Thursday, July 28, 2005

the best laid plans

So yesterday Lana (which we recently discovered is 'anal' backwards) and I had plans to go walking at Radnor Lake after work. Well in case you didn't notice, it happened to pour down rain yesterday afternoon. Or in case you don't live in the Nashville vicinity, it poured down rain yesterday. And by 5 o'clock, while it wasn't raining anymore, it sure looked like it ws going to any minute. (Ok, let's be honest- we were looking really hard for an excuse not to go walk!) So Lana and I debated: to walk or not to walk, and then she tells me about a friend from Lexington who was in town for a work conference. He wanted to see her, and she really didn't feel like going out to eat with just him, so what did we do? Well of course we had to be good friends to Lexington Boy, so we canceled our plans to walk, and graciously offered to have dinner with him and his coworker. I know what you're thinking- how generous were we to give up our exercise time to have yummy food with people we'll probably never see again! Skip forward to me and Lana back at the Penthouse.

"It's still light outside," I said to her. "Let's just go walk around the apartment complex."
So with our tummies full, we changed clothes and set out to walk. Only excepting we stopped into Rhonda's room and started looking at Rhonda's old pictures with her and John. The next thing I knew, I looked out the window and it was completely dark outside! Lana left soon after, and I marched into the living room, determied to do some form of physical activity. I popped in our Mari Windsor pilates video and made it through half of the (mere 20-minute) video before my energy was completely zapped, so I went to bed about 15 minutes later!

Isn't there some quote about the best intentions or the best-laid plans or something that applies to this story? I'm sure there is. If not, allow me to coin another one: Best intentions are, at best, just intentions. Sleeping and eating are much more fun. And you can quote me on that.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

catch phrase

So, you know, I was driving home last night and you know, called back Corbin, the director for the Secret Garden at Boilerroom Theater, and you know, he told me he didn't have a part for me in the principals, but you know, he would like to cast me as one of "spirits" in the ensemble. Would I be interested in doing that?

You know Corbin, I don't think I would! And would you PLEASE stop saying "you know" after every phrase??? Every. Single. Phrase! Of course I didn't say that- I said I'd think about it and check my dance class schedule, and you know, I'd call him back in a day or two.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

My store!


My store!
Originally uploaded by pinkukfan.
OK, so there's just way too much to wrote about from this past week's mission trip to New York. Instead I have posted several pictures and commented briefly on them so you can get the jist of it. During the weekdays, we painted a middle school in the Bronx partnering with a program called New Hope New York that has a project it sponsers called "Paint the Town."
Our nights were free in the city, and we stayed in apartments right near Times Square. The first few days I was enthralled with the lights and hustle and bustle that encompassed Times Square- by day 3 or 4, I could not stand having to fight my way through all of teh "tourists" to get where I was going! Ha!
This store was just calling my name to take a picture in front of it. "I like pink. Pink is my signature color."

Brooklyn Tab


Brooklyn Tab
Originally uploaded by pinkukfan.
Not at all what I pictured it to look like, but the service was unlike anythng I've ever een to. These people know how to praise the Lord! The praise and worship was great, and the famous choir sang "My Life Is In Your Hands," which is one of my favorite Brooklyn Tabernacle songs we sing in the BBC choir. It was a total God thing too, because when I was waiting in line to get in the church that morning (yes, you have to wait in a line that spans a few blocks!) I thought to myself that I would just love it if the choir sang that song. 2 hours and 15 minutes later, we were on our way to explore Chinatown and Little Italy in the pouring on-and-off rain.

Roomies eating Dolce in Little Italy

Here we are, the girls of 123 W. 44th st. # 5D, enjoying some desert at a cafe in Little Italy. The gelato was yummy, and so was our waiter. I actually ordered a cannoli just to keep him coming back to our table! (You all know how I love me some Italian Mens!) So we exchanged flirtatious smiles throughout our stay, and he grabbed my camera off the table to take a picture of the 4 of us girls. Trust me, I got a card from that place so I can go back next time I'm in the city!

painting the hall


painting the hall
Originally uploaded by pinkukfan.
This is Alicia demonstrating a big part of what we did. The school was bulit in 1937, and has not been painted or repaired since, save some new windows 15 years ago. We are hoping the new spruced-up building will have an impact on both students and teachers. Did I mention the 100+ stairs we had to climb multiple times a day? 4 floors plus a basement- this building was huge- oh, and no air conditioning either. We sweated it out while working joyfully. Seriously- as the days went on, and we became increasingly more tired and sore, the attitudes of the team remained joyfully focused on the task at hand. This made it easier to get the job done.

a view of the Bronx


a view of the Bronx
Originally uploaded by pinkukfan.
I took this from the 4th floor in our school. The neighborhood is most definitely run-down, but it still has character. I would get off the subway each day, admire my surroundings and just smile thinking about where I was. I am in love with this city for sure. A point of interest- the school is only a few blocks away from Yankee Stadium.

Eleanor & Amanda conquer "Wicked"

This was the one show I was dying to see, and we were extremely blessed to get 2nd row seats on our first night in the city. Some friends of friends won lottery tickets and gave their tickets to us. We now love these friends of friends. Also, notice how well Eleanor's and my outfits coincide with the color scheme of the poster!

Kelly's Mural


Kelly's Mural
Originally uploaded by pinkukfan.
It was brought up that Kelly Carter was a profesional artist, so she was given a huge wall outside the school on their playground to paint. Apparently the school has a hard time keeping the graffiti off of the wall, but in the city, wherever patriotic paintings or tributes to September 11th are portrayed, the graffiti artists leave it alone. It is our hope that this mural will make their play area a more pleasant place to be, and that the Gospel will be proclaimed through the scripture verses on the mural. Kelly and the others who worked on this were able to talk with several kids and members of the community who passed by to see who we were and what we were doing, and many pitched in and helped! It took them only 3 days to start and finish the whole thing!

Starbucks on the stoop


Starbucks on the stoop
Originally uploaded by pinkukfan.
There's a Starbucks on every block in Manhattan I think- I had to have my coffee fix at least one morning- those lates nights and early mornings were starting to wear on me. PS, right next to the Starbucks in Times Square was a Sephora store that I passed by every day- and I never even went inside. I know myself too well to know that I am a terrible window shopper. I opperate under the philosophy of "I see, therefore I buy," so if I don't see the makeup, if I don't enter the cosmetic heaven, then I'm not likely to make an unnecessary purchase!

Chris & Julie painting the doorframes

This is what we did our last 2 days. We took Sharpies and wrote Bible verses on the door, and then painted them Kentucky Blue. Each door took 20 or 30 minutes to paint, which was a major pain(t), but it made such a difference in the hallways and rooms. The task was not so much fun for the vertically challenged however, who had to constantly go up and down on chairs to reach all the nooks and crannies. But look at these kids and their teamwork here!

Me Christa & Eleanor at Shea Stadium

Ok... so we Went to Shea stadium on Wednesday night, the Mets were playing San Diego, but we didn't actually go to the game. We left the apartment an hour after the start of the game, and didn't anticipate the 45 minute commute by train to get out there. But hey, the Mets at least did win.

An amusing name for a restaurant

Well, I guess the sign says it all- no guesswork as to the type of cusine they serve here, no sir! Here in front are Christa, Reagan, and Eleanor. We four shared a slap-happy dinner full of laughter. The waitress refused to bring Christa a straw, and we girls picked Reagan's brain on important subjects such as this: When a girl wants to tell her friend that she looks nice and ready to go out for the evening, she says, "you look cute," or "that shirt is cute." So what do guys say to one another?? I don't think Reagan ever really got a chance to answer because the 3 of us kept butting in with our own suggestions.

4th floor classroom


4th floor classroom
Originally uploaded by pinkukfan.
The first classroom I helped paint on Monday. Two coats of paint and a lot of squatting and reaching later, the kids will have a fresh new classroom they can take pride in. We prayed for the kids and teachers in each room before we painted them, for we know that this act of service was not just about paining a school, but establishing a relationship with this community.

Me & Jeff Goldblum


Me & Jeff Goldblum
Originally uploaded by pinkukfan.
Sorry, I know it was a Mission trip, but this may have been the Coolest moment of my week! I walk by the theater, where I had just seen The Pillowman that night (co-staring this quirky actor favorite of mine), and there he is, signing autographs! I told him I had a crush on him after seeing Jurassic Park and Jeff got a kick out of that. Too bad I didn't get to cozy up to Billy Crudup- the leading man in the play- for he was nowhere to be found. bummer.

Monet's Waterlillies


Monet's Waterlillies
Originally uploaded by pinkukfan.
This was so incredible to see in person. Cliche Monet yes, but still one of Mom's favorites. My favorite was a huge Renoir painting. There was too much to see, and our feet were throbbing. Plus we got lost in the museum a few times. Thank goodness for the people who work there that can point you toward the exit!

skyline from the Met


skyline from the Met
Originally uploaded by pinkukfan.
This was taken from the roof atop the Metropolitan Museum of Art- I took this, after I think, Eleanor sat on what she assumed to be a concrete block, but what the museum people regarded as "art."

fitting in already


fitting in already
Originally uploaded by pinkukfan.
This is me, pretending to be enjoying happy hour on top of the MET and look like a "true New Yorker." I wasn't faking the phone call though- I really was checking my voice mail- I learned the hard way of the faux pas of answering your phone in a museum!

no title necessary- this is just funny

I saw this bagel place while Christa and I were strolling down the streets of the upper East side and had to take a picture. Who decided this would make a good name for an eating establishment??? Well, it definitely catches your attention, that's for sure!

Sponge Bob in Times Square


Sponge Bob in Times Square
Originally uploaded by pinkukfan.
He was in front of Toys R Us- I couldn't resist this random photo-op, so I pulled Julie and Sarah Nall in with me for good measure. This was taken our last night in the city- and it was Sarah's 23rd birthday.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

NYC Mission trip Blog

Well hey there, kids. Guess we have an ongoing trend with these mission trip blogs- but aren't they great?? I actually don't have anything to do with the creation of this one, so if I do make it to a computer I'll probably post to the divadomain. But check this link as well to see what our team is doing.

32 of us head out early Saturday afternoon to spend a week in the Big Apple where we'll be painting and cleaning up an inner-city middle school. Mostly this is just a trip so we (Brentwood Baptist) can scout out the Bronx area where we'll be working to possibly start planning a new church for this area. I struggled with feelings of guilt for several months and weeks leading up to this trip. Was this just a cheap, glorified vacation for me? We'll be working from 8-5 every day, and granted, it will be hard work, but all our nights are free. I will have free reign in New York City- one of my favorite places in the world to see friends, go sightseeing, and see as many shows as is financially possible! What kind of mission trip is that??? I knew beyond doubt that God wanted me on this trip though, the same way I felt him lead me to South Africa last year, but not reaffirm that for this year. So why was I feeling guilty for planning to go to on this Kairos mission trip to New York when I felt pulled by the Lord to be there? All I can say is that I have prayed about this trip a Lot, and here I am, still leaving tomorrow.

It has finally been impressed upon me that our team is like Joshua and Caleb, sent in by Moses to scout out the Promised Land. We will go in, see the giants, but see the overwhelming goodness that God has for us there as well, and we will go back to the elders and report what we have seen. Yes, we will be doing visible and tangible good works for this middle school and this area, but our experience will be our own lives changed, and the lives of the people we encounter through this trip- both in NYC and back here in TN. The actual physical labor we are doing is only a small part of the big picture. God has much bigger things for us I think, and I'm excited to see what that is.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

4th of July on the 13th of July

Ok. I finally submit to the masses who are pestering me about this belated blog. I don't even know what was so significant about the weekend that has caused all the hype, so post a comment if I've left out your favorite 4th of July weekend moment.

We had our annual Bradley Beach Bash at the house- this was our 10th year to host the shindig. It began as a way to get all of the family on my Mom's side together, as we are rarely all together, residing in Wisconsin and the extreme northern and southern parts of Indiana, plus us in Tennessee. This year was the smallest get-together to date, with my Aunt Lisa & Uncle Jerry, my cousin Eric, his friend Mark, and my grandfather making the trip down. Most of the time is spent outside on the back patio eating and drinking, with everyone sitting in a big circle of chairs talking late into the night.

I took Eric and Mark, both newly 21, downtown to Tootsie's, which they said was so crowded they felt like they were in a concert, and The Stage, where the guys were amazed at the size of the bar and how many people were packed in. "There's more people in here than in my entire home town," Eric exclaimed. In true Harris Boy fashion, Eric did get sick while we were out, though thankfully outside in the alley by the Stage, and not at the bar like his brother last summer.

Eric, who is usually pretty quiet, gets quite chatty when drinking we observed, and he and I had some great talks about politics on Sunday night. It became kind of a joke that he was talking so much, so Jerry told him "you're not gonna have a hangover tomorrow; you're gonna have a sore throat!" A classic Jerry quip, and most definitely, the quote of the weekend.

The fam left on Monday (the 4th), Emmy Sue finally got back in town (Hooray!), and Rhonda and I met up with a bunch of people downtown for the fireworks. Lana was with us again this year, and had little kids turning around staring at her for being more enthused than they were. "Can you believe it's someone's job to design fireworks all year?" I said.
"I should have majored in Firworks," she said matter-of-factly.

Happy Independence Day. Pictures to follow soon.

nashvillefireworks1


nashvillefireworks1
Originally uploaded by pinkukfan.

Eric talking politics


mom-spring-summer-2005 040
Originally uploaded by pinkukfan.

...and probably talking about how oneday Richard Nixon will be hailed as one of the nation's greatest presidents...

Nashvillefireworks2


Nashvillefireworks2
Originally uploaded by pinkukfan.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Things you don't often hear at work

An email went out to a group of people, inviting us to lunch.
My response:
Here's an excuse you don't normally hear, but I have to go buy tap shoes on my lunch break.
Coworker #1's response:
Not s'posed to go shopping while you're hungry. You might end up with
more tap shoes than you need. You should eat first.

Coworker #2's response:
And wait 30 min...before...buying...?

And later on, I walked over to another guy's cubicle. "Don't take this the wrong way Chuck," I said, "but it smells like Guinea pigs over here." I began to explain that the scent was distinctly the smell of cedar wood chips that are often found in the aquariums and cages of small rodents such as gerbils and guinea pigs. We took turns smelling Chuck's lunch bag- but the origin of the scent could not be determined. All I know is my nose knows what it smelled ("and it wadn't no brimstone.")

Friday, July 08, 2005

Dennis the Menace

Hooray for Hurricane season. And I mean that not in a morbid, getting-a-thrill-from-the-misfortune-of-others-kind-of-way. I just revel in the awesomeness of the power of these tremendous storms. The way they build their strength as they churn through the water and take last-minute turns in direction fascinates me! Back in the day when I had zilch to do in the summertime, I would stay glued to the weather channel. My first weatherman crush was Jeff Morrow during Hurricane Andrew in '92. (I know. I'm a total nerd.) Now we have our first Major hurricane of the 2005 season. (Major meaning a category 3 or higher) Last I heard, he was a category 4 but was expected to weaken at landfall in the gulf-coast-U.S.

This is what I do on Fridays when work is boring. So there :oP to all the people (Dad!) who have yelled at me for lack of blogging: 2 blogs in one day!

an evening at the Rural Brewery

Ah, to be 21 again. That’s what I sighed as I dragged myself out of bed this morning. How in the heck I went out on “school nights” during college and still managed to make it to class in the mornings, I’ll never know, but this DIVA seems to have lost some of her spunk!

Ari’s Flyboy Bart was in town last night, so he, Ari, Tom, Sally, Angela, and myself met up at McCreary’s Irish Pub in Franklin. It’s one of those places that we all had all heard of but never been to- well, all of us except Bart-the-Texan. We had a blast running everybody else out of the restaurant with our boisterous conversation, ordering beers with quirky names like “Holy Grail Ale,” “Hobgoblin,” and “Waggledance” (With that last one you had to waggle from side to side after taking a drink.) and then reading the description or history of the beer on the bottle. One that Tom ordered- a double chocolate Stout or something- had an ellipsis on the can’s description! Something to the effect of, “pour the contents into a glass and wait… then enjoy the rich, smooth chocolaty taste.” Who puts an ellipsis on a can of beer, honestly? A few others:

Woodchuck: on tap- I thought I’d died and gone to heaven!

The Skullsplitter: a beer that Bart ordered with the picture of a Scottish Viking man on the label. “He looks like a man’s man,” he said, “but he also looks kind of gay.” Angela’s response: “well, if he’s a man’s man, than he Would be gay.”

Blue Moon: you drink this with an orange or lemon garnish (think Corona with lime), and we sang every Blue Moon rendition we could think of (“Wasn’t this song out when you were little, Bart?”)

And the best???

The Hebrew Messiah: With a name like that, it has to be ordered! We joked that you could order it, but no one knew when it would actually be available. Who knew there Was such a thing as a Hebrew Messiah? So Melissa, our good-natured waitress, came to the table after Bart put in his order and said, “the Hebrew Messiah won’t be available for another thousand years- you’ll have to order something else.” Pure classic.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

One of those annoying questionaires people send when they are bored:

1. WHAT IS YOUR FULL NAME? Amanda Lynn Bradley
2. IF YOU WERE A CRAYON, WHAT COLOR WOULD YOU BE? A hot pink or magenta of some kind
3. LAST PERSON YOU TALKED TO ON THE PHONE? “My best friend Heather from home”
4. LAST MOVIE YOU WATCHED? Point Break
5. FAVORITE HOLIDAY? Cliché, I know, but Christmas is the best
6. WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE TOY AS A CHILD? My Barbie doll house
7. WHAT DID YOU DO LAST NIGHT? Looked at Em’s Moldova pictures, did some laundry, talked on the phone, watered the plants, and painted my toes- all in all a very productive evening!
8. FAVORITE SMELL? Baking cakes, beach-ball plastic, & gasoline fumes
9. CAN YOU JUGGLE? No
10. HOW MANY COUNTRIES HAVE YOU VISITED? 4
11. WHAT ARE YOU AFRAID OF? Scary movies, roller coasters
12. WHERE DO YOU WORK? Brentwood Benson Music Publishing
13. Does it bother you that there are only 13 questions? of course!

Your turn. Comment away- it's much better than emailing 20 of your friends and making them do this!

Friday, July 01, 2005

Snake Busters

When there's somethin strange, in the neighborhood- who ya gonna call? Snake Busters!

That's right, your truly was on snake patrol Thursday evening, along with my brave and heroic father. Last weekend Dad had spotted a snake skin in our backyard, and he watched as the snake slithered under our deck and beneath our hot-tob, out of his reach. Mom refused to go outside pretty much all week, and all yard work was halted until the until the snake had been apprehended. (Let me also preface this blog by stating that my mother is deathly afraid of "wigglies;" so much so that she averts her eyes whenever they come onto the television, and one vacation, Laura scared her with a fake wooden one in a giftshop so badly that Mom refused to buy Laura any kind of souvenir on that trip.)

I arrived at the house Thursday afternoon to Mom yelling at me as soon as I walked in the door. "The snake's back!" she hollered. Laura saw him this afternoon before she went to work. Apparently our cold-blooded friend had wandered into the sun to warm himself when Laura startled him (or her), and he/she slithered back under the hottub, though just inside it where he (or she) could still be seen.) Once dad got home he and I went out there to see exactly where it was, and try and figure out how in the world we were going to coerce it out of its hiding place. (I grabbed a pair of kitchen tongs- Mom wasn't too thrilled about that!) Getting a little too curious-George, I peered at the unwanted guest in our backyard from a platform a little too closely, and scared the snake, who retreated out of sight, further beneath the hot tub. It was now Dad's turn to be not-so-thrilled with me, because now he had to take off the whole front wooden panel of the hot-tub so we could find the little bugger. Oh, but that was after we turned on the hot tub jets to see if the snake would perhaps be jarred by the "Really Loud Noises!" and crawl on out. No such luck. So crouching down on the patio, flashlight in hand, I finally spotted the reptile- only after mom practically threw my glasses at me before running back up the deck stairs- it sucks not being able to see! But he was partially hidden under a pile of leaves inside the interior of the hot tub, which was a jumble of wires and electronic do-dads. Getting this snake out was going to be no easy feat.

I stood behind dad with the flashlight so he could see the Wiggly, an empty bucket close by so we could catch him and release him far away from the back yard, while dad took a small rake and carefully negotiated the handle through the mess of wires so he could clamp down and scoop the snake out. Of course the snake would not go down without a fight, and though dad got him with the rake, our little friend wrigged free and disappeared again under the leaves and wires. I got to crouch down and keep watch while Dad went to get the leaf blower so we could clean out from under the hottub and eliminate the cold-blooded creatures hiding places. As chance would have it, the snake grew impatient that he was being threatened, and as soon as Dad walked away, the Wiggly stuck his head out from beneath the pile of leaves and started slithered forward.

I screamed for my father, meanwhile keeping an eye on this thing, thinking, "surely he'll stop once he sees that I am bigger than he is." Again, no such luck. I screamed for my dad again while the snake inched closer and closer, his mouth open, ready to attack. The one good thing about this sudden moment of aggression from our scaley serpent was that now we could see the thing to trap it. Really, we weren't aiming to kill him. I know many people in our situation wouldn't hesitate to do so, but I can't help it- I'm a humanist, and I can't help but feel guilt whenever I'm responsible for killing one of God's creatures. Except for spiders. The remorse passes quickly after I've smashed them to smithereens with my shoe. But of course the snake doesn't know we're merely trying to relocate him- and can you blame him? I mean, the Indians or Native Americans- whatever you want to call them- they put up a fight when the white men came in and not-so-politely asked them to move as well. (Plangent, anyone?)

So yes, here we are, the snake is inching towards me and all I have is a flashlight in my hand, and Dad swoops in and saves the day by trapping the Slitherin mascot with a rake and a garden hoe. The pesky thing put up a fighting lunging toward the gardening tools and trying to bit anything he could clamp his teeth into. I reached over quickly and placed the bucket to where dad could easily drop the snake into it, and wouldn't you know it, but the rake got caught on some of the hottub wires. My first instinct was to reach over and unhook him, but I saw the snake who was fighting mad by this time and thought better of it. Finally untangling the tools, Dad was able to drop the snake into the bucket, and suddenly I heard mom's applause ring out from the overlooking bedroom window where she watched the whole dramatic-yet-comical ordeal. "I had to see for myself that you really got rid of it and not just tell me you did," she said. I actually had already tried that once- I told her we got him and the snake was gone a few days earlier and unfortunately, she's not that easily hoodwinked.

And they all lived happily ever after- the snake was dropped into a weedy,grassy spot down the street, Mom was free to roam the backyard again (after of course she lined the outside fence with Snake-be-gone), Dad was the hero of the day, and I, his right-hand-man, was free to enjoy a nice bowl of Bluebell ice cream and stay up late watching baseball and scrapbooking, reveling in the fact that I had Friday off of work. What a dramatic start to my long weekend!

mary anna, dave barnes, & me


mary anna, dave barnes, & me
Originally uploaded by pinkukfan.
Finally... the picture you've all been waiting for! Here's where Mary Anna and I met Dave Barnes at Dancin in the District. I talked to him about South Africa and Mary Anna discussed MTSU Campus Crusade. I think he loved both of us and would have married us on the spot if polygamy weren't illegal in this state :o)

whataburger


whataburger
Originally uploaded by pinkukfan.
Wow... What. A burger.