Thursday, June 30, 2005

!

"I love you period. Do you love me question ma-ark? Please! Please! Exclamation point. (I wanna hold you) in parentheses."

Punctuation is a funny thing. And lately I’ve found myself addicted to the exclamation point! It shows excitement, and enthusiasm; my genuine interest, and communicates my good mood. But I find myself writing notes to customers at the ends of orders and ending them in exclamation points:

Thank you for your order!
Let me know if I can do anything else for you!
Your rep is Amanda, ext 3324!
Email address is as follows!

Ok, maybe that’s a bit hyperboles- exaggerated, if you will.
But it makes me think of Meg Ryan in “You’ve Got Mail” where she goes off on young girls with one name, like Kimberly. “Hi, I’m Kimberly!” Have I become That Girl- the one who is obnoxiously chipper? “Hi, I’m Amanda!” At least in writing, I fear I might be. I re-read my notes, and worry if I appear too excited, so I tone down my narratives with a smattering of periods; the boring dot that has no emotion. In this way I try to avoid becoming an offender of the “using too many exclamation points” disease. But sometimes an extra one slips out into my writing. But I don't care, because I have a four-day weekend ahead of me! And a SOGWEAW lunch! And friends and family coming into town! And Emily returning on Monday! Who could possibly begrudge me my exclamation point today I ask you?

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

post-pity party

wow! I feel like George Bailey- you all were very kind in your words of affirmation. Thanks for your support. I realize I have a lot of work to do as far as dancing goes, but the goal is attainable, and I know what I need to do to get there.

We had a "Come to Jesus Meeting" at work this morning- that's what everyone calls Joel's little pep talks where he basically tells us we haven't been doing our job, and opens the floor up for suggestions on ways to fix this. Just like the dancing dilema in my personal life, I know the things I have been neglecting in my professional life and I know what I can do to fix them. Sometimes you just need a swift kick in the pants to get you motivated.

Monday, June 27, 2005

non-dancing queen

I hate starting Mondays off on the wrong foot, but the end of my weekend sent the beginning of my week into “wrong-side-of-the-bed territory.” I had the worst call-back audition of my life last night, following a particularly bad call-back a few weeks prior, so I’m batting a thousand as far as those go lately. Basically I have just learned a hard lesson. I should have taken dance classes over the years. Those that I took when I was 4 with Miss Cathy don’t seem to count- even though I looked particularly cute in my Donald Duck dance outfit (my dad would especially agree!).

I’ve realized that my singing can only get me so far- and even my acting- but that the deciding factor when doing musical theater auditions is the way you move on stage, and how quick you can learn dance combinations. This is a little disheartening as I’m only just now coming to this realization, a little late in life. At those callbacks last night I felt like a girl from the trailer park touring a million dollar home- wanting to live in one of those homes but facing the stark reality that she’ll never be able to afford it without a little work. It made me long for the days of opera when I could just stand there and sing pretty.

But what’s an aspiring actress to do? She’s buying tap shoes, for one.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Order in the court

Why does the fun stuff always happen to Heather? Drama and excitement seem to follow this girl wherever she goes. Yesterday she was overjoyed as she pulled a special envelope out of her pile of mail. Flipping through the stack of his-and- her bills, junk mail, and coupons to local businesses that you never use- there it was. Though it was not your run-of-the-mill IRS refund check, publisher’s clearinghouse winning announcement, or a letter from a long-long friend. No, my friends, she got a request from the United States government… to fill out a questionnaire for potential jury duty.

“Thoughts of the Michael Jackson trial and the Pauly Shore movie were all I could think about,” she said excitedly. “It’s for a federal court so this could be a big capitol case,” she gushed. Only Heather would get excited about jury duty. “What about the kind of cases where they cut you off from society to prevent you from being influenced by the media,” I asked. “You know, where they make you all stay in a hotel and don’t let you watch tv.” “Do they take your cell phone?” She asked. Apparently that was the deciding factor to whether or not jury duty was all she had cracked it up to be. “If they took my cell phone I don’t know what I would do.” “This,” I added, “is blogworthy- you getting excited about serving jury duty!” Although in her defense (pun absolutely intended) it is something most people will never get to do, so I guess I can see her cause for enthusiasm. I’ll update you all on the outcome of her trial if she does indeed get called to serve her country in this unique way.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

the fabric of our lives

Drifting in and out of sleep while I hit my snooze button, I faintly heard a conversation on the radio this morning. Gerry House was having people call in and tell about their favorite t-shirts. What a loyal piece of clothing, when you actually stop and think about it! I mean, t-shirts speak volumes about a person. Ad the best part about them is the longer you have them, the softer they are, the better they fit, and the more history they tell.

We have a Murray State t-shirt that was my mom’s in college that got passed down to me and then to Laura, and now it is so worn that no one can wear it, for fear of the whole front decal, cotton and all, ripping off. I guess my favorite is my blue Kentucky shirt; a Kentucky-blue shirt with a white Kentucky across the front. It’s the one I reach for first in my overly-stuffed t-shirt drawer (Why do we do that anyways? We'll have a million t-shirts and wear the same 5 or 6!). So a big shout-out to those articles of clothing shaped like a letter- I never knew how good I had it in college when I could wear them to class every day! Now the trusty cotton garments must be relegated to weekend wear or after-hours lounge apparel.

Have a favorite T? Feel like sharing?

Saturday, June 18, 2005

weekend ramblings

I finally heard from Mrs. Borders today to say that the group landed and are fine in Chisinau. I was relieved to finally have some verbal confirmation that Rhonda and Emily were safely there- it was a very parental feeling that kicked in as soon as I knew their plane had taken off from Nashville- I just wanted to know that they had reached their final destination safely! Although I say safely, and Mrs. Borders also told me that there was a small earthquake in Chisinau soon after they arrived. How crazy is that? Talk about spiritual warfare in an unexpected sense!

Today has been full of family time in doing yard work, getting some sun-therapy by the pool, and grilling out for dinner tonight. Tomorrow will be too, as we celebrate Father's Day. I am so excited about my dad's Father's day present that it is killing me not to be able to say ("I don't wanna say!") what it is.

Last night I finally watched the movie Closer. It was absolutely fantastic. I will pre-empt that by saying it was yes, a lot about sex, but also cinematically brilliant. Natalie Portman is one of my favorite actresses and she is luminescent on film. The four actors were amazing, but one of my favorite things about Closer was its use of music. It's what I pay attention to when watching movies- I can't help it. In one of the first scenes there was Mozart opera playing- I didn't know which one it was, but it kept showing up all over the film. There would be a dissonant dominant 7th chord just as something dramatic or poignant happened in the movie, and the music aided in moving the action along. Finally, upon reading the closing credits, I gleefully discovered that the omnipresent Mozart opera was his infamous "Cosi' fan tutte," loosely translated as, "Women are like that." How clever of the director to use this opera, whose plot follows 2 couples who betray each other! I realize the majority of filmgoers would never get this connection, and yet I appreciate the director's attention to detail in this sort of thing for those that do.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Officially roommate-less

Well, the girls are on their way to Moldova, via a flight to Atlanta, then on to Amsterdam followed by a 2 hour drive. They won’t actually arrive at their final destination until tomorrow morning, 8:30 Nashville time. I feel like such a mom, but I’ll feel so much better when I’ve had conformation that they are safe on the ground.

It’s weird knowing they are both on a plane and that I won’t see them for a while. It will be weird getting ready in the morning, knowing I don’t have to beat Rhonda to the shower, or won’t have Emily plop down on my bed to do her makeup. The good thing will be that our water bill should be considerably less for this month- that, and the fact that they are going to a foreign country and proclaiming God’s to people who have never heard the Gospel. I’d say that’s a pretty good thing. Why is it though that it’s easier for a person to get on a plane and cross and ocean to tell people about Jesus than it is to share Christ’s love with a coworker? Why is sharing our faith something we generally find ourselves having to think about, and when we do think about it, we ignore those thoughts for fear of ruining our image in front of people we have to see on a day-to-day basis?

Scott brought this up at Kairos Tuesday night, and Emily made a comment about it on yesterday’s post- but he said we are all missionaries; we’re just either a good one or a bad one. That was such a profound statement to make- one I’m sure made most people there, including myself, a little squeamish. Something else that makes me squeamish? When coworkers tell me about their nose-hair clipping habits. Seriously, people. I don’t make this stuff up.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

BBC Moldova Mission Trip Blog

Keep up with Emmy Sue & Rhonda Lu and their travel companions at this "blob" address.

Moldova or Bust

Once again, members of the Penthouse residence are heading overseas for a mission trip- that’s right- I said members, plural. Only this time, it’s Emily and Rhonda who are going, and me who gets left behind. The two of them are traveling tomorrow with BBC to Moldova, the poorest country in Europe, and formerly part of Russia to work with orphans. (Correct me if I get any of this wrong, girls) They will lead a primitive form of VBS through the aid of translators, and teach these kids about God’s love for them who have never heard the Gospel before. The camp is for the orphans who have absolutely no where else to go in the summer, so as a result, the majority of the orphans in Moldova end up on the streets, as there are not enough of these summer camps available for them. I’ve watched as my roommates prepare for this trip, and cannot imagine how heartbreaking it is going to be for them when they see the living conditions of these precious children. Instead they must focus on changing the lives of a few to in turn affect many more.

The second week, Rhonda will come home, and Emily will stay on as a second BBC team arrives. They will be building beds for orphans through a ministry called Sweet Sleep started by fellow BBC member Jen Gash. (Why is it that some people just have those names that naturally have to be said, first and last together? Jen Gash- she would never be just Jen. Same goes for my friend Jon Cate. It must be those 2 one-syllable names.) Sweet Sleep started after Jen Gash took a mission trip to Moldova a few years ago; a country with an overwhelming orphan population. She witnessed the terrible living conditions of the Moldovan children, and decided to do something about it.

Rhonda will be gone for 10 days, and Emily for a full 19! So I just wanted to take a moment to share with you guys the amazing step of faith and obedience to God’s calling that my 2 wonderful roommates are taking. Please pray for them and the rest of their team as they prepare to show these kids God’s love for them. The Penthouse will be quite the quiet place for a few days.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

The girls


The girls
Originally uploaded by pinkukfan.
"Spring Break '05"
dinner at the Back Porch in Destin
Some fine, lovely ladies, if I do say so myself (and I do!)... and if you'll look carefully, at the botoom of the picture you can see noneother than famed Wild-at-Heart Brad's head! Isn't he gorgeous?

Boofer and the Queen of Sand


Boofer and the Queen of Sand
Originally uploaded by pinkukfan.

The Penthouse Pets


The Penthouse Pets
Originally uploaded by pinkukfan.
Amanda Jane, Emmy Sue, & Rhonda Lu

Friday, June 10, 2005

Calling all Brad Fans

Thank you MSN for giving me the best gift possible when I opened up your webpage this morning. In keeping with the theme of top 10 lists from yesterday, we have a new top 10 list for today.

Brad Pitt's Top 10 movie roles

And for you ladies out there, the list is even complete with pictures. Oh yes. It's going to be a good day ;o)

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Amanda's Top 10

Rhonda and I were talking last night about some fun things to do in Nashville while her friend Shelly is in town. I suggested she take her to Pancake Pantry. Rhonda wanted to know if I wanted to go with them, and I said, as if I would EVER turn that place down! So it got us laughing at the things you will never here Amanda say (I also did some pondering and added a few others to last night’s conversation and made it an even Top 10):

1. I’d rather go to the mountains over the beach any day.
2. I’ll have the scallops, shrimp, and lobster for dinner please.
3. Sushi? You bet!
4. Sorry, no dessert for me tonight.
5. I’m sorry, I can’t go shopping with you- I have to work out.
6. I’m tired of Harry Potter & the Chamber of Secrets- can we watch
something else?
7. I was so busy at work today that I didn’t send out a single email
8. I was so busy at work today that I forgot to eat lunch (do you know
there are actually people out there who DO THIS???)
9. I think I’ll sit this Pancake Pantry visit out
…And last but not least…
10. Do you have this in anything Other than pink?

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Doh!

In the hierarchy of Brentwood Benson, Dale Matthews is the Big Cheese. And as a new hiree, of course he doesn’t know my name, nor will he ever probably. However, I will always be known to him as the girl playing solitaire. Yes. This actually happened yesterday.

My team moved all of our desktop computers into the large conference room for some new computer training, and my back was facing the glass wall of the room. It took awhile for everyone to get set up, and I couldn’t open the programs I needed because my computer wasn’t hooked up to the Internet yet. So I did what anyone would do! I opened up Spider Solitaire to pass the time until we got started. Of course Dale Matthews chooses this moment to step out of his office and walk by the conference room. He sees my computer screen, and opens the door and calls out Marvin, my team leader. Marvin comes back in a few moments later and passes me a note asking me to close the game, which I promptly did. Only later did I find out that it was Dale behind all of that. I liked to have died! Of course Dale wanted to know who I was, and Marvin says he defended me and bragged on me, but the damage had been done! I will just avoid eye contact with the man for a while, which shouldn’t be too hard to do because I think I’ve seen him 3 times in the 3 months that I’ve been here. So much for first impressions- and I didn’t get to finish the game either, which Really irks me!

Monday, June 06, 2005

The Diva Domain is famous!

...in Perry County Indiana! I predict that in another year, mine will be the most widely read blog in America. Alright- maybe not. But I have to admit it is pretty cool to see my name in print!
Click here to see the article- scroll down a few paragraphs till you see the blurb about the DivaDomain. Thanks to my uncle Michael for passing this on to mom who then passed it on to me.

Nashville Star, Cannelton-style

The Bradley family piled into the Bug Saturday morning for a quick trip up to Indiana to see family. And as usual, our family get-togethers always bring laughter. First, we get into Cannelton and are attempting to park the car at the house and there are all these barefooted kids on their bikes just standing in the street and staring at the car! Apparently not many people in those parts drive Volkswagen Beetles. The kids asked us, “What’s it like to ride in a slug bug?“

We got there at 11am, and Laura went to the fridge to get a Mountain Dew. She reached in and pulled one out, opened it and took a drink before exclaiming that she had accidentally grabbed a beer! We kidded that our newly 21-year-old had done this on purpose. My grandfather has his canned drinks lined up in rows at the bottom of the fridge so it really was an honest mistake. I tried to drink the beer but at 11 am it was too early, and I was still too full from breakfast to even enjoy it. Alcohol absuse, I know, but we poured it out and got her a Mountain Dew (for real this time).

Later that night Laura and I were privy to witness Karaoke Night at Bear’s. (Don’t worry- we went to the Pumper first and I got to hear Jimmy’s infamous rattley laugh.) Bear’s is down the street a little ways, and named after the owner Bear, who is 87 years old! His son was bartending that night, and he is in his 60s. The place was “packed” according to my cousins, but to someone who is used to fighting the Tin Roof on a Saturday night, this was nothing. I quickly became known as the “Nashville Star” thanks to Ryan who was putting my name in to sing songs and paying the dj to get them to the top of the request stack. Only after he did that would he ask me if I would sing, so I had no choice but to belt out the Sheryl Crow- Kid Rock duet with Ryan, and sing “When you say nothing at all” and “Blue” by myself. The locals were appreciative except probably the ones who took their karaoke very seriously and thought they were practicing for American Idol. It was not a pretty sight nor sound.

Finally my aunt Lisa came over on Sunday afternoon to catch Mom up on the latest small town gossip, which is always amusing. They talk about what’s going on with their brothers and sisters, and Lisa told us what happened to her son Chris one day while he was working at the volunteer fire house. It was right after the pope died, and some crazy lady called in (who also happens to be the relative of another relative) (everyone’s related in small towns it seems) and asked my cousin to ring the new fire bell in honor of the pope. Lisa said that Chris went “ring ring” and hung up on her. Not nice, no, but absolutely hysterical at her expense anyways.

So those are the weekend highlights. The fam is good- the littlest cousins keep growing, the little cousins aren't little any more, and the older ones are married and having kids of their own! And me? I'm just sittin on the dock of the bay, wasting time...

Friday, June 03, 2005

Wild at Heat, Part Deux

Let me set the stage...I took the book Wild at Heart with me to the beach this weekend. I've read it before, but I wanted to read it again b/c (1) I want to read Captivating, and I thought it would be nice to read this one again first and (2) a group of guys at church just read it, so I thought if I wanted to discuss anything in this book with a boy, this would be a good time to do it since it's fresh on their minds. Sidenote: was it a coincidence that Wild-at-Heart-Brad started talking about it (insert dreamy sigh)? Just kidding...

Ok, so this morning several of us got together for breakfast to say goodbye to a young lady that works upstiars in the Provost's office. There was a good mix of genders, ages, races...some people I knew, some I didn't. Somehow we got to talking about football (and not just the fact the Vanderbilt is terrible at it). This older lady (in her mid-sixties) says, "Football is so dumb. I mean, think about it...it's a bunch of guys running around a field knocking each other over. It's such a childish thing really." My first thought was, "Well I happen to love football, and it's so much more than that." But my second thought (since I'm reading this book) was, "That's exactly the mindset that has caused men to lose their masculinity in society today. That's exactly what John Eldredge is talking about. We've told men it's bad to be aggressive - it's childish. Instead, be gentle...be nice...be pacifying...be a doormat." Those are all good qualities (except for the doormat), but do you think a girl wants to marry a guy that fits that description? Not I said the fly. Eldredge also makes a point, though, that men should not live vicariously through watching sports on TV - they should have an adventure of their own. But what's wrong with men being men? That's the part of God's image that makes them men. I don't know if I'm making any sense at all...it was just interesting to read this book and then right there in front of me was an example of what Eldredge meant. He said that every man desires a battle to fight, an adventure to live, and a beauty to rescue. Well I'm sorry, but it takes more than nice, gentle, and well-behaved to accomplish those desires.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

As promised, the long-awaited story about Wild-at-Heart Brad

Saturday night the 5 of us pile in the car and drive to Destin to the Back Porch restaurant to have dinner. And as is common, there was an hour-and-a-half wait, so we went out back (to the back porch) and found us a table in the sand to sit while we waited. Correction. Rhonda and Mary Anna found a table, while Emily, myself, and Lana parked the car. So we get to the table and there is a table full of young attractive guys sitting next to us. Apparently a few of them were sitting at what was now “our table,” before the rest of us got there, and so darn it, we just all had to pile in and make room for 2 of them to sit with us!

One of these men happened to be who is now known as Wild-at-heart Brad. He was tan and had brown hair, brown eyes, and these cute little glasses that made him look very intelligent. Well Brad perked up after we ran into people from church and he asked us where we knew them. This started an amazing stream-of-consciousness conversation where he told us all about a fantastic Joel Osteen book, the new Chris Tomlin cd, and finally, you guessed it, the book Wild At Heart.

Wild-at-heart Brad had us eating out of the palm of his hand with his southern accent talk about the necessity to get back to the order of love-marriage-sex, and how a man trembles at the sight of a woman’s naked body, and how he wasn’t really having fun with all these wild and crazy friends of his that were celebrating one guy’s bachelor party. I was sitting directly across from Brad and I know my mouth must have been gaping open in disbelief! Here we are on the beach, in the middle of Destin, talking to a beautiful Christian man, and it was such an encouragement to us girls. The guys are out there- they do exist- or at least one of them does- and we were all prepared to fight for him.

In true girl fashion, Emily and Rhonda both googled him yesterday and found his company’s website (It's the Hattiesburg, MS branch). Alas, we have no last name for our dream man, and no way to contact him. Not that we would, I mean, we’re not complete stalkers, but as single women I really think that God placed Wild-at-Heart Brad in our paths as an encouragement to us, as if to say “Continue being faithful, girls, I am providing for you.” Thank you Lord for that blessing. And did I mention he was beautiful?

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Laura's (belated) 21st Birthday post


21st birthday- group 1
Originally uploaded by pinkukfan.
Ok, so here I am blogging exactly a month late- but better late than never. If you really want to know, it was my ability to post pictures that was holding this thing up!

Little Sis Laura Lu turned 21 a month ago today, May 1st, and what follows is proof of a birthday celebration she will not soon forget.

The eve of her birthday started out with her and some friends at Joe's Crabshack, then we moved the party to Demonbruen at midnight, to On the Rocks. Here, multiple drinks were placed in front of Laura that she proceeded to consume in just under 2 hours' time, so needless to say, she didn' t have a single drop to drink the next day, Sunday, her actual birthday.

On the Birthdday girl's commeorative day, we hosted a Luau for her at the house, complete with beach music, decorations, and a roasted pig on a platter.

Her friends came over, had a few drinks, ate some yummy food, and good times were had... see the visual proof to follow.

Laura's Birthday Hat


DSCN0745_0037
Originally uploaded by pinkukfan.
we made her wear it... but I think she enjoyed it!

The roasted pig


DSCN0743_0035
Originally uploaded by pinkukfan.
Notice it's complete with an apple, and a lettuce and tomato garnish!

the birthday girl


the birthday girl
Originally uploaded by pinkukfan.
"W" is for Wasted

21st bday laura & george


21st bday laura & george
Originally uploaded by pinkukfan.
Lulu and Jorge at On the Rocks