions - he's in a different town for a conference, his buddies left him, he's sitting alone drinking, asking younger women what they are doing later that night. You hate to think the worst, but seriously man (as Emily said) "Call your wife and tell her you love her. You'll thank me in the morning." No, she didn't say that but she wanted to, especially after he asked us if we could give him a ride as we were leaving. Em answered that one with a big fat "I don't THINK so."

It was the best people-watching opportunity that I've had in a long long time. If you don't know, people-watching is one of my very favorite hobbies. Yes there were lots of attractive guys there, but there was also the friends/families/fans of the singers (complete with signs), the people who obviously couldn't make it to the regional finals, the music business people, a couple friends, Cletus T. Judd, and a couple people I knew I knew but I didn't know where I knew them from :) I even saw the guy I call "Dave Barnes' brother" even though I have no idea if it's his brother, but he looks just like him and he's at every Dave show. He was there to support Ward Gunther but unfortunately Dave was nowhere in sight. Emily will comment on Ward and the other contestants.

It's always fun when you're riding in the car with friends and you just have great conversation, isn't it? Emily was telling me a problem about a "cooey-patootie" and we decided that she needs to just go "over" the obstacle. I know that made zero sense to everyone. Anyway, this guy wants a "high quality" girl and I told Em that she has "quality" stamped across her forehead, and she agreed that her middle name was Quality! So through the duration of the night, everything about Emily was alluded back to her quality. "Now that's what I call high quality E.E.B.!!!!" As we arrived back at the Penthouse we heard "Drop It Like It Hot", which we loooooove, on the radio. We proceeded to get out of the car and have a little impromtu dance party in the parking lot as Amanda drove up. Unfortunately she does not looooooove the song and would not join in our dance party :( Party pooper.

Later we were having a kitchen meeting (meaning we were all standing in the kitchen going through the day's mail, eating cookies, eating chips, showing off fun gifts, and talking) We used to have hall meetings but now apparantly we've moved to the kitchen. Em and I were telling Amanda what a blogworthy night we had experienced and being sentimental about when we all met each other for the first time. I was really enjoying the moment so I asked the girls if we could just live together forever and they agreed. So here's my formal announcement to the world: Amanda, Emily, and I are living together forever. Of course, the next thing we said was "It's going to be so sad when one of us gets married." So we decided we'd have to all get married on the same day. I said that we're all on the same track so far because we're all single, and Emily stated that that's because we are SUCH high quality girls. I apparantly found this absolutely hilarious because I proceeded to spew my coke out into the sink, and the other girls found that to be very entertaining. It's okay because every 5 years or so, you need to laugh so hard that you spew out whatever you're drinking, and it had been a while for me.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Darned if you do...

And darned if you don’t. I wish I had seen this live, but reading the recap will just have to do. The Penthouse Pets spent Tuesday evening at the Bluebird Café listening to the raucous music of singer/songwriter Jeffrey Steele instead of watching the BCS championship bowl. (Any takers on what BCS should really stand for? Bunch of Crap Statistics?). Since USC pretty much ran the board on OU, the only thing worth watching would have been the half-time debacle where no one’s mike worked, there were looooong delays in between performers while the tech guys sweat it out, and Ashlee Simpson sang. For real. And thank you fans, for the glorious reception you gave her.

But alas, the college football season has come to an end, and darn it if Kentucky didn’t see a bowl game again! Thank goodness for basketball season, is all I can say. Rhonda Lu, our resident Penthouse football nut, is in mourning for the end of the pigskin for a while, so Ari and I are trying to get her into college hoops. And it just so happened that Kentucky had their SEC season opener last night against South Carolina. Ari and I showed up prepared, Ari decked out in head-to-toe blue uk apparel, and me in my gray hoodie with the pink Kentucky stitched across the front. (Is there anything better than pink UK apparel? I think not!) (Is there anything more beautiful than a beautiful, beautiful flamingo flying through a beautiful, beautiful sunset...?). Rhonda had chosen an FSU hoodie to wear, but we’ll forgive her because it’s still early in the season.

Now watching a Kentucky basketball game with Ariana and I is always quite the event. Being singers, and self-proclaimed drama queens, we tend to be very vocal. I think we scared away her cat Kiki (“don’t go breakin’ my heart”) with all the shouting, but Ari said that’s normal. We also found a future husband for Rhonda on the UK team. Rajon Rondo is one of our all-star freshmen, and if Rhonda married him, she would be Rhonda Rondo! Luckily her future hubby had a good game. We actually only ended up winning by 4 points, but hey, a win is a win, and I’ll take it going into Sunday’s big game versus Kansas.

I'm in a terrific mood this morning in case you couldn't tell- must have been the 6am pilates. Thanks Rhonda Lu for dragging me out of bed! Have an Ab Fab Thursday, everyone. "peace out" (spoken ala Kip)

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

insert bracket A into panel Q...

Women everywhere unite! We can and will put together our own furniture, even if it means we have to follow the horrific instructions and diagrams written apparently by men.

Em and I had a roommate bonding moment last night when she wandered into the Pink Palace (aka my bedroom) where I was obviously frustrated by several pieces of wood and screws all over the floor. I was attempting to put together this little storage dresser that I got for Christmas and was second guessing myself on the construction of it. The directions, of course, made no sense at all, and I was in the process of undoing an entire step when Emmy Sue stepped in without me even having to ask and began to reason with the diagram. The last thing I wanted to do was assemble the dresser and be at the second to last step, only to come to the horrible realization that I had put on the sides backwards or something. So Em and I had an intelligent conversation about finished edges of wood, and which direction the drawer slides should be, and plastic screw covers. I just happen to have 2 hammers so we were able to tagteam the hammering duties (I only hit my finger twice I think- and it sent a piece of chipped nail polish flying- very funny actually, though very stereotypical-girl I realize). Rhonda Lu wandered in a few minutes into this and proceeded to snap pictures of our building endeavor and flip through my current issue of InStyle magazine (also very stereotypical-girl). There's just something empowering about using tools though, and the overall sense of completion once the project was done.

There was only one real scare, and that happened when a dowel got inserted into the wrong place. Em and I both fiddled with the pliers and tweezers (what else?) for several minutes before the darn thing finally came loose. It was an amusingly triumphant moment though when I lifted the pliers into the hair gripping the tiny dowel. Seriously though, Emily decided that the instructions must have been written by a man because they were so darn confusing, and combined several steps into one numbered step. Plus it didn't help that the instructions were in like, 3 different languages, so it made it hard to keep track of which ones you were following. I did decide that a new favorite word of mine is Cam though. They're those round little things that you use to build storage dressers. I don't know if all cams' functions are to tighten things, but these little guys' job were to tighten the drawers together. On a plangent (which is a planned tangent, you will remember) Ari and I decided yesterday that one of our least favorite words is luncheon. I think it's time to update the List at some point, but just keep those words in the back of your mind. Cam and luncheon.

The next step: trying to organize exactly what is to go in the newly put-together storage dresser!

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

So I'm in my senior AP English class last night, and I completely forgot that we were supposed to give prepared speeches on making hot cocoa. So I panic briefly and then remember the recipe that Kristina gave us as favors at Heather's wedding shower, so when it's my turn to give my speech I fumble around and am trying to remember the hot chocolate recipe by memory. In mid sentence, my teacher stops me- maybe it was Mrs. Huddleston, I don't know. But she basically says, "Amanda this is unacceptable, you should have been prepared." And so I get all flustered and mad and say, "No, you know what's ridiculous? This is an AP English class. We should be doing speeches on current events like the tsunami instead of on pointless subjects like hot coccoa! What are we learning by doing these speeches," I said? "It's total bull sh!t," I screamed. "I'm going to talk to Pam Vaden," (my then-vice principal, but now the head principal at the school where Momma B works) and then I stormed out of the classroom, much to the shock of my classmates. But then I realized I needed to calm down before going to Pam's office because I knew I would be crying too much to talk to her calmly about what happened. I was still wandering around Brentwood High aimlessly in tears trying to calm down when suddenly I am awakened by Rhonda sticking her head inside my bedroom door telling me it’s time to get up.

In case you didn't figure that out, that was my messed up dream from this morning! Must have been the Dan Dan noodles from PF Chang's last night! :o) The lesson to be learned is that Amanda’s snooze button turns off the alarm after you hit it for an hour, so get your behind out of bed!

Monday, January 03, 2005

New Year's

The girls, L to R: Danielle, Katie, Conley, Liz, Bradley, & Ari

"Wait. Don’t you pay up front?"

"I’m about to throw a crab rangoon at him."

"Napoleon, you know we can’t afford the fun pack"

"That’s AWEsooooome"

"Eloise, get a move on"

These are just a few quotes you may have missed, had you not been in Lexington for New Year’s. It was probably my best New Year’s eve ever (hey- that’s fun to say: eve ever!). I drove up after work Thursday and got into Lex around 10 o’clock (EST) where I joyfully met up with Conley (a fellow DIVA) and John (her boyfriend) at Applebees for Happy Hour. Shortly after, our friend Liz arrived with her boyfriend Mike that we had never met before, and her friend Kim (Possible), and then James and V (brothers) and their friend Henry (the naked Lex Tran guy) got there as well. Little did we know that Applebees closed at 11 that night instead of the usual 1 am that we were expecting. (What the???) So our server was as accommodating as he could be and I scarfed down my nachos as fast as I could. We left there and went over to James and V’s, the usual Lexington gathering hot spot. A few more people were added to the mix and I kid you not, but somehow we managed to stay up till 6am talking, laughing, and playing a game of 90s Trivial Pursuit. Thank goodness Conley was on my team because she has the memory of- well- I can’t think of a good analogy- but she remembers everything! She also taught us all a song to sing about James Earl Jones to the tune of 3 Blind Mice to keep the other team from using ESP and stealing the answer from you when you already know the answer to their question. Random I know, but I swear it really works!

We slept late that morning and got up around 12:30 and went and got our Rincan fix. It has the best cheese queso ever and was one of my favorite places to eat while at UK. After that we hit Fayette Mall (I forgot how terrible traffic is in Lexington) to look for a few random items that people needed for their New Year’s ‘fits. Stacia had us cracking up by modeling the most exquisite outfits she could find at Dillards. (see photo) Finally we made it back to the Grino’s in just enough time to get all gussied up for the evening. Our party of 12 had dinner reservations at the Mac Grill, and me, Conley and Ari were finally able to have our annual DIVA Christmas gift exchange. It was definitely a little bittersweet without Jocelyn there, but fun just the same.

After that we headed to Cheapside where V’s band was playing that night. We had a table up front reserved for us and so we were all able to be together and be close to the band to cheer V on. (Is their band still called Voodoo Symphony? Ari, do you know?) I of course looked great with Vivica in tow. She was a Smash Hit (one of those weird phrases that people should never say, but somehow it came out of my mouth in the wee hours of the morning) with everyone, and the matching gold shoes though they killed my feet, complimented her very well if I do say so myself. And I do. What can I say? I’m a slave for fashion! We all piled into cars and left Cheapside around 1:30 and headed back to James and V’s for the afterparty. I had really forgotten how much fun we all had together. I haven’t laughed so much in an entire weekend in I don’t know how long, but I guess when you get all those boisterous, extroverted, must-have-the-attention-on-me types all in the same room you’re bound to have a great time. Part of the fun of the weekend was slipping in Napoleon Dynamite quotes whenever we got a chance. If you have not seen this movie yet, go get it Nah-Yow. It’s an experience unlike anything you’ve ever seen. Bedtime that night? Who knows. It was late… Very late. People were sleeping all over the house, but by morning the congregating ground was the Living room where four of us were sleeping on air mattresses.

After watching the video of Liz snoring that Mike brought over and much discussion about where we were going to dine for lunch, we ended up at Number One China Buffet for our New Year’s Day feast. Not THE number one china buffet, but just "Numba Wan China Buffet." I sat next to Sammy, which was a real treat. He is our fizzity friend that has his own language and way of speaking that is hard not to imitate when you’re around him. For whatever reason, it irritated him more than everyone else that several servers came over to ask numerous times how many more people we had coming. What difference does it make, we wondered? It’s a buffet!

"I’m going to throw a crab rangoon at him," Sammy said at one point. Then our server really threw Sammy for a loop when he started taking our separate credit cards to pay the bill (this is after a huge ordeal with them over how we were each going to pay of course.) "Wait," Sammy said, "I thought you pay up front." Why this bothered him, I have no idea! I thought it was nice that they did that because there were so many of us. Nevertheless, Sammy stood his ground and while we were all leaving to get into our cars, there stood Sammy, in line to pay his bill!

There were so many more hilarious things that happened, but this is already a novel of a blog, and I really do have major work to catch up on. Let’s just sum it up by saying that 2005 started off with fierce games of air hockey, singing with friends, blowing the other Team out of the water in Taboo, watching and quoting, and most importantly, renewed friendships.

Hope yours was as amazing as mine. We here at the DIVA domain, (meaning me, myself, and I) would love a novel-of-a-comment to hear how you rang in the new year. Yes, you. Now get writing!

"Napoleon, like anyone can even Know that."

Dr. Stacca in her New Year's get-up